In the wake of a criminal arrest in Indiana, there will be many factors to handle in order to protect your rights and freedoms from being restricted by the penalties of a conviction. Unfamiliar with the law and how it operates in the Indiana, you may have more than your fair share of questions that you need answered before you can confidently move forward with your case. For answers to these questions, we urge you to contact a Terre Haute criminal defense lawyer at Rowdy Williams Law Firm today. With years of experience from a team of Terre Haute criminal defense lawyers that are all dedicated to working directly for you, not only will your questions be succinctly answered, your case will be aggressively defended in the court of law as well. Below, we have included answers to a few of the questions we are asked most frequently by the clients we represent both in and out of court.
WHY DO I NEED AN ATTORNEY?
It is not uncommon to question your need for an attorney, especially when considering the fees that can come with acquiring legal representation. We are here to tell you, however, that opting to forego your right to a lawyer could be one of the most detrimental mistakes you ever make. Whether you are facing felony or misdemeanor charges, you will likely be up against a tough prosecutor and possibly an even tougher court judge and jury. It is not uncommon for legal officials to assume guilt, even when there may be none, making your need to persuasively argue on behalf of your innocence all the more crucial to the outcome of your case.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN AFTER AN ARREST?
Whether you have been arrested or you are looking to help a loved one who has found themselves in jail, knowing the processes that will follow could substantially help you avoid the reality of an ultimate conviction for the charges you are currently facing. First and foremost, an arrestee will need to be released from jail, if possible, before any further steps can be feasibly taken. Bail can typically be posted on behalf of the arrestee – either through money or a bond – which will serve as a surety that a future appearance in court will be made. In all criminal offense, an initial hearing will be set, during which time an arrestee will be informed of his / her charges and the penalties associated with it. This is typically when a “not guilty” plea is made.
When the initial hearing has been completed, the discovery process will begin. At this time, your lawyer will need to file a motion asking the judge to enter court orders that call for the government to provide you and your attorney with copies of all documents connected to your case, i.e. police reports, physical evidence, statements from the victim(s), etc. A further proceedings date will then be set, at which point your lawyer will have the opportunity to preview the evidence that will be used against the defendant when the case goes to trial. Only those cases that do not plead out will be brought to trial and heard before a judge / jury. The jury will come back with a verdict of guilty, not guilty or the Court will declare a mistrial if the verdict is not unanimous. When this is the case, you may be able to appeal the conviction.
IF I’M BEING INVESTIGATED FOR A CRIME, WHAT CAN I EXPECT?
Investigation is the first stage of any criminal process, and as such, it is a good indicator that more criminal procedures are yet to come. Police and other law officials take the investigation process very seriously, as this is the truest means they have of determining what happened during the situation that ultimately led to your arrest. Arrests and formal charges can only be made after an extensive investigation has been conducted, so this is essentially “stall time” that should be used to secure a defense attorney who can guide you through the appropriate actions to take next. Together, you and your attorney can devise a strategy that will best protect your future rights and freedoms.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A MISDEMEANOR AND A FELONY OFFENSE?
While felony and misdemeanor offenses are classified as two very separate types of offenses, the lines between the two are not always clear. To separate one from the other, we have identified a number of factors that can help you succinctly determine whether your offense will be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony and what can be expected of each. One of the primary methods used to differentiate a misdemeanor from a felony is the intent behind the action. When it can be proven that malicious acts were made intentionally, they will likely be classified as penalties and penalized accordingly. Felony offenses often result in heftier fines, longer stays in prison, implementation of life-long restrictions and much more. In some cases, it is possible to have felony charges dropped to misdemeanor offenses in lieu of having your charges dismissed altogether.
GET ANSWERS TO EVEN MORE OF YOUR QUESTIONS!
Our Terre Haute criminal defense law firm recognizes that being charged with a criminal offense is a serious situation that needs to be legally addressed with an equal amount of seriousness. As such, we are prepared to answer any and all of your questions, including those that were not included in the abbreviated list found above. You can count on a Terre Haute criminal defense lawyer for answers to all of your questions and defense that will vehemently fight for your rights in the court of law. At Rowdy Williams Law Firmyou will have a former deputy prosecutor working on your behalf. We know how to defend you, we know how to answer your questions and we will do both to the best of our abilities when you contact our Terre Haute criminal defense law firm today.