When you are facing a criminal charge, you need to be proactive and start working on your legal defense strategy with an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. The right defense strategy can be the difference between a conviction and being found innocent, the difference between clearing your name and having to live with the stigma of having a conviction on your criminal record.
Our team of experienced criminal defense lawyers works with clients facing the following types of charge:
Our team has experience defending adults and juveniles against criminal charges. If your child is accused of committing an offense, work with a lawyer who has experience with the juvenile justice system. There are a lot of differences between the juvenile justice system and the adult court system, and working with a lawyer who is familiar with these differences will be a boon to your child’s legal defense strategy.
You can represent yourself in court. But you should not. Even if you are a criminal defense lawyer, it is in your best interest to have a lawyer with experience defending clients against the type of charge you are facing handle your case. This is because your lawyer is not connected emotionally to your case like you are. And if you are not a criminal defense lawyer, it is also because your lawyer has the knowledge and expertise that you do not have and can defend your case more effectively than you could defend it for yourself.
When you are facing a criminal charge, you are facing criminal penalties. They can include:
Additionally, you will lose certain civil rights, such as the right to own firearms, if you are convicted of a felony. To be convicted of a crime, the court must deem you to be guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. This is where your legal defense strategy comes into play – your goal is to demonstrate to the court that you are innocent and when this is not possible, use available evidence to make it impossible for the court to find you guilty beyond a reasonable level of doubt.
Sometimes, the best case scenario for an individual charged with a criminal offense is being offered a plea bargain, the opportunity to plead guilty to a lesser offense in exchange for having his or her charge dropped. By doing this, an individual can avoid the harsher penalties he or she is facing. If you are offered a plea bargain, your lawyer can evaluate the offer to help you determine whether you should accept it or continue fighting your charge.
Depending on the type of charge the individual is facing, a pretrial diversion program can also be an alternative to being convicted of the charge. In a pretrial diversion program, the individual is required to receive treatment, which may include substance abuse rehabilitation, counseling, community service, or other requirements, while under court supervision. Successfully completing the program results in the charge being dropped.
The right defense strategy for your case depends on the circumstances in play. When you initially meet your criminal defense lawyer to discuss your case, tell him or her every relevant detail about your arrest and the evidence law enforcement has collected. You should also give him or her every relevant detail about your involvement with the alleged criminal event and other details that could drive your defense strategy.
Your defense strategy might hinge on the lack of evidence the prosecution has to link you to the criminal offense. In some cases, the evidence the prosecution has cannot be used in court because it was obtained illegally – if this is the case for you, your lawyer can work to have these illegally obtained pieces of evidence thrown out. There could be a lack of evidence that any offense occurred, like no illegal drugs recovered to support a drug possession charge, or a lack of evidence that you were the person who committed the crime in question.
Your defense strategy could also involve a violation of your civil rights. If an officer arrested you without an arrest warrant, searched your home or vehicle without a search warrant or your consent to the search, or failed to inform you of your rights, this can invalidate a large portion of the prosecution’s case.
Another potential defense strategy for your case is demonstrating your lack of intent to commit a crime. Though this is not the case with all charges, certain charges require the court to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant willfully, knowingly committed the offense to convict him or her.
Talk to your lawyer about all of your defense strategy options. In addition to the strategies listed above, there are many other ways to defend your case, such as demonstrating that you did actually act within the law or that you committed a criminal defense while under duress.
If you have been charged with a criminal offense, or even if you have merely been arrested and you have not yet been formally charged, it is in your best interest to start working on your case’s defense strategy with an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Neenah now. Contact our team at Hammett, Bellin & Oswald, LLC today to set up your initial legal consultation with us, during which we will help you understand your rights and your legal options.