Criminal Defense FAQ
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Q: Do I need a lawyer for my criminal case?
You have the best chance of getting your charges decreased or dropped completely when you secure the help of a good criminal lawyer. Lawyers know how to ensure that you are treated fairly and given your due rights. Going to court without experienced legal representation on a criminal charge is like jumping out of an airplane without a parachute. In most cases, you will be going up against the expertise of a prosecuting attorney who is trying to improve his rate of convictions.
Q: What is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony?
Criminal offenses are classified in regard to the penalties they carry. A misdemeanor offense is a crime which is punishable by up to 12 months in jail, and a felony is a crime which is punishable by at least 1 year in prison.
Q: How can a lawyer help me with a minor offense?
Even misdemeanor offenses, which are less serious than felony offenses, are punishable by up to 12 months in jail. By working with a lawyer, you have a chance to avoid maximum penalties or possibly even avoid a conviction altogether.
Q: Can I Plea Bargain In A Drug Case?
Plea bargaining, which involves negotiating with the prosecutor to have your charges reduced and the punishment minimized, is allowed in drug-offense cases. For example, a person charged with three separate drug charges — possession, possession for sale, and transportation of drugs — may be able to negotiate the charge down to a single possession charge in exchange for an agreement to plead guilty to that charge. The prosecutor agrees to plea bargains in appropriate cases because the government simply does not have adequate resources to try every case, so both sides benefit from the bargain.
Q: What can a lawyer do about a traffic ticket?
A moving violation can be charged as an infraction or a misdemeanor criminal charge. Depending on the facts of your specific case, the lawyer will often be able to negotiate the moving violation to a non-moving violation. This means you will often not earn any points against your driver’s license or have to go to traffic school to court. If not, you can put your mind at ease with the Half Price Lawyers’ Money Back Guarantee.
Q: If I failed the breath or blood test is there any point to fighting my DWI?
Unfortunately, many people plead guilty to a drunk driving charge without realizing they have the opportunity to challenge the evidence and fight the allegations. No matter what evidence you may believe the prosecutor has against you, it is important that you speak with a knowledgeable defense lawyer before making any decisions about your case.
Q: How Can I Clear My Record?
Even if your case is dismissed, the only way to completely clear your record from police and government databases is through the process of criminal record sealing. With more than 80% of employers conducting criminal background checks, it has become necessary to pursue record sealing in order to move forward in life. You will generally have the right to seal if your case was dismissed as a result of mistake or lack of probable cause. You will also have the right to seal if you are found “not guilty” after a trial. You may also be able to seal your record after a conviction depending on the crime you were convicted of and how long it has been since the conviction. A successful record sealing will allow you to legally tell employers, friends and family that you have not been convicted of a crime. You may become eligible for student loans, housing assistance and professional licenses and certificates as well.