In the United States, our criminal law system defines how the government can punish individuals for the crimes they commit. Both federal and state governments have penal codes that compile the crimes and penalties for that specific jurisdiction. Punishments include the following:
The punishments an individual faces for committing a crime will depend on the severity of the crime he or she commits.
Most crimes are broadly characterized as “felonies” or “misdemeanors.” Felonies are more serious crimes such as murder, rape, robbery, etc., and are usually punishable by imprisonment of a year or more. On the other hand, Misdemeanors are less serious crimes, such as assault, and are punishable by up to a year of imprisonment, probation or fines.
Having an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side that will fight for you to represent your rights within this system is key.
Have you been accused of a crime? Contact us immediately. Don’t forfeit your rights or worsen your situation.
Under the law, an arrest is the act of apprehending a person and taking them into custody. An arrest generally occurs when an officer tells an individual that they are “under arrest,” and the individual submits to the officer’s authority. An arrest does not always involve the use of physical restraint or handcuffs. Rather, the key is the police officer’s exercising their authority over a person.
If you have been arrested, we can help. Do not hesitate the contact us right away.
Arraignment happens after an arrest. At arraignment, the defendant appears in court and their charges are formally read aloud in the courtroom. Typically, at the arraignment, the defendant enters a plea of “guilty” or “not guilty.” In some circumstances, there are other types of pleas that may be appropriate. Because of this, it is important to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney before the arraignment.
Have you been arrested, but not yet arraigned? If so contact us to help you.
Normally at arraignment, the defendant will ask for the court to set “bail.” Bail is a set of restrictions that the court imposes to ensure the defendant complies with the judicial process. Normally bail is set at arraignment. However, under some circumstances, the defendant is held without bail and a bail hearing is set for a later date.
The judge is responsible for setting a bail amount that will ensure that the defendant returns to court. The judge reviews several factors to make his or her decision. First, the judge evaluates the nature and circumstances of the charges. Charges involving narcotics or violence may require higher bail. Next, the judge will look at the “weight of the evidence” against the defendant. If there is a greater likelihood of a conviction, the bail will be higher. Third, the judge will review whether the defendant was on parole or probation at the time of the arrest. Fourth, the judge will determine whether the defendant is a danger to others in the community. Last, the judge will evaluate any evidence of the defendant’s character.
Has someone you know been arrested, but bail has not been set? It is important that you contact us immediately, as we can help to secure their release.
Being convicted of a crime can be a devastating event in a person’s life. Despite this, a criminal conviction is not the end of the road. It is possible that an individual can appeal their conviction. However, there are many deadlines involved with appeals and post-conviction motions. Because of this, it is important that you retain an experienced criminal defense attorney.
A defendant may want to appeal their conviction because of a procedural or legal error that occurred at trial. When that happens, the defendant files an appeal, asking for a higher court to review and correct the decision in their case.
In addition, a post-conviction relief motion can help a defendant present new information to the court. Post-conviction motions also allow the defendant to seek relief. Through a post-conviction motion, a defendant may request a new trial or ask the court to vacate their sentence.
A defendant may seek post-conviction relief after the trial and sentencing for various reasons. It is possible that new evidence has been discovered that might have affected the outcome of the trial. In some cases, the court may have made an error, such as not having had jurisdiction or the sentence violates federal or state constitutional law. There are many reasons to seek post-conviction relief. Because of this, any defendant should consult with a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney to determine the appropriate action.
Have you been convicted of a crime? If so, it is important that you contact us immediately, we can help protect your rights on appeal or post-conviction relief.