What to Do if Charged With a Crime

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If you are arrested and charged with a crime, find a good experience criminal lawyer immediately. The repercussions of a criminal charge depend on what crime the state or federal prosecutor has charged the defendant with.  Punishment can range from a small fine and community service to the lost of certain privileges and time in prison.

Whether the charge is DUI, felony theft or weapons charges, sex crimes or other criminal matter, each case has unique elements. Your defense lawyer must understand the applicable laws and apply the defense strategies  based on the circumstances surrounding the case.

Here are four questions to ask a St Paul criminal defense attorney before making a decision.

  1. What Is Your Background and Experience?

Do not assume that any lawyer has the expertise, skill level and knowledge in the area of the law that applies to your case. Investigate the lawyer’s background and experience, including:

  • The number of cases the St Paul defense attorney has handled with similar charges.
  • How often he has appeared in the court where the case will be litigated.
  • The percentage of these cases the attorney has negotiated plea agreements or obtained dismissals for his clients.

Make a list of the question you want the St Paul defense attorney to answer.

  1. What Can I Do to Help My Case?

Besides possibly testifying at the trial, find out what other steps you can take to help improve the outcome of your case. For example, you may be able to provide records, agree to enroll in an anger management class, complete a drug rehabilitation program or take some other type of counseling to avoid or lessen penalties in the event of a conviction.

3. How Will You Approach the Defense Strategy?

Your St Paul criminal defense attorney must first assess both the strengths and weaknesses of your case. He will guide you through standard procedures and come up with a sound defense strategy. It’s essential that you understand the advantages and disadvantage of any strategic approach and make sure that that you are clear about each step in the process.

4. How Much Will It Cost?

Most criminal lawyers will require you to pay a retainer fee upfront. In addition, they will bill for their time using a flat fee or an hourly rate. The cost of a defense will depend on several factors, including the amount of investigative work the attorney must complete, if you will need an expert witness to testify at the trial. Discuss the cost before you hire the attorney to avoid any misunderstanding.