CRIMINAL LAW

Being charged with a crime can be one of the most difficult and stressful experiences in a person's life. You need a skilled criminal defense attorney who will guide you through the criminal justice system and ensure that your rights are protected. For over 30 years we have been dedicated to providing experienced and cost-effective defense to individuals facing the prospect of serious criminal charges. We have extensive experience in handling arraignments, discovery, preliminary examinations, pretrial conferences, motions, jury selection and trials. We are skilled negotiators who can effectively plea-bargain if that is in your best interest. If not, we are prepared to go to trial and vigorously defend you. We will keep you informed and involved at every stage of your case, and are dedicated to getting the best possible resolution to your particular situation. Our extensive experience in area courts and familiarity with local judges will benefit you.

We represent clients in the following criminal areas:

  • Felony and Misdemeanor Charges Including:
    • Assault and Battery
    • Domestic Violence
    • Drug Crimes
    • Drunk Driving
    • Criminal Sexual Conduct
    • Driving Violations
    • Stalking
    • Embezzlement
    • Fraud
  • Pre-Indictment/Arrest Representation
    • Police Investigations
    • Polygraphs
  • Jury and Non-Jury Trials
  • Negotiations resulting in Dismissal, Plea and Sentence Disposition
  • Expungement

Attorneys

Related Questions & Answers

Q. What should I do if I have been contacted by the police and am being investigated for some alleged crime?

You should consult with an attorney. Many people believe that they can talk themselves out of any situation or feel they have nothing to worry about because they have committed no crime. The police or investigating authority will not share your perception. You may very well say something to the investigator that you may not realize incriminates you. It is always a wise move to involve counsel when the police or another investigating authority seek to interview you regarding allegations that you may have done something wrong.

Q. What should I do if I am arrested?

Consult with an attorney as soon as possible. Many times, particularly in cases where alcohol and driving are involved, valuable evidence may be destroyed in a short time period, including the blood alcohol evidence, video tapes, etc. Waiting to hire an attorney can only harm your ability to defend yourself.

Q. Do I have the right to an attorney

Absolutely. You are entitled to consult with counsel or have an attorney act on your behalf at essentially every step of the process (with few exceptions, such as participation in a grand jury process). Both the Fifth and Sixth Amendments of the constitution guarantee these rights. The Sixth Amendment provides you with a right to counsel during judicial proceedings. The Fifth Amendment provides you with a right to counsel during a custodial interrogation. While you do not have the right to delay an arraignment to have counsel present, any time the police intend to interview you regarding allegations that you committed a crime, or a substantive part of the criminal process is occurring in court, you have a right to have an attorney advise you or be present.

Q. What is the process once I have been arrested?

You will typically be arraigned in the appropriate court within 7 to 14 days of the date that you are charged. The arraignment is the court proceeding where the Judge will ask whether you plead guilty or not guilty. If you have not yet retained counsel, you should plead not guilty in order to get an attorney involved on your behalf. In the case of misdemeanors, the next step in the process will most likely be a pretrial conference where your attorney will have an opportunity to discuss the charges and negotiate with the prosecuting attorney. In the case of a felony, you will either have a pretrial conference or a preliminary examination where the court will require the prosecutor to present evidence to show that there is probable cause to believe that a crime has been committed and that you committed the crime. Eventually, there may be additional evidentiary hearings and pretrial conferences, but, unless there is a guilty plea as the result of a plea bargain, your case will eventually go to trial.

Q. Do I have a right to a jury trial?

Any time you are charged with a crime that involves a sentence that potentially includes jail or prison time, you have the right to have a trial with a jury of your peers. Until and unless you knowingly and voluntarily waive your right to a jury, the court cannot take this right from you.

Q. What is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony?

Felonies (including 'high misdemeanors') include any crime that has a sentence of one year or more of incarceration. Misdemeanors are typically handled by the district courts, while felonies are typically processed through the circuit court system.

Q. What are the potential ramifications if I am convicted of drunk driving?

Being convicted of drunk driving can be devastating. Not only are there court ordered fines and costs, in many cases, in excess of $1,000, but also probation supervision fees that will be hundreds of dollars, driver responsibility fees of up to $1,000 per year for two years, and community service. More importantly, a drunk driving conviction now results in a mandatory driver's license suspension of no less than six months. Society and the courts take drunk driving charges very seriously. So should you by retaining an attorney.

Q. Do I need an attorney if I am guilty?

Absolutely. In many cases, while you believe you may have committed some crime, you may be overcharged or the prosecutor may be charging you with additional crimes that do not apply. Hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney will ensure that your rights are protected.