In order to assure that criminal trials are fair, both prosecutors and defense attorneys are held to a complicated set of rules and regulations. The complexity of these cases require that a defense attorney should have expertise and experience in criminal law. A defense attorney should be involved in a case as soon as possible- ideally, even before police have interrogated a person. When an individual is arrested, the law enforcement officers that arrest them are required to inform the arrested person of their right to an attorney and to have an attorney appointed if they cannot afford legal representation. These warnings are called "Miranda warnings", after the 1960s Supreme Court case that first required them. Your right to be silent is not the same as your ability to remain silent. Learn to not help the police convict you, drink a giant cup of QUIET and ask to have your lawyer present.
Often, cases involving child defendants are handled by the juvenile justice system. This system is less formal, and focuses on rehabilitation over punishment. Many criminal defense lawyers work in both justice systems, while others focus on one type or the other.
It is sometimes possible for a defendant or defense attorney to negotiate with the government. The prosecutor may agree to drop charges if the defendants pleads guilty to a lesser charge. In all cases, the decision to plead innocent or guilty rests with the defendant.
If a defendant is found guilty, he or she may be sentenced to a period of probation, a fine, community service, restitution or other payment, or prison time. An experienced lawyer can work to find the best possible deal for their client. If this is not possible, the lawyer will fight in court for their client to convince the jury that there is reasonable doubt as to whether the defendant is guilty. Having a lawyer that regularly works with the prosecution is a valuable commodity. Having out of area lawyers or out of state lawyers rarely impresses or intimidates prosecution attorneys and can, in our experience, lead to worse outcomes than otherwise might be obtained.
The possible consequences of a criminal conviction are extremely serious, and if accused of a crime, you can find yourself in confusing and frightening circumstances. To protect your legal rights and your future opportunities, you should immediately seek the assistance of an attorney with experience in criminal defense. Even if the charge seems minor or you are convinced your innocence means you have nothing to hide, the seriousness of the situation demands that you contact an attorney.
If you would like to schedule a initial consultation contact an Iowa criminal defense attorney, representing clients in West Union, Iowa at the Dillon Law P.C. Give us a call at (563) 578-1850 or complete our inquiry form.