Criminal Trial Lawyers

Often, a criminal defense lawyer's mission is to get justice for persons accused of offense. They provide ongoing legal help and support public awareness of citizen's rights. They lead the criminal justice process and perform the role of criminal defense practice. The local criminal defense lawyers protect the rights of County citizens who are accused of crimes.

The criminal defense attorneys have developed the most original, and dynamic defense strategies in the nation to protect their client's rights. These lawyers prepare every case for trial rather than rush for an appeal. This broad preparation and exceptional courtroom reputation, actually keeps most cases from trial and produce better results.

Before hiring an attorney a person is advised to consider the following questions. The most imperative decision a criminal defendant can take is to choose, the right criminal defense lawyer. People must not make a mistake of using a lawyer who is not a criminal lawyer. It is not advisable to hire a family or civil attorney to represent the defendant in a criminal case. The lawyer's qualities and character are very important. People must always look for a confident and tough lawyer who has a good reputation, with the prosecutors and panel of judges involved in the case. It is very important to hire an attorney as soon as possible. The earlier the lawyer gets involved, the better off will the defendant be, regardless of the charges that he is facing.

It is important for a client to ask what are the charges against him, and what would be the probable consequences if he were found guilty. The client can also ask the attorney what is the defense strategy, and if there are any potential defenses, and how would that apply to the defendant's case. Apart from this a person is also advised to insist on a written contract, setting forth all costs and covered services. Online sites are available, and they provide information about criminal trial lawyers, for people to consult before hiring a lawyer.

Criminal Law - How Long Does A Criminal Trial Last?

In recent years, many have the idea that criminal trials take a long time due to the high publicity of some cases that seem to have taken forever to be decided. However, most criminal trials do not take nearly as long as the popular media trials would seem to make you think. Usually the entire process from arrest to sentencing takes less than a couple of years to complete.

The first part of any trial process is the arrest phase. This begins the trial process. The arrest phase can occur at anytime within the statue of limitations for a criminal act. This means that as long as the statute of limitations is still in effect this phase of the process can occur whether it has been a few weeks or several years.

The next phase of the trial process is the arraignment phase. This portion of the process usually occurs with the defendant being brought before a judge for a formal hearing informing the defendant of the specific charges being brought against them. This part of the process usually occurs within 48 hours of a defendant's arrest in most jurisdictions. During the arraignment hearing, the judge may also decide whether to release the defendant to return for trial in the case of a misdemeanor charge or may choose to hold the defendant in the local correctional facility in the case of a felony charge. If not, there may be a detention hearing that is held later to determine if the defendant needs to be held or released.

In the case of a felony charge, the next phase of the trial is the preliminary hearing phase. This part of the trial process is where the prosecutor shows his or her evidence as to why the court needs to proceed with a trial. The defendant's attorney has the chance to cross-examine any witnesses and to see what exactly the evidence is that the prosecutor is going to use against his or her client. Some prosecutors however will choose to not conduct a preliminary hearing and will move straight into the Grand Jury phase of a felony trial. They may choose this to protect their witnesses and evidence so that this can be brought out in front of the Grand Jury. The preliminary hearing phase of the trial usually takes place 5-6 days after an arraignment.

In the case of a misdemeanor charge, the next phase of the trial is the motions and hearings phase. This usually takes about 3 months to occur but can last as long as 2 years. During this phase evidence issues are settled and investigations are conducted to determine the allowance or suppression of witnesses. Other motions may be attempted in an effort to get the case dismissed on the grounds that a speedy trial is not being conducted. Overall the motions and hearings have the possibility to delay a case for a good amount of time.

The next phase of a felony case is the Grand Jury phase. In this phase a group of 16-23 citizens meet to hear the evidence presented by the prosecutor to decide if there is strong enough evidence to support an indictment. Usually the Grand Jury is a part of the prosecutor's office and as such normally hears only one side of the case. The side that they hear is the prosecutor's. The defendant has the right to testify before the Grand Jury and the defense lawyer may get permission for other witnesses to also testify. If things go in the favor of the defendant the Grand Jury may issue an indictment and the trial is over. This phase usually occurs within 6 days of the arraignment if the defendant has not waived this or if this part of the process has not been extended due to issues brought out in earlier parts of the trial.

In a misdemeanor case, the next phase after the motions and hearings is to move on into the trial phase. This phase is where the case is argued by the prosecutor and the defendant's attorney in front of a jury and the case is decided in favor of the prosecution or the defense. This portion of the process usually takes about a total of 4 days to 2 weeks. In extremely difficult cases it may take a few months.

In a felony case, the Arraignment on Indictment occurs following the Grand Jury phase. This portion of the trial process is similar to the original arraignment but the charges explained will be those that the Grand Jury has issued the indictment for. This portion of the trial usually happens within about 48 hours after the indictment is issued by the Grand Jury.

The next part of the process for a felony case is to move to the motions and hearings phase where the case has evidence, witness, and Constitutional rights issues debated and settled. This part of the trial process can take anywhere from 3 months to a couple of years. Usually though the process is finished in a matter of a few months.

Following this, the felony case moves into the trial phase. This phase of the trial process usually takes from 4 days to 2 weeks. However extremely difficult and complicated cases can take several months. This is where the jury decides the case based on the prosecutor's and defendant's attorney's arguments. Once this is done the case will move forward.

The next phase in both felony and misdemeanor cases is the Pre-Sentencing Investigation phase. This part of the trial process usually takes 1 to 12 months after the conviction to be completed. It can be delayed by up to a year should the judge decide to place the defendant on probation before sentencing. During this time, the evidence is examined and investigated to determine all of the details of the crime and its impact on the victims. Once this has been completed, the trial process moves into the sentencing phase.

The sentencing phase is the final part of the trial process. This usually occurs between 1 and 12 months after conviction. The sentencing is carried out before a judge and then the defendant is notified of the sentence that they are facing. Once this phase has finished the trial process is over unless appeals are filed for higher courts to hear the case.

In all, most cases are finished in less than a couple of years. On the federal side, the defendant is assured that their trial phase should occur within 70 days due to the Speedy Trial Act. An attorney will discuss with the defendant the timing of the case and will explain any delays that may occur. As seen throughout the explanation of this trial process though, all but the most complicated of cases are usually decided and completed in a relatively short matter of time.

How to Find the Best Criminal Attorneys and Lawyers

Before going into the question of how to identify the best criminal attorney or criminal lawyer, we need to understand what criminal acts are. Criminal acts can range from petty offenses like theft, DWI and assault to grave felonies like fraud, white collar crime, drug offenses, sex offenses, and felony DWI. The punishment for crimes also varies from imposition of fines to short-term simple imprisonment to extended rigorous imprisonment - and in some countries like the U.S. even capital punishment.

In criminal law, the case is initiated by the state or federal government through a prosecutor rather than by the victim, as is the practice under civil law. The prosecutor in a criminal law has the onus to prove to the judge or jury "beyond a reasonable doubt" that the accused is guilty of the crime he is charged with.

Criminal Law Attorneys are persons with legal qualifications who represent clients who are being prosecuted by the state or federal government for an act of crime. It is the general practice in law to assume any accused as innocent unless proved guilty.

It is in the interest of the accused that he/she engages a criminal law attorney as soon as possible. Any attempts to delay the process of hiring a defense attorney and a wait-and-see approach can quite often prove detrimental to the accused. More importantly, never seek guidance about your rights and legal status from police officers and prosecutors who will naturally not act in a suspect's best interest.

If you have been charged with a crime, it is important that you find the right kind of defense attorney to represent you - without wasting time. Please remember that the criminal law attorney has to be different from the type of attorneys who handle matters like divorce, writing a pre-nuptial agreement, or a bill.

Finding an experienced and competent criminal lawyer to represent you is crucial if you want the charges dropped and your innocence established in a law court. Finding a good criminal lawyer is daunting and this task becomes ever more stressful when one is already under pressure as an accused in a criminal case.

The criminal lawyer you hire has to be experienced, fully conversant with the criminal law, familiar with similar case-studies, possesses argumentative skills and knows the ropes in the courthouse.

Even before hiring a criminal lawyer, you can spend some time with the lawyer, to ascertain how competent and compatible he will be. One must also be totally candid with the criminal lawyer one hires. Ask if the criminal lawyer has handled similar cases in the past and how many times he was able to obtain acquittal for clients with these kinds of charges.

The right lawyer for you will depend on your situation, the crime you have been charged with, your affordability, your personal history and prior criminal record. A competent attorney devotes time pondering over your case and also knows how to take care of witnesses who might try to change their versions during the course of the proceedings of the case. Finding the right criminal attorney could make the critical difference between you being acquitted or languishing in jail.

In today's age and time, it is wise to engage criminal lawyers who are computer-literate and can do videoconferencing, electronic filing, and voice-recognition technology to solve cases, share information and handle things using more sophisticated methods.

Criminal Law - What Happens After a Guilty Verdict Or Plea?

A typical felony statute delineates the maximum sentence for the underlying offense. For example, under DC criminal law, an aggravated assault charge carries a maximum penalty of ten years in prison, in addition to a $10,000 fine. But, just because there is a maximum sentence, all is not lost after a conviction. There are methods to help minimize the prison term, or even reduce it to time already served. Criminal attorneys will want to research which of the below procedures are available in their respective jurisdictions.

Pre-Sentence Investigation:

Often times, when the court sets a sentencing date, it will also order a pre-sentence investigation (PSI), ordinarily to be conducted by a probation officer. The main purpose of the PSI is to help the court determine an appropriate sentence for the criminal defendant. Increasingly, the report will also help frame the issues for the court to consider at the sentencing hearing.

The investigator usually obtains information by interviewing relevant third parties and the defendant, and reviewing documents. Typical third parties include the victim, the defendant's family and friends, employers, school personnel, doctors and therapists. Sometimes the probation officer will speak with the defendant's criminal attorney, the police officers or the investigators. Documents may include the court file, any plea agreement, criminal history, academic records, medical records and anything else the investigator may deem relevant.

The PSI offers various opportunities for the defendant. It is important for the defendant and the criminal lawyer to fully cooperate during the course of the PSI, as often times the court will place great weight on the report generated.

Sentencing Guidelines:

Most jurisdictions employ some form of guidelines for the purpose of alleviating sentencing disparities in criminal cases. While guidelines generally determine sentences based primarily on the conduct associated with the offense and the defendant's criminal history, departures from the guidelines may be allowed in cases involving extenuating circumstances. The most notable basis for departure is when the defendant offers substantial assistance to the authorities; however, there are many others. The criminal lawyer should explore any good faith arguments for a departure below the guideline sentence.

Third-Party Statements:

Sworn statements, letters or even testimony of third parties at the sentencing hearing may be helpful to the defendant. Usually family members and close friends provide the best third party statements, because they both know the defendant best and are most likely to make beneficial assertions.


Everything comes together during the sentencing hearing, at which time the defendant and his criminal lawyer will have the opportunity for allocution. Some jurisdictions hold this as an absolute right, and a sentence may be overturned in its absence. Allocution is occasionally used when a defendant pleads guilty to a crime in exchange for a reduced sentence. Literally meaning "to speak out formally," this is the opportunity to employ the PSI report, the sentencing guidelines and any third party statements, to craft an argument for a lesser sentence.


While the above are mostly utilized in felony cases, there are circumstances where the same will apply to a misdemeanor charge (think repeat DUI, for example). Ideally, the lawyer will have spoken to the defendant about all of these procedures before trial. Therefore, if the jury returns a guilty verdict, the defendant acts accordingly and doesn't dig a deeper hole out of which to climb.

Hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer to Help a Person Through A Criminal Case

If a person had been arrested and he is facing a trial, he must have an effective and knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer at his back. During those instances that you are subject to a criminal case, you must be aware of your rights and all the necessary details that are related to the case. Now, if the person faces a criminal case, the first thing that he need to do is to get a defense attorney for your defense and in order for you to have a person who can answer all of your questions. There are so many things that your defense attorney can teach you regarding the case that you may not be aware. If you are in need of a defense attorney you can search them on the Internet using keywords like Defense Attorney Utah, Utah criminal attorney, UT Defense Attorney, Utah criminal defense attorney, Utah Defense Attorney and wherever city or state you want the service.

In order for you to have a strong defense, it is a must that your defense attorney orients you about relevant laws and their relevance to your case so that you will know how to behave yourself in the course of the trial. It is a must that you follow procedures and court rules. The defense lawyer that you will hire must be strong enough to know the details of the proceedings, or even when there are necessary deadlines that must be accomplished-like a paper work for evidence, testimonials etc. Also in relation to evidences, your defense attorney can also challenge any evidence presented by the prosecution. He can challenge how such evidence came into the proceedings, how it was handled stored or obtained.

Criminal cases and proceedings are extremely complex. In this regard, it is extremely vital that the person involved with the criminal defense should hire the best defense attorney that he can get in order to help them on the proceedings. When a certain individual is charged with criminal charges or crime, you will expect that evidences are stacked to prove your guilt. That may be the case, having an evidence does not necessarily mean that you cannot challenge those evidences; the truth will prevail in the long run. Remember that everyone is still innocent until proven guilty of the crime.

If the prosecution has evidence that strongly indict a person of a certain crime, then the person need a lawyer who had won many criminal cases-in short he must get the best defense lawyer there is in his state. If you are in need of the best defense attorney, you can find so many of them today. Just a simple reminder, although there are many good attorneys out there, it doesn't necessarily mean that they are all good in winning criminal cases, some of them are good in civil court cases, real estate closings, and good in drafting contracts but not in criminal proceedings. The defense lawyer that you will hire must be skilled in any criminal proceedings and tend to win every case that he handles. Look for someone who will put your case on his priority.

Some of the things that you need to ask for your defense lawyer include the following; how long have they practiced law? How many criminal cases have they handled? How long have they been practicing criminal law? How many criminal cases have you won? On your first meeting with your defense attorney, he will not be able to tell answer everything or every question that you have because he is only starting to make a research on your case, also; he still does not have all information needed for your case.

A criminal case proceeding can be as miserable as hell because even the smallest detail in your attitude as a person is being tackled. All of the person present in the courtroom will know your entire history afterwards. The worst thing is you get to tell everything in front of so many people about your life and then you end up acquitted of the crime. Privacy is disregarded in that case. To undergo a criminal proceeding can cause trauma to other people especially to the family of the person accused of the crime and also to the one that is facing the charge.

Criminal proceedings include long hours of talking to your defense lawyer, the appearances of witnesses, presentation of evidences, and many more. There are also mitigating circumstances that can acquit a person of a crime. It is extremely apparent that in dealing with any court matter, we all need the help of a trusted defense attorney at our side. In the end, there will always be someone who will be sentenced at fault or acquitted of the crime.

Criminal Law - Know What Your Rights Are

Criminal differs from civil law in that criminal law is action taken by the state against an individual or business for breaking a law, whereas civil law is between individuals or businesses.

The term for this is committing a crime, which is a prohibited act that violates a law set forth in either federal, state, or local statutes.

Crimes can be either misdemeanors or felonies. You have the option of choosing to represent yourself or hiring an attorney to defend you on either case type. Depending on the nature of the alleged crime, you may choose to waive your right to counsel. For traffic violations, you can sometimes get a summary proceeding in which you visit with a local judge and he resolves it with a summary judgment. However, for felony cases, you will want to hire an attorney to represent you.

People often ask if they have the right to refuse a search. There are personal searches, vehicle searches, and home searches.

The officer, given probable cause, can search your car when he/she wants. The law doesn't view a vehicle as private as a home, so it is more lenient to officers searching vehicles.

In your home, you are generally safe. They need your consent, a warrant, or "exigent" circumstances to enter your home. Exigent involves the nature of the offense, the evidence of probable cause and the likelihood of you getting away if he/she doesn't act soon.

Personally, they can search you given any of the following: If his safety is in question, if they arrest you, if they see something illegal you have on you, if you consent to being searched.

When asking you questions, if you feel like you are a suspect in a crime or could be later, you should speak with a lawyer before answering any of their questions. I have heard officers will use techniques like trying to force you to answer questions or the opposite approach of being overly friendly to get information. Keep in mind they are there to protect. If you did something wrong, they are there to find out it was you, and if you didn't do anything wrong, they are there to protect you. Just ask Kobe Bryant.

In most cases, you want to be respectful of the officer, but you also want to let them know that you understand the law and you will protect your rights.

How Do the Criminal Attorneys Work?

Criminal law is that branch of the law which defines the relationship between an individual with his state. Criminal law attorneys are those persons who are specialized to handle criminal cases such as theft, murder, DUI, arson and many more. The main function of the criminal law attorneys is to review the evidences and to find out a means by which the person accused of the respective charge can be defended. These criminal lawyers can work either as criminal defense attorneys or as prosecutors.

The criminal defense lawyers helps to encompass the rights of an accused person and the criminal processes involved with the crime which may include arrest, pleas arraignment, grand juries, discovery, pretrial hearings, trials, jury selection, evidence, motions, and post trial remedies.

The defense lawyer represents the accused, gives advice to the client on all the legal matters involved in the case and at the same time, provides assistance to frame the legal documents which are probably required to the client.

The defense attorneys can also act as defenders of the public in particular cases of indigence. If the criminal defense lawyers have good and sufficient experience in the required and concerned field, they will possess the capability to question the witnesses of the prosecution of so as to prove that their client is innocent. At times, professional criminal defense attorneys negotiate with the prosecution defense lawyer so that the charges and the punishments are meted out in an equitable manner.

In the criminal proceedings, a prosecutor basically works from the government. Whether it is defense or prosecution, the criminal defense lawyers can utilize the statistics of the government and even other important and necessary documents at any time when the case is going on.

At the beginning, there are several defense lawyers who work as prosecutors for the state. If a party is charged against criminal offenses and they cannot afford to hire the services of some private criminal defense attorneys, the state will assign defense attorneys so that the defendant can be represented. It is generally found that the accused parties hire their own defense attorneys.

When a criminal proceeding is carried out, the criminal defense lawyers defend his/her client. These lawyers use a law so as to cast a doubt on the case of the prosecution. Law indicates that a person is innocent by default until he is proved guilty. Therefore, the defense lawyer will not have to prove the innocence of his client. However, if there are some evidences which prove his client to be guilty, the defense attorneys have to bring in sufficient and relevant evidence in order to prove the client innocent.

Criminal Law Is an Exciting Specialty for Paralegals

Paralegals play an important part in the legal system, doing much of the background work that is required before a case can be presented in court. Paralegals help lawyers get prepared for court hearings and trials. They also handle many client interviews, draft legal documents, research legal cases, and summarize and organize information.

Working in a criminal law office gives a paralegal a chance to research the specifics of the case and organize the facts. They may prepare reports and briefs for the lawyer who employs them. While they cannot give legal advice or represent a client in court, a paralegal works closely with lawyers to prepare their cases for court. They also have contact with the clients and with others within the legal profession.

Paralegal work usually requires a person to have at least two years of community college or specialty training. This usually earns the person an associate's degree. Sometimes, law firms will hire people directly out of high school and will train them to become paralegals.

If the student goes into a two or four-year training program, it is important that they find one that offers job experience before they graduate. This will help them to secure a job and will also expose them to different areas in which they may wish to specialize.

A four-year bachelor's degree in paralegal studies will give a person an advantage over others applying for jobs. Certification gives another advantage. Once the training program is complete, the paralegal can sit for a certification examination in the state where they live. Passing this exam names one as either a certified legal assistant or certified paralegal, this can provide an edge when competing for jobs.

Criminal law is one area in which paralegals choose to specialize. This can mean additional training, but it also means greater prestige and financial compensation. A paralegal working in a criminal law office will coordinate the lawyer's appearances and be sure that they have the documentation they need for each situation. In the case of a criminal defense attorney, their paralegal will work closely with the prosecution to catalog any evidence that is to be presented in court.

A paralegal working in a criminal law setting may find and interview witnesses, obtain and read police reports, summarize information, write and file plea agreements, meet with probation officers and prepare presentations that will be given by the attorney before a grand jury.

They may also interview witnesses, maintain and organize case files, reviews court records for information, maintains the lawyer's schedule, and checks facts on all documents before proofreading them.

There are many areas that require paralegals that specialize in criminal law, including prosecutor's offices, criminal defense attorney's offices, public defender's offices, prisons, district attorney's offices and courts. The work usually requires a person to be able to work alone but as part of a team working toward a common goal. While paralegals do have a great deal of responsibility, they are closely supervised and monitored by the attorneys who employ them.

White Collar Crimes - When to Consult a Criminal Attorney

White collar crime cases in Miami, Florida or nearby areas such as West Palm Beach or Fort Lauderdale often call for the services of a professional Miami criminal attorney. Attorneys are needed for a variety of reasons because legal cases - no matter how insignificant they may seem - can become complicated in a hurry. When they do, having a knowledgeable Miami criminal attorney on your side can make all the difference in your trial's outcome.

What are White Collar Crimes?

These are crimes that are mostly related to financial matters. They include but are not limited to fraud, bribery, computer crimes, embezzlement, pension fund crimes, consumer fraud, bankruptcy fraud, securities fraud, occupational crimes, RICO crimes, identity theft, financial fraud, medical crimes, and forgery. White collar crimes often go undetected because they are usually committed using computers or paperwork; however, these crimes are punishable by law and may result in prison time or restitution if the defendant is found guilty.

Those who commit such crimes are often persons of a high social status. A criminal lawyer that specializes in white collar crimes will usually represent those whose reputation and integrity are at stake in the business or political realms. In Florida, there are Miami criminal lawyers who can represent white collar defendants on a state or federal level.

How can a Miami Criminal Attorney Help?

Whether you're facing white collar crime charges or the charges have already been brought against you, a Miami criminal attorney can assist with a number of tasks. He/she can help you cope with the situation by offering viable advice and legal solutions. A criminal lawyer can help you build an effective defense strategy, and maybe even resolve the case before it ever goes to trial. A lawyer might be able to find alternatives to serving time in prison if possible with your particular case. Sometimes a plea agreement can be made in which you plead guilty to a lesser charge so the more serious charge will be dropped.

It's a good idea to consult with a Miami criminal attorney before answering any questions brought forth by investigators. Keep in mind that anything you say can harm the case, even if it seems unimportant at the time.

Use online resources to find a reliable criminal attorney. The search engines will render results based on keywords or phrases you type. For example, if you need a lawyer in West Palm Beach, Florida, you might type in "West Palm Beach criminal lawyer." To find a lawyer in Fort Lauderdale, type in "Fort Lauderdale criminal lawyer" or "Fort Lauderdale criminal attorney." In the Miami area, you might type, "need a Miami criminal lawyer" or "hire Miami criminal attorney." The key is to conduct specific searches based on your needs. You might type these phrases along with a word or two about your particular charges. An example would be "Miami criminal attorney for bribery" or something similar.

Don't forget that white collar crime trials often lead to civil action lawsuits as well if victims are involved. You'll want a criminal attorney that's capable of handling any legal "curve balls" that come your way before, during and after the trial. The right Miami criminal lawyer can guide you to make the right decisions through the entire process.

Criminal Law - Criminal Lawyers

Criminal lawyers are often called criminal defence lawyers who specialise in the defending of individuals or companies that have been charged with a criminal offence. These criminal lawyers can be permanently employed by the various jurisdictions with criminal courts. Hiring a criminal lawyer is essential if an offender has been charged with a criminal offence. Without proper representation and advice, you may be in jeopardy of not being able to represent yourself properly and potentially weaken you case. If you have been accused of an offence, it is vital to contact a lawyer specialising in criminal defence to represent you, especially if you are being held in custody, due to appear in court.

At a police station, if you have been arrested, the law requires the police to conduct a series of formalities. As a person who has been arrested, you are entitled to contact a lawyer before anything happens in the police station, including any initial interviews. Most criminal law firms are available 24 hours a day and will provide a lawyer at any time of day. If you do not have a lawyer in mind, the police will have a list of independent solicitors who will be able to assist you in your case.

It is always advisable to heed the words, 'you have the right to remain silent'. Speaking without representation can lead to incriminating yourself and your case. It is wise to avoid making any statements or answering any questions relating to the case, until you have legal representation to guide you through which questions need to be answered and how to answer them. This is extremely important if the crime you have been accused of is serious or of a sensitive nature. By contacting a lawyer, it will mean that you will be given the proper advice and informed of the procedures that need to be taken, as well as the law relating to your case to help understand why you are being arrested.

There is no assumption that you are guilty if you contact a solicitor to come and represent you, so even if you are innocent, it is vital that a solicitor is arranged to help you through the difficult process. This solicitor will be able to assist you during interviews and help prepare you for video evidence, witnesses and consultations with other lawyers. These are areas that are not easy if you are on your own. A lot of people do not realise, but offenders can obtain a solicitor to represent them for free by being found eligible for legal aid in criminal law. An offender is only found to be eligible if they pass the interests of justice test and a means test.