When you’re facing criminal charges, you may have questions and concerns about your case. Unfortunately, one wrong move can mean a conviction. That’s why you need answers from a lawyer, like those at Hoeller McLaughlin PLLC. Reach out to a lawyer for answers, and check out some of our most commonly asked questions.
Why should I hire a lawyer?
When facing criminal charges, hiring a professional criminal defense attorney is critical to best prepare yourself for the litigation process and have the best chance at beating the charges. Criminal charges can majorly impact your future, determining what employment and education opportunities are available to you, access to housing, credit score and ability to take out loans, and more.
A criminal conviction can also shape the personal relationships you have with others and take a toll on your mental health. By hiring a lawyer, you can fight for your future and trust that you have a skilled attorney at your side to advocate for you.
What’s the difference between a public defender and a private attorney?
Everyone is entitled to legal counsel, and if you cannot afford a private attorney, a public defender will be provided. While public defenders are often strong lawyers with ample professional experience, the downside to working with a public defender is that they often have many cases to balance at once. This leaves little time for hands-on support and guidance from your attorney to you.
The public defender is also state-assigned, which means you won’t have a say in who the lawyer is and you may have a strained professional relationship because you do not align with their approach. When you partner with a private attorney, you can choose a lawyer based on their past successes, their approach, or the trust they instill within you. Your private criminal defense attorney may offer more communication, higher responsiveness, and more dedicated one-on-one time to work on your case.
Partnering with a private criminal defense attorney ensures you choose someone you believe will best fight for your future.
What penalties do I face?
The penalties you face are determined by your unique charge. Common penalties include fines, jail time, probation, community service, restitution, and more. When you work with a criminal defense attorney, they’ll help to prepare you for what to expect and they’ll advocate for reduced penalties or a case dismissal.
How long will the process take?
The court process is divided into a multitude of stages that may take months or even years before being finalized. In the early stages, you’ll choose a lawyer, and the initial hearing and plea bargaining will take place. Later, the preliminary hearing and pre-trial motions will happen, followed by the trial itself.
At each stage, your criminal defense lawyer will prepare you for what you can expect. Your lawyer will spend the time building a defense and advocating for your best interests at each stage in the process.
What if I can’t make bail?
In some instances, when defendants are unable to make bail after they’ve been charged and put in jail, they will be forced to remain behind bars throughout the process.
Whether you’re beyond bars or remain in jail, your lawyer will be able to communicate with you about the process and provide updates on what’s happening. Your communication with your lawyer will not be restricted.
Who will the prosecutor speak with?
The prosecutor will communicate primarily with your lawyer. Lawyers are required to communicate with the legal parties representing defendants instead of the defendant alone, which means you don’t have to fear the prosecutor contacting you and you not knowing the proper response.
This differs in the trial, where the prosecutor will speak to you alone before the judge or jury and ask questions to build your case. Your lawyer will prepare you for what questions to expect and how to answer them honestly but strategically.
How do I beat my charges?
The first step to beating your charges is seeking out a lawyer. Choose a criminal defense attorney with the skills, experience, and history of success necessary for them to successfully fight for you. Beating the charges is the top priority of both you and your skilled criminal defense attorney. As your lawyer builds your best defense, they need all the facts and details you can provide about what occurred.
If you delay disclosing key details, it can weaken your defense substantially. Once you’ve chosen a professional, trusted defense attorney to partner with and you’ve disclosed all you can to them, trust that they’re working hard to help you beat the charges and fight for your future.
When you’re ready to fight for your future in the courtroom with the help of a skilled criminal defense lawyer at Hoeller McLaughlin PLLC, contact 817-334-7900 or fill in our form today.