When you are charged with a crime, work with an experienced criminal defense lawyer to fight the charge. Although you can defend your case without a lawyer, doing so generally does not have a good outcome. A criminal defense lawyer is familiar with the laws applicable to your case and the process of defending a client’s case in court.
The sooner you start working with a lawyer to defend your case, the better your chance of the case resulting in a favorable outcome. This is for a few reasons. One is that it gives you more time to gather evidence and build a strong, solid defense strategy. Another is that if you work with a lawyer starting from your arrest or shortly after, he or she will be there to help you tackle every stage that follows.
Our team works with clients who are facing a variety of criminal charges, including:
Additionally, our team is equipped to defend juveniles facing charges. If your son or daughter is facing a juvenile charge, work with a lawyer who has substantial experience working with the juvenile justice system, rather than a lawyer who has only represented adult clients. The juvenile and adult justice systems are quite different, and an understanding of these differences is key to a successful juvenile defense strategy.
Depending on your charge and the presence of any aggravating or mitigating factors, you could be facing one or more of the following criminal penalties;
In addition to the criminal penalties listed above, you can face additional social, financial, and professional penalties for your criminal conviction. These include being passed over for jobs, not being offered apartments you apply to rent, having your parenting time reduced or even terminated, and having scholarships and college acceptances revoked. A criminal record can follow you for decades after you complete your sentence, cutting into your income and your ability to live the kind of life you want to live.
When you have a criminal defense lawyer handling your case, you have an advocate. You have somebody whose primary goal is to prove to the court that you are not guilty of the charge you are facing and because of that, should not have to live with the consequences of a conviction.
Your lawyer will guide you through each stage of the criminal justice process, from your initial questioning to presenting your case in court. This includes preparing you for police questioning and depositions, two types of interview that will come up in your case. You have the right to avoid making any statement that will incriminate you, and your lawyer can help you understand exactly which statements could do so in your specific circumstances. Your lawyer can also talk to you about your other constitutional rights, like your right to remain silent during questioning, your right to have a lawyer present during interactions with law enforcement and the court, your right to refuse consent to a search of your home or vehicle, and your right to be treated humanely by law enforcement during your arrest and custody to ensure that you understand and exercise these rights.
Ideally, your defense’s goal is to prove to the court that you are innocent and have your charge dismissed. Sometimes, this is not a realistic option. In cases like this, a realistic favorable outcome to your case could be admission to a pretrial diversion program or accepting a plea bargain, an opportunity to plead guilty to a lesser charge in order to avoid the more substantial penalties of your original charge. Your lawyer can help you assess your options and guide you toward the most favorable ones. If your case results in an unfavorable ruling that you feel was reached unfairly, your lawyer can help you determine whether appealing the decision is the right choice and if so, he or she can work with you to appeal the court’s ruling.
A criminal defense lawyer can do more for you than help you defend your case in court. If you are convicted of a crime, or even if you are arrested and not convicted, your arrest and/or conviction will be on your criminal record. If you qualify for an expungement, your lawyer can help you obtain it.
An expungement is the process of removing an arrest or a conviction from an individual’s record. By doing this, you are hiding your criminal record from most parties who conduct background checks, including prospective employers. Getting your record expunged can help you secure a job.
Your criminal defense lawyer can also work with you to have a restraining order terminated or restoring your right to vote after you have completed your sentence.
When you are facing a criminal charge, it is in your best interest to work with an experienced criminal defense lawyer to fight the charge. To get started with a member of our team, contact Hammett, Bellin & Oswald, LLC today to set up your initial legal consultation with us. We are here to answer all of your questions and work with you to develop an effective legal defense strategy.