Frequently Asked Questions

Presented by a St. Louis Criminal Defense Attorney

What is an arraignment and do I need a lawyer at this?

In most criminal cases, the arraignment is where you first appear before a judge who will inform you about the charges you are facing. You will be asked how you plead, whether not guilty or guilty. Generally, if you plead not guilty, further steps will be made at the arraignment, such as a future court date for the next procedure in your case, matters concerning bail, and the appointment of an attorney if you don't have one. Though you can handle this arraignment by yourself, it is always more beneficial to have a St. Louis criminal defense attorney from our firm handling your case as early as possible.

Why do I need to hire a criminal defense lawyer?

In a criminal matter where you are facing possible jail time, you should have a legal professional knowledgeable in criminal defense in your corner as soon as possible to help you avoid this possibility. Especially in felony cases, where a conviction will result in a permanent criminal record, you should have the benefit of a defense attorney. Criminal convictions can carry adverse consequences, such as loss of professional licenses, lengthy probations, increased insurance rates, as well as deportation for those who are not U.S. citizens. Having a criminal record can hamper your career, job possibilities, educational opportunities, housing, and more.

What about the police asking to search my property?

You have the right to refuse unless they have a search warrant to do so. There are rules and regulations concerning search and seizure. Evidence taken in Illegal searches cannot be used in court. It is best to consult with a St. Louis criminal defense lawyer at the firm to get specific details about search and seizure as it relates to your particular case.

What should I do if the police want to question me about a crime?

You should contact an attorney who focuses on criminal defense to accompany you to any questioning or investigation by law enforcement. This is to ensure that your legal rights are protected and that you are treated fairly. Unfortunately, police personnel can lie to you in their attempt to discover the facts about a crime. You should have the guidance and protection of an attorney at this time.

What is the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor?

Misdemeanors are less serious criminal charges which are punishable by fines and jail time of up to one year. Felonies are more serious crimes which carry more severe penalties, such as prison sentences of more than one year, up to lifetime sentences, and even the death penalty.

Contact a St. Louis criminal defense attorney at the firm if you need legal assistance in any criminal case today.

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