Criminal Law FAQs

The following information is NOT legal advice nor does it establish an attorney-client relationship. Each individual’s circumstances are different and the information below is general in nature.  Should you have specific questions about your particular circumstances, you should contact an attorney.

I am being investigated for a crime, but haven’t been charged yet.  Do I still need an attorney?

It is a common practice for law enforcement to bring a suspect in for an interview while a case is still under investigation.  Oftentimes, coercive police tactics are used to garner a confession during these interviews.  No matter what law enforcement may say about your potential involvement, or what they plan to do after the interview, you must know that anything you say can and will be used against you in court.  Having an attorney on your side before speaking with the police will ensure your rights are protected, and can save you from potential criminal charges.

I was arrested, but was not read a Miranda advisement.  What does that mean?

A Miranda advisement is required when a person is subjected to custodial interrogation.  A Miranda advisement need not be given in every situation.  If an advisement should have been given, but was not, it may result in suppression of evidence and in extreme situations could even result in dismissal of a case.

What do I do if I am arrested?

Always bear in mind that anything you say to police, before, during and after arrest, will be used against you.  Before you make any statements to police, invoke your right to consult with an attorney.  Be respectful and polite to police during your encounter, as that is often a factor in how your case will be resolved when it comes time to enter a plea bargain.

I am charged with a crime of Domestic Violence and the victim wants the charges dropped.  Can I still be charged?

Yes.  It is common practice that a prosecutor will still choose to go forward on a charge involving domestic violence, despite the victim’s desire to have the charges dismissed.  Depending on the evidence in your case, a conviction is still a very real possibility, regardless of the victim’s cooperation.

I am guilty as charged and just want to get this over with.  Do I really need an attorney?

Yes.  A skilled criminal defense attorney will ensure that you are getting a fair and just resolution of your case.  If you cannot afford to hire private counsel, apply for the public defender.  An experienced attorney may point out issues or problems with your case, which result in a significantly better resolution.  An experienced attorney can also provide mitigation to the judge or the prosecutor, which may result in a more favorable plea bargain or sentence.