Are You Facing Criminal Charges?
If you are being investigated for or have been accused of a crime, now is the time to seek out the legal help you need. No matter the crime, a Fishkill criminal law attorney will be able to protect your legal rights.
Different Types of Criminal Charges
Criminal charges can range from minor infractions to misdemeanors and they can be as serious as felony or aggravated felony charges. No matter the charge, a person should be considered innocent until proven otherwise. Reading about criminal law and your rights can help you see the importance of a solid defense.
Each criminal charge carries with a potential punishment, which can include fines, probation and even jail time. The goal of a criminal defense lawyer will be to end up with the most favorable outcome possible for your particular situation.
What do criminal defense lawyers do?A criminal defense lawyer will ensure that law enforcement respects your legal rights if they are investigating you or have arrested you. Your attorney will also conduct their own investigation to look for the best strategy to defend against your charges, including representing you at trial if necessary.
What makes a good criminal defense attorney?A good criminal defense attorney knows the law and does not back down when police and prosecutors do not respect your rights or try to pressure you into taking a plea deal that is not in your best interest. You should also look for an attorney who has a long track record of success in cases like yours, including trial victories.
Should you accept a plea deal?Police and prosecutors count on making defendants feel like they have no other option but to accept a plea deal, such as threatening to seek harsher punishment if you take your case to trial. You should only accept a plea deal after your attorney has taken a careful look at your case and the evidence for and against you. In some cases, a plea deal may be beneficial than taking your case to trial, but this is not a decision you should make on your own. It should be with someone who knows the law.
When should you ask for an attorney?You should ask for an attorney as soon as you learn that you are under suspicion of committing a crime. If police are investigating you and “just want to ask you a couple of questions,” you should politely refuse and ask for a lawyer’s help. Also, if you are arrested, you should ask to contact a lawyer as soon as possible before answering any other questions. An attorney can speak to police and prosecutors on your behalf and make sure they respect your rights.
Top Questions to Ask When Hiring an Attorney
- How many years have you been practicing law? How long have you practiced law in the local area?
- How many cases similar to mine have you handled in the past?
- What is the likely outcome for my case?
In legal practice, experience matters. An experienced attorney will likely have handled issues similar to yours many, many times. Therefore, after listening to your situation, the attorney should have a reasonable idea of the time line for a case like yours and the likely resolution.
What to Expect from an Initial Consultation
- Seek to determine whether the attorney can represent you. There is no one-size-fits-all legal solution and it may turn out your needs are better served by an attorney in a different specialization.
- It’s important to find a legal ally who is both competent in the law and someone you can trust to protect your interests.
- Discuss how the practice’s billing works and discuss possible additional charges or fees that may arise during or after the resolution of your case.
An attorney consultation should provide you with enough information so that you can make an informed decision on whether to proceed with legal help.
How much does it cost to hire an attorney?
In general, how much an attorney costs will often depend on these four factors: billing method and pricing structure, type of legal work performed, law firm prestige, and attorney experience. Depending on the legal issue you are facing, an attorney may bill you by the hour, settle on a flat fee, or enter into a contingency fee agreement. The type of legal work you need help with will also play a role in cost incurred.
Common legal terms explained
Personal jurisdiction – Requirement that a particular court have authority over a person, in order to bind that person to the judgment of the court, based on minimum contacts. International Shoe Co v. Washington is a landmark Supreme Court case outlining the scope of a state court’s reach in personal jurisdiction.