Criminal Defense Attorneys
Why do I need a criminal defense attorney?
Being charged with a crime can be a frightening and confusing experience. The court system and process behind a criminal case can be difficult to understand. The police and the district attorneys may say they are trying to help you but they do not represent your best interests. The police’s job is to arrest people and gather as much evidence as they can in order to assist the prosecutor in putting together a winning case. The district attorney’s job is to get convictions. Only a defense attorney looks out for your best interests and protects your Constitutional rights during the process. This is why you need an experienced criminal defense attorney to guide you and fight to protect your rights when you have been arrested or charged with a crime.
No two criminal cases are the same, and the facts of your case are unique to you. We understand this and treat every case with the attention to detail it deserves. No outcomes are guaranteed in criminal law, but everyone deserves to have a defense. Whether you choose us to represent you or not, you should never be alone when facing criminal charges.
How should I interact with the police?
You should always cooperate with all commands and instructions an officer gives you. Give all pertinent information such as your name, address phone number, and date of birth. But if they begin questioning you about an incident you were involved with (such as, “What were you doing during this?” “Where were you when this happened?” “Have you done [this or that] today?”) or if they are officially wanting to question you or seeking a written or recorded statement from you after an arrest, you should not answer until you have an attorney present. This is your right and you should always use it!
What should I expect to face during the proceedings?
That depends on what you have been charged with. If you have been charged with a misdemeanor your case will start out in the General Sessions Court. At this point you have several options on how to proceed. You can request a preliminary hearing, which is where the court determines if the police had probable cause to arrest you, you can try to negotiate a plea agreement with the prosecutor, or you can pass your case up to Criminal Court for trial.
For felony offenses your case may start out in General Sessions. If so, it will generally follow the same path as misdemeanor cases except that General Sessions Courts do not have jurisdiction to enter guilty pleas on felony cases. However, if the district attorney presented the matter to a grand jury from the beginning, your case may start out in Criminal Court and bypass the General Sessions phase altogether.
Once in Criminal Court you have the right to request all evidence the state plans on using against you. At this point you can work out a deal or take it to trial.
How long does the criminal process take?
Every case is different. It could take weeks or it could take years to resolve a criminal matter depending on what your goals are, how severe the charges are, or how complicated the facts and evidence are. While there is no good answer on how long your case will take, each step of the process is very important and can impact the end result. Therefore, you should do everything possible to retain an experienced criminal defense attorney.
If you have additional questions, we are here to help! Give us a call at (865) 383-1053 to make sure someone is fighting for you when you’ve been accused of a crime.