Michigan Criminal Defense Attorneys
If you are charged with a crime, you may feel scared, nervous, or anxious. However, it may be possible to alleviate or effectively manage those feelings by hiring an attorney to help with your case. A legal adviser from The Criminal Defense Firm may be able to take a number of steps to ensure that your rights are protected throughout the legal process. This person will also serve as someone who you can speak freely with as your case unfolds.
An Overview of Your Rights During the Legal Process
Whether you are a person of interest in an investigation or have been charged with a crime, it’s important to understand and make the most of your legal rights. Primarily, you have the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney. There are also limits as to what the government can do without a search warrant or without your permission.
Understanding Your Right to Remain Silent
As you may imagine, the right to remain silent means that you are under no obligation to talk with authorities. This is true whether a detective comes to your home for information about a case or whether you have been taken into custody on suspicion of drunk driving or grand larceny. The Fifth Amendment also states that you don’t have to testify during a court hearing if doing so would incriminate yourself.
Understanding Your Right to an Attorney
If you have been charged with a criminal offense, you have the right to an attorney. You typically have the right to ask for a criminal defense lawyer the moment that you are placed in handcuffs. At this point, all questioning must stop until an attorney can be present while it happens. It is worth noting that anything that you say voluntarily may still be used against you at trial or at other points in the legal process.
Ideally, you will hire legal counsel as soon as you think that you could be charged with a crime. Doing so may reduce the risk that you say or do anything that might undermine your ability to avoid charges, have them dropped at a later date or to obtain an acquittal. An attorney may also assist in the process of gathering evidence in your case or take the lead during plea negotiations.
Other Important Rights to Know About
The Fourth Amendment states that the government cannot engage in an unreasonable search or seizure of your property. As a general rule, police, detectives, or other representatives of the state cannot enter your home, look inside your car, or gain access to a locked device without a warrant, your permission, or some other exception to the warrant requirement.
However, authorities may be able to search areas if illicit substances or evidence of a crime are in plain view. For instance, if an officer sees a package of cocaine in your car, it may be used to justify a warrantless search of the vehicle.
The Sixth Amendment provides you with the right to a speedy trial. Although this doesn’t happen often, it is possible for a case to be dismissed if the prosecutor engages in conduct that leads to unreasonable delays. Finally, the Eighth Amendment says that you cannot be subject to excessive bail or a sentence that is unjust or cruel.
The Types of Cases Our Firm Handles
Our firm handles almost any type of criminal case that is typically dealt with at the state level. Common state offenses include assault and battery, theft, and sexual offenses. Furthermore, traffic offenses such as reckless or impaired driving are also handled by state authorities.
Financial crimes such as tax evasion, failing to file a state tax return, and most types of fraud may also be dealt with by state authorities. However, there is also a chance that an investigation may be taken over by federal agents depending on what evidence authorities uncover.
Assault and Battery
Assault and battery are commonly used interchangeably, but they are not necessarily the same thing. Typically, assault occurs when you intentionally put someone else in imminent fear of harm. Meanwhile, battery occurs when you intentionally touch someone against their will in any way that is harmful or offensive. An example of battery may be pushing someone during a bar fight.
Theft or Larceny
Theft or larceny occurs whenever you permanently deprive the owner of an item from enjoying it or making a profit from it. This may mean that you stole an item from a store or took something from your adult offspring that didn’t belong to you. It’s possible to be charged with theft if you fail to return an item that you initially had permission to use.
As the name implies, a violent crime is one that is committed by force. Assault and battery are common examples. Many sexual offenses can also considered violent offenses if force is used or threatened in order to complete the sex offense. Murder or attempted murder are other offenses that tend to fall in this category.
Penalties Levied in Criminal Cases
There are a number of penalties that may be levied in a criminal case, and there are a number of factors that go into determining your sentence. For instance, if you are charged with a misdemeanor and have no criminal history, you may spend time on probation or receive a suspended sentence. It’s also possible that you’ll pay a fine, perform community service, or face other punishments that don’t involve jail or prison. However, if you commit a serious offense, have a criminal history, or both, you may be sentenced to many years in jail or prison. This may be in addition to probation, a fine, and community service.
Frequently Asked Questions
What happens after I'm taken into custody?
After being taken into custody, you will likely be taken to a local jail for processing. For minor offenses, it’s also possible that you will receive an appearance ticket in lieu of being taken to jail. Regardless, you will eventually see a judge to hear the charges against you and to enter a plea in the case. From there, court hearings and other dates will be scheduled, and there is a chance that the prosecutor will begin the process of negotiating a plea deal.
Will I lose custody of my kids after being charged with a crime?
As a general rule, simply being charged with a crime doesn’t mean that you’ll lose custody of your kids or lose other parental rights. However, depending on the facts of the case, a court may decide that interactions between yourself and your kids should be supervised or otherwise monitored. It’s possible that any rights lost will be restored if charges are dropped or if you are acquitted.
Should I use my phone or computer while under investigation?
There is no guarantee that the government will take your phone, computer, or other electronic devices. Furthermore, state authorities may have little to gain by monitoring your social media accounts or reading text messages or emails sent to your phone. Of course, it’s generally a good idea to say as little as possible while under investigation to minimize the risk that something incriminating may appear on a device that is being monitored.
Why might charges be dropped before trial?
The prosecutor in your case may decide that there isn’t enough evidence to take a case to trial. Charges may also be dropped if you agree to a plea deal or if the prosecutor simply doesn’t believe that their case can overcome a legal defense that your lawyer will raise, like self-defense.
Who will represent me while my case is pending?
The Criminal Defense Firm has attorneys who have spent time as federal prosecutors as well as agents within the IRS, OIG, and DEA. Unlike other firms, your case will not be handled by a junior associate and no legal work will be performed by a paralegal. Instead, your interests will be represented by someone who has a solid track record of delivering results in cases such as yours. It is important to note that we cannot guarantee any specific outcome in your case.
Contact The Criminal Defense Firm Today
If you are in need of a Michigan criminal defense attorney, reach out to The Criminal Defense Firm at its nationwide intake number: 866-603-4540. It may also be possible to start a live chat, or find more information by submitting our contact form.