How do I know if I need a criminal defense attorney?
If you are wondering if you need a defense attorney, then you probably should consult with one. While you will not be faulted for contacting an attorney early; waiting too long could have dire consequences.
What should I do if I think that I am being investigated for a crime?
The most important thing to remember is to refrain from questions, do not consent to any kind of search, and don’t talk about the situation to anybody besides your defense attorney.
What should I do if I am arrested?
It is always important to request an attorney and remember to remain silent and not answer any questions or make any statements. Politely tell the officers or investigators that you do no plan to talk to them and nothing will change your mind. After arrest, you will be booked into the county jail. You may be immediately given a bond amount or you may have to wait to appear before a judge. After posting bond, promptly consult with a criminal defense attorney to start working on your case.
What is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony?
Typically, misdemeanor charges are less serious offenses that are punishable by a year or less in jail and a minimal fine. Misdemeanors are often handled in separate courts such as municipal or state courts. Conviction of a misdemeanor will have slightly less impact on your life as you will retain your basic civil rights. Felonies are more serious offenses that can result in over a year in custody and expensive monetary fines. Being convicted of a felony could cost you your right to vote or ability to serve on a jury. You may not be permitted to own or possess a firearm and you could have difficulty finding gainful employment.
Why should I hire a lawyer that specializes in criminal law?
Technically, any lawyer who has obtained their law degree and passed the bar exam in their respective state can serve as your legal counsel. Not every attorney has the specialized training to effectively defend you in a criminal matter. Like doctors, most attorneys have particular areas of expertise and a criminal lawyer will be most effective in criminal matters.