Top Watford City, ND Criminal Defense Lawyers Near You
Criminal Defense Lawyers | Watford City Office
340 N. Main St., Suite 209, PO Box 1933, Watford City, ND 58854
Watford City Criminal Defense Information
Lead Counsel independently verifies Criminal Defense attorneys in Watford City and checks their standing with North Dakota bar associations.Our Verification Process and Criteria
- Ample Experience Attorneys must meet stringent qualifications and prove they practice in the area of law they’re verified in.
- Good Standing Be in good standing with their bar associations and maintain a clean disciplinary record.
- Annual Review Submit to an annual review to retain their Lead Counsel Verified status.
- Client Commitment Pledge to follow the highest quality client service and ethical standards.
Are You Facing Criminal Charges?
If you are being investigated for or have been accused of a criminal offense, now is the time to seek out the legal help you need. No matter the charge you may be facing, a person should be considered innocent until proven otherwise. Working with a Watford City criminal law attorney can help to protect your legal rights.
Different Types of Criminal Charges
In the state of North Dakota, criminal charges are classified in levels of severity ranging from:
- Minor infractions like traffic tickets or speeding violations,
- Misdemeanors, or
- Felony or aggravated felony charges.
Each criminal charge carries its own potential punishment, which can include fines, probation, community service, and serving time in jail. Depending on your circumstances, like any prior criminal history, these penalties can increase in severity. Reading about criminal law and your rights can help you see the importance of a solid defense.
What Do Criminal Defense Lawyers Do?
The goal of a criminal defense lawyer is to help you navigate the criminal justice system and help you obtain the most favorable outcome possible for your particular situation. A criminal defense lawyer will ensure that law enforcement respects your legal rights if they are investigating you or have arrested you. Defense attorneys can help with a number of procedural issues as well, including:
- Reducing your bail
- Challenging your arrest
- Throwing out any incriminating statements you made to the police
- Determining whether any of your rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution have been violated
- Answering any questions you might have regarding your criminal charge
- Working with the prosecutor to obtain a plea deal
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.
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.
What makes a good Watford City criminal defense attorney?
A good criminal defense attorney knows the law here in Watford City 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 in the state of North Dakota.
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.
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 more 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 of North Dakota in order to ensure you are getting the best outcome possible.
When should you ask for an attorney?
No matter what your legal issue may be, it is always best to seek legal help early in the process. If you learn you are under investigation or a suspect of a criminal investigation, asking for an attorney can be critical. An attorney can help secure what is likely to be the best possible outcome for your situation and avoid both unnecessary complications or errors.
If the police are investigating you and tell you they “just want to ask you a couple of questions,” you have the right to politely refuse and ask for a lawyer’s help. An attorney can speak to police and prosecutors on your behalf and make sure they respect your rights, as well as provide you with legal counsel before you answer any other questions.
What sort of issues can I seek legal help with?
Specialized legal help is available for most legal issues. Each case is unique; seeking legal help is a smart first step toward understanding your legal situation and seeking the best path toward resolution for your case. An experienced lawyer understands the local laws surrounding your case and what your best legal options might be. More importantly, there are certain situations and circumstances – such as being charged with a crime – where you should always seek experienced legal help.
Top Questions to Ask a Lawyer
- What is the usual process to resolve my case? How long will it take to resolve this?
- What are likely outcomes of a case like mine? What should I expect?
An experienced lawyer should be able to communicate a basic “road map” on how to proceed. The lawyer should be able to walk you through the anticipated process, key considerations, and potential pitfalls to avoid. Once you’ve laid out the facts of your situation to the lawyer, he/she should be able to frame expectations and likely scenarios to help you understand your legal issue.
Types of legal fees:
Bill by the hour: Many attorneys bill by the hour. How much an attorney bills you per hour will vary based on a number of factors. For instance, an attorney’s hourly fee may fluctuate based on whether that hour is spent representing you in court or doing research on your case. Attorneys in one practice area may bill you more than attorneys in a different practice area.
Contingent fee: Some lawyers will accept payment via contingent fee. In this arrangement, the lawyer receives a percentage of the total monetary recovery if you win your lawsuit. In sum, the lawyer only gets paid if you win. Contingent fee agreements are limited to specific practice areas in civil law.
Flat fee: For “routine” legal work where the attorney generally knows the amount of time and resources necessary to complete the task, he/she may be willing to bill you a flat fee for services performed.
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.