No Picture
General Article

How A Criminal Attorney Can Help

How A Criminal Attorney Can Help

Criminal lawyers are a special breed of attorney. Their job is to ensure that their clients receive all that is available to them under the law after they have been arrested for criminal offenses.

Criminal violations could include the following:

drunk driving

hit and run

reckless driving








record expungement

drug possession

selling a controlled substance

drug trafficking

Lowering Charges:

A criminal attorney will first try to have the charges lowered. He or she will also investigate and often challenge the lab work, arresting procedure and other aspects of the arrest.


The client enters a plea at the arraignment hearing. If a defendant cannot afford to hire a criminal defense attorney, the Court will appoint an attorney from the Public Defender’s Office to serve as that person’s criminal attorney. Public defenders are often young and inexperienced in going up against lawyers from the District Attorney’s Office. For this reason, it is always a good idea to retain a criminal attorney.

After the arraignment or even at the arraignment, the defendant’s criminal attorney may file a Motion to Dismiss the Case for lack of evidence, improper arrest procedure or for some other valid cause. If the case is dismissed, the client is free and will not have a conviction on his or her criminal record.

Pre-Trial Conference:

At the pre-trial conference, the judge surveys both attorneys to see if they are ready to proceed to trial. If they are not, the judge will admonish them to prepare their case as quickly as possible. If the case is ready to go forward, it will them proceed to the assigned trial date where both sides will present their case. Some trials are before a judge and jury while others are held before a judge only.


Plea bargaining negotiations begin practically from the beginning of the case. These are normally not held at court but, rather, between attorneys while at the local restaurant across from the courthouse. If the case is settled prior to trial and if the judge approves the settlement, the trial date will be vacated. However, if the case does not settle, the trial will begin.


Some cases settle at the time of trial, but the more serious cases like grand larceny, burglary and murder are usually sentenced a week or two after the trial. For a sentence, a defendant may be required to serve time in the county jail or in state prison, pay victim restitution, participate in drug treatment, testify before a victim’s group and/or engage in community service. First offenses are often sentenced to summary probation only. However, if probation if violated in any way, the defendant will then have to serve time in lock-up. A criminal attorney can assist in helping a client receive a lower sentence.…

No Picture
General Article

Five Basic Constitutional Rights All Americans Should Know If Arrested by Law Enforcement Officers

Five Basic Constitutional Rights All Americans Should Know If Arrested by Law Enforcement Officers

The Constitution of the United States guarantees specific basic rights to citizens arrested or questioned by law enforcement. Some of the basic rights include the right to have a legal counsel, the right to remain silent, etc. You need to know your rights as enshrined in the Constitution. Below are some specific rights you should know in the face of criminal investigation:

The Right to Remain Silent

No person is obliged to talk to police authorities when interrogated concerning a crime. You should NOT give any statement, but politely provide your name and give your driver’s license if requested. The Fifth Amendment as well as the Miranda decision of the Supreme Court protect American Citizens. When you are arrested for a criminal offense, anything that you say to the arresting police authorities is likely to be used against you in court.

The Right to Counsel

This is another important right you should not forget when you face criminal charges. The Sixth Amendment guarantees you the right to counsel by an attorney prior to being questioned by the police. Retaining a lawyer, whether a private attorney or a public defender,if you cannot afford one, is critical prior to making any statement to the police.

The Right to be protected from Unreasonable Searches or Seizure

Unless a police officer shows you proper credentials and a search warrant, you should not allow any form of search to be conducted on your body, property and car. The Fourth Amendment keeps you from unfounded searches and seizures. If a police officer shows you a warrant, you must ask to read the content of the papers before allowing them to conduct search. It is also better to ask the police officer if you may watch as they conduct the search and to call your attorney prior to the search.

The Right to Due Process of Law

This specific right guarantees you to have a fair trial or fair trial and that specific rights and/or privileges shall not be taken away from you.

The Right to Speedy and Public Trial

A speedy public jury trial is guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment, unless you request a bench trial. The right to a speedy trial in the U.S. makes sure that defendants do not spend an unreasonable amount of time in jail prior to a public trial. Infringements of the speedy trial rule may result in a dismissal of the criminal charges.…