Facing criminal charges can be a daunting experience, especially if it’s the first time you’ve been involved with law enforcement. The Colorado Springs criminal defense attorneys at Peakstone Law Group, LLC (formerly Patterson Weaver Law, LLC) can guide you through this ordeal.
Here are 10 questions to ask a criminal defense lawyer before you hire them:
What are my next steps after a criminal arrest?
Once arrested, the police will read you your rights and take you into custody. They will search you and take an inventory of what they find. You will appear for arraignment, where the judge may release you and set a trial date. All accused individuals have a right to bond unless the arrest is for murder or certain other violent crimes.
What are my rights in Colorado?
Your rights include:
- The right to an attorney>
- The right to remain silent
- If you remain silent, the judge or jury can’t hold it against you
- The choice between a bench trial (in which the judge decides) or a jury trial
- The right to subpoena witnesses and cross-examine the prosecutor’s witnesses
- The presumption of innocence until proven guilty
- The right to appeal your verdict to a higher court
What should I do if the police investigate me for a crime in Colorado Springs?
Contact a criminal defense attorney immediately. Only answer questions after you receive legal advice.
What is the difference between a case being dismissed or sealed?
Sealing charges wipes the record of the offense or arrest. Dismissed charges are those dropped by the prosecutor. They remain a matter of public record, although you can ask the judge to seal the record for a nominal fee.
What is the difference between state and federal criminal cases?
Generally, state cases involve allegations of state law violations and are prosecuted in state courts. Federal cases involve allegations of U.S. law violations or violations that cross state lines and are prosecuted in federal courts. Each court has different sentencing guidelines and procedures.
There’s a warrant for my arrest. What should I do?
Contact a criminal defense attorney, then turn yourself in. Talk to a bonding agent to make arrangements for release.
Should I hire an attorney if I plan on pleading guilty?
Yes. You still need to protect your rights, even at sentencing. A defense attorney offers plea bargaining skills that may reduce your sentence.
What should I do if I violated my parole or probation?
Contact a criminal defense attorney. You may avoid harsh penalties if an attorney helps you explain the circumstances and reassure the court you will not do so again.
What is the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor?
Felonies are more serious offenses that carry a sentence of at least one year in prison. Misdemeanors are less severe and have a maximum sentence of 364 days in county jail.
Do I have to talk to the police while being arrested in Colorado Springs?
No. Consult with an attorney before saying anything to the police.
Contact Our Colorado Springs Criminal Defense Lawyers for Legal Assistance
At Peakstone Law Group, LLC, we know life happens, which is why we approach each criminal defense case without judgment. Don’t face these charges alone. Contact us today to get started on your defense.