If you are looking to hire a criminal attorney, chances are that you are in a difficult situation and need the assistance of a criminal defense attorney quickly. Facing criminal charges, whether minor or a more severe charges, is often a very serious matter with consequences. These may include jail time, creation of a criminal record, monetary fines, loss of future employment opportunities, or more. Therefore, it is often in your best interests to find and hire an experienced and well qualified criminal defense attorney to assist you with your charges. Importantly, the Constitution guarantees you the right to counsel in criminal prosecutions. If you cannot afford an attorney, then the court will appoint one for you. However, if the court decides based on your income and assets that you can afford an attorney, and then you may either hire a private attorney or represent yourself. Criminal defense attorney costs will typically vary based upon various factors. These may include: the severity of the charges that you are facing, the notoriety or experience of the attorney, the complexity of the legal issues in the case, and whether the case goes to trial, to name a few. Thus, it is important when hiring a criminal defense attorney to discuss the attorney’s fees prior to entering into a written contract.
What Does a Criminal Defense Attorney Do?
If there is a criminal claim brought against you, you may be faced with criminal penalties, such as fines, jail time, or both. Thus, if you have been charged or are under arrest for suspicion of having committed a crime, it is in your best interests to first consult an experienced attorney before you respond to any criminal prosecution. A qualified and experienced criminal defense attorney will guide you through the entirety of the criminal legal process and help you assert any possible criminal defenses to the charges being brought against you. In most cases where you are seeking a criminal defense attorney, you may have already been arrested, taken into police custody, and booked through the police system. After this, you are typically given a chance to post bail, before an arraignment is held where you are read the criminal charges that are being brought against you. During the arraignment, you will be asked to enter your plea, and should there be no plea bargain, a preliminary hearing will be held where a judge will determine whether there is sufficient evidence to charge you with a crime. As can be seen, the entire criminal procedure is often very complex, and, thus, it is often in your best interest to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney. A criminal defense attorney will often charge you based on an agreed upon hourly fee or flat fee, as well as bill you any related court costs for defending your case, such as expert witness or investigator fees.
Reasons to Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney
• They Understand the Judicial System: The first and often most important reason to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney is that they understand how the judicial system works. The legal system can be confusing, even for people who work in it every day, but an experienced defense lawyer knows the intricate workings of the court systems and can help guide you through the process based on your individual case.
• They Have Built Relationships with Prosecutors: After working in the legal field for long periods of time, defense attorneys begin to develop relationships with their counterparts prosecuting attorneys. While it may seem odd to develop a positive relationship with an adversary, both parties understand that everyone has a better experience when people are familiar with each other. Having an attorney who has developed a good relationship with your prosecuting attorney can prove vital in the outcome of your case. Their relationship may allow them to negotiate a better plea deal or negotiate an affordable bond.
• They Have Dealt with Cases Similar to Yours Before: Not all attorneys are built the same. While all attorneys passed law school and the state bar to practice in the jurisdiction, different attorneys have different specialties.
• They Can Protect Your Future: An experienced criminal defense attorney can fight for you and your future. A good attorney may be able to get your charges reduced; your penalties lessened, or even get your case dismissed due to police errors while illegally obtaining evidence against you. By reducing your charges, they can keep a felony off your criminal record and keep you from jeopardizing your career. By reducing your possible penalties, they can keep you from jail and help you avoid losing your job. By getting your case dismissed they can save you from any negative impact that a criminal conviction could have had on your life.
• They Can Save You Money: It’s counterintuitive to think a more expensive lawyer will save you money, but history has shown that spending the additional money for an experienced criminal defense lawyer is almost always worth it. They can help you receive the best possible sentencing for your case, which could help you keep your job or keep you from losing your professional license. How many months of income would you lose if you lost your job tomorrow? How many years of viable earning potential would be destroyed if you are stripped of a professional license? Even without being fired, missing work for jail or extended court may cause a financial strain that could be avoided.
• They Can Assess Law Enforcements Conduct: No amount of observation through TV, media, or Facebook, can help the average person really understand the actual legal limits of what law enforcement can do when obtaining evidence in a criminal case. Good criminal defense lawyers spend years learning the nuances of proper procedure and identifying the blind spots and loopholes. They know what police officers are allowed to do when investigating a client, and can look at every possible means by which the officers may have infringed upon the rights of the accused. If the evidence gathering was improper, the lawyer can get the evidence thrown out of your case and this can often lead to dismissals.
• They Can Advise You on the Possible Outcomes: Some criminal attorneys will paint a bright picture of how they can help you in their case. They will assure you that nothing negative will happen once you go to court. Then suddenly you are convicted of a felony and facing 5 years in jail. The attorney assured you it wouldn’t happen, but it did because you simply trusted the system would work itself out and your innocence would be proven.
Types of crimes that criminal defense lawyers defend in court
• Murder / Manslaughter
• Rape/ sexual offences/offences against children
• Offences against the Person, such as GBH, ABH, and common assault
• Robbery/ Burglary/ Theft /Handling Stolen Goods
• Fraud/Forgery /Proceeds of Crime
• Regulatory offences
• Drug offences
• Breaches of Court orders
• Public order offences / Offensive weapon charges
• Motoring matters
Reasons to Hire a Local Attorney
Trusting your case to a local attorney has many advantages. Being convenient in travelling and communication terms, local attorneys also have familiarity with local court system and may have developed strong connections with local community. The key reasons of hiring a local attorney include:
• Being familiar with local and state laws: Each state is allowed to create, implement and enforce its own laws in additional to federal laws. When choosing an attorney, one of the most important things to consider is his/her deep knowledge of not only federal but also local or state laws. Local attorneys are more aware of every detail of the state law and thus, will know what button to push for each specific case.
• Knowing local court proceedings: Similar to states, each court has its own rules of practice. Some laws are more faithfully adhered to by one court and lesser applied by another one. A local attorney will most likely have previous experience with local courts which will endow him/her with the privilege of understanding the rules of the local court better than any visiting attorney. Besides, a local attorney can be a lot more familiar with filing deadlines and hours of operation of local courts.
• Having good connections: Local attorneys attend local mixers, conferences and social events which give them a chance to develop a rapport with other local judges and attorneys. They will also have good contacts with local police, prosecutors, expert witnesses, which can be effectively used to resolve the case in your favor. A local attorney will know the preferences of each judge as well, thus can decide what evidence will be more acceptable for the very judge.
• Valuing good reputation in the community: Creating and maintaining solid reputation will provide long-term trust and respect for a lawyer in the community. That is why local attorneys will do their best to maintain good reputation in their local court. Otherwise, this is rarely true for non-local attorneys, who may never appear in the court again.
• Skipping some out-of-pocket expenses: When you hire a non-local attorney, note that the travelling costs will be charged to you. That can include travelling tickets, hotel costs, and meals. While, hiring a local attorney you will not have to incur that expense.
Divorce, or “dissolution of marriage,” is the legal termination of the marital relationship. The divorce process is handled by family law attorneys (each estranged spouse retains his or her own counsel) and involves a number of issues, ranging from division of property to child custody. While it’s important to hire a lawyer who is skilled at your economic and other interests in a divorce, it is crucial to find an attorney with whom you feel comfortable on a personal level. Divorce is an intensely emotional process, requiring delicate people skills in addition to legal know-now. It may make sense to complete a divorce without hiring a lawyer in some limited cases, as long as neither party has representation and there are no minor children involved. But most divorces, particularly those involving dependent children and/or complicated property issues, go more favorably with the counsel of a divorce attorney. And if your estranged spouse has an attorney, it’s always wise to hire one yourself.
Terms to Know
• Custody: Having rights to your child. Custody can be either legal, which means that you have the right to make important decisions about your child’s welfare, or physical, which means that the child lives with and is raised by you.
• Prenuptial Agreement: An agreement made between a man and a woman before marrying in which they give up future rights to each other’s property in the event of a divorce or death.
• Stipulation: An agreement entered into by the divorcing spouses that settles the issues between them and is often entered into the court’s final order or judgment and decree.
Issues Involved in a Divorce
At its most basic, a divorce is a legal process by which two parties terminate their legal and financial relationship. But each divorce is unique and most involve disputes over things like child custody or division of property.
• Division of Property: All property acquired by either spouse after the marriage date is considered “marital property” and is subject to equitable division.
• Alimony: Alimony, or spousal support, is monthly payment made by one spouse to another in accordance to either a settlement agreement or court order. Alimony is meant to correct for any unfair economic effects of a divorce.
• Child Support: Child support is a monthly payment made by the noncustodial parent to the custodial parent to be spent on the child’s needs.
• Child Custody: When a family splits up, the parents and the court must decide what is best for the minor children, including where they will live and how decisions are made. This is often the most difficult part of the divorce proceedings.
If you and your spouse have decided to end your marriage, one of the first questions you’ll have is whether you need a divorce lawyer. It’s not a simple question and the answer will depend on your particular situation. As a general rule, the less that you have to rely on the courts to solve your problems, the more smoothly the divorce will go. But do you need a divorce lawyer? If you’re able to work together with your spouse to resolve the legal issues, you may not need a lawyer’s help. These issues include:
• Child custody of your minor children
• Child support
• Division of property
Working together with your spouse through the divorce process can have a lot of advantages, including:
• You’ll have better control over the vital issues that will be raised during your divorce instead of leaving them up to the court.
• You’ll end up saving quite a bit of time and money by not having to hire a divorce lawyer for all aspects of your divorce.
• Children going through a divorce often have a smoother transition if their parents can work out the divorce themselves.
Criminal Defense Lawyer
When you need a criminal defense lawyer in Utah, please call Ascent Law LLC for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506