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Criminal Defense

We are devoted to defending the rights of persons who have been accused, arrested or charged with criminal offenses. We are committed to zealous advocacy for our clients along with a creative realistic and result oriented approach..

o We handle criminal defense in a wide variety of District Court Cases, including:

  • DUI
  • Drug Possession
  • Theft
  • Fraud
  • Assault
  • Battery
  • Felonies
  • Misdemeanors

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What is an arrest?

When you are arrested you are taken into custody. This means that you are not free to leave the scene. Without being arrested, however, you could still be detained or held for questioning for a short time if a police officer or other person believes you may be involved in a crime. For example, an officer may detain you if you are carrying a large box near a recent burglary site. Storekeepers also can detain you if they suspect that you have stolen something. Whether you are arrested or detained, you do not have to answer any questions except to give your name and address and show some identification if requested.

What rights do I have?

Whether you are an adult citizen or non-citizen, you have certain rights if you are arrested. Before the law enforcement officer questions you, he or she should tell you that:

1) You have the right to remain silent

2) Anything you say may be used against you.

3) You have a right to have a lawyer present while you are questioned.

4) If you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be appointed for you.

If you are not given these warnings, your lawyer can ask that any statements you made to the police not be used against you in court. But this does not necessarily mean that your case will be dismissed. And this does not apply if you volunteer information without being questioned by the police.

Once I'm told my rights, can I be questioned?

You can be questioned, without a lawyer present, only if you voluntarily give up your rights and if you understand what you are giving up. If you agree to the questioning, then change your mind, the questioning must stop as soon as you say so or as soon as you say that you want a lawyer. If the questioning continues after you request a lawyer and you continue to talk, your answers can be used against you if you testify to something different.

When should I see a lawyer?

If you are arrested for a crime, particularly a serious one, you should contact a lawyer as soon as possible. He or she has a better sense of what you should and should not say to law enforcement officers to avoid being misinterpreted or misunderstood. The lawyer also can advise you or your family or friends on the bail process.

What should I tell my lawyer?
Everything! Your lawyer is held to strict duty of confidentiality. You should never be concerned about giving your lawyer too much information.

What is bail and how is it set?

Bail is a process through which an arrested criminal suspect is allowed to pay money in exchange for his or her release from police custody, usually after booking. As a condition of release, the suspect promises to appear in court for all scheduled criminal proceedings -- including the arraignment, preliminary hearing, pre-trial motions hearing, and trial.

If an arrestee is not allowed to post bail at the police station immediately after booking, a judge may decide later, at a separate hearing or the arraignment, whether to allow release on bail. The bail amount may be predetermined, through a "bail schedule," or the judge may set a monetary figure based on:

The seriousness of the crime;
The suspect's criminal record;
The danger that the suspect's release might pose to the community; and
The suspect's ties to family, community, and employment.

What happens at an arraignment?

After the arrest, booking, and initial bail phases of the criminal process, the first stage of courtroom-based proceedings takes place -- arraignment. During a typical arraignment, a person charged with a crime is called before a criminal court judge, who:

· Reads the criminal charge(s) against the person (now called the "defendant");

Asks the defendant if he or she has an attorney, or needs the assistance of a court-appointed attorney;
Asks the defendant how he or she answers, or "pleads to", the criminal charges -- "guilty," "not guilty," or "no contest";
Decides whether to alter the bail amount or to release the defendant on his or her own recognizance (Note: These matters are usually revisited even if addressed in prior proceedings); and
Announces dates of future proceedings in the case, such as the preliminary hearing, pre-trial motions, and trial.
Also at the preliminary hearing, the prosecutor will give the defendant and his or her attorney copies of police reports and any other documents relevant to the case. For example, in a DUI/DWI or drug possession case, the prosecutor may provide the defense with lab reports of any blood or chemical tests that were performed, and may be used in the case.

 





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