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Explaining Criminal Charges

Selecting the right criminal defense attorney for yourself or a loved one can be one of the hardest parts of any run-in with the law. It is also one of the most important. It is critical that you find a reputable attorney whom you can trust. Criminal Attorney Frank X. Casale has 35 year success track record

If you are facing a serious charge, it is highly recommended that you have a defense attorney represent you in court. To determine how serious the charge is, learn what sort of charge you are facing it is imperative you consult with a reputable lawyer. A felony is the most serious type of crime. Murder and armed robbery are examples of felonies. A misdemeanor is a less serious charge. Shoplifting is a common example. Infractions are the least serious charge. Examples include traffic violations.

EXPLANATION OF THE ROLE OF A DEFENSE ATTORNEY

Criminal defense attorneys are the attorneys that represent people charged with criminal conduct or have had a lawsuit filed against them. Most attorneys specialize in either criminal or civil law. Civil cases are typically brought by an individual or company, while criminal charges are brought by local, state, or federal government. Defense attorneys will help you with all legal issues related to your case. For example, he will identify key pretrial issues. Your defense attorney will issue motions that can improve your situation or possibly get your case dismissed. If your case goes to trial, your defense attorney is responsible for representing you in court. His objective should be to see that you receive a fair trial with a positive outcome for you.

DECIDE WHAT TYPE OF DEFENSE ATTORNEY YOU NEED

You will need to determine if you need a state or federal attorney. If you have broken a state law, hire an attorney that specializes in state law. State law cases include traffic violations, broken contracts, robberies, and family disputes, among others. Federal cases include, but are not limited to, cases involving violation of the US Constitution, cases in which the United States is a party, bankruptcy cases, copyright cases, and patent cases. If you are being charged with breaking a federal law, you will want to hire a more experienced defense attorney who will be able to dedicate a large amount of time to your case. This is because cases that involve federal law are often more complex. The key difference between breaking state and federal laws is that when you break a federal law, you are prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s office. A prosecutor from this office has more time and resources to dedicate to prosecuting the case.

LOOK FOR A SPECIALIZED CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY

You can search for a lawyer who concentrates his practice in the specific area of defense that you need. Many criminal defense attorneys not only handle routine criminal defense cases but some concentrate in a particular area of defense. For instance, some work exclusively on financial crimes. Some focus on rape defense, violent crime defense, or other areas of specialty. Look for a lawyer who is willing to put in sufficient time to learn about your case and your defense. The State Bar Association in many states offers specialization in law and is the ultimate authority on credibility. Look at the designations offered to see if a specialization aligns with your case. The Bar Association in your state should have an informative website.

CHOOSE THE QUALITIES THAT ARE IMPORTANT TO YOU

Good qualities to look for in a defense attorney include excellent communication skills, which will help him better argue your case. It might also be important to you to hire an attorney with a good track record. Don’t forget to consider his experience with your specific sort of crime. Maybe ethics are one of your priorities. Ask a friend or family member if they have worked with an attorney they respect and feel is honest. Consider asking the attorney to give you an example of a successful negotiation. Did the attorney get the best possible result for his/her client?

DISCUSS THE FACTS OF YOUR CASE WITH THE ATTORNEY

Find out how familiar this specific attorney is with cases that are similar to your own. Ask the attorney how he would approach your case. At this point, the attorney should be able to discuss how he will proceed. You should discuss law office communications and what ancillary services he thinks you will need, such as expert witnesses or private investigators. The more information you can offer a criminal defense lawyer at your initial consultation, the more accurately the lawyer can offer to represent you at a realistic fee. Take your paperwork to the consultation with you. This includes bail paperwork, and any documents issued by the court, such as the charges filed against you, or arrest warrants.

Working With Your Attorney

ALLOW YOUR ATTORNEY TO LEAD YOUR DEFENSE

Many people feel like they understand the law. Maybe you feel like since the case involves your future, you should have a lot of input on your case. However, it is important to remember that the legal system is intricate and complex. Your attorney understands the law better than you do. You should feel comfortable with the defense strategy. But you should refrain from telling your attorney how to do his job. Remember that you thoroughly reviewed his qualifications before you hired him. You likely picked someone qualified for the job. Communicate openly. While it is important that you respect your attorney’s methods, it is also critical that the two of you establish a good line of communication. You should ask questions about anything that you don’t understand. You should also make sure that you are comfortable with his strategies and methods. Honesty is also key to a good working relationship. Do not ever lie to your attorney. In order to present the best possible defense, your attorney needs to have all of the facts. Remember, he is bound by confidentiality, so you don’t need to worry about what you tell him.

GET A SUPPORT SYSTEM

Being charged with a crime is a very emotional experience. You will likely feel scared, frustrated, and angry. Remember that it is normal to feel these, and other, emotions. Explain your situation to friends and family. Tell them you will need extra support during this process. Ask someone you trust to visit your attorney with you. This might provide some extra comfort for you.

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    Melville, New York 11747
    Phone: 631-293-3332
    Fax: 631-293-2060
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