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Colorado Criminal Defense and Personal Injury Attorneys

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Criminal Defense FAQ

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Criminal Defense FAQ

Everyone has probably watched courtroom dramas and cop shows on television, but nevertheless, most people have very little understanding of how the criminal justice process works in real life. For instance, most of us have heard the phrases “innocent until proven guilty” and “Miranda Rights” but many still don’t know some very basic and important things about how the criminal justice system works in America.  

Being arrested is a stressful, confusing thing. Most people who are arrested have never been arrested before, and frankly have no idea what they are facing. Many people, when they contact a criminal defense attorney, ask very similar questions about the basic process of the criminal justice system. These questions are extremely important because they help people understand what they are up against. 

Read through our criminal defense FAQ to learn more about how what you can expect if you’re facing charges, and what you can do to protect your rights and future:

Q: How do I protect my rights when I have been arrested?

A: The easy answer is not to speak to police unless you have a Colorado criminal defense lawyer with you. It is very easy to say something to police that can be twisted into something else, making you look guilty. In many cases, investigators will ask you questions that you do not need to answer, questions that may violate your rights. An attorney can help you understand which questions you need to answer, and which questions you are free to stay away from. The important thing is that this is not about hiding what you may or may not have done, but rather it is about protecting your right to a fair trial.

Q: Can I win my DUI case?

A: Of course, this depends on the facts. However, whether you actually made a mistake and got behind the wheel after drinking, or have been accused of a crime that you didn’t commit, you need the assistance of a dedicated DUI defense attorney who possesses a thorough knowledge of the system, and has experience defending people both in court, and in DMV administrative hearings. Whether your idea of “winning” your case is being cleared of all charges because you were innocent, or getting the best possible situation after you made a terrible mistake, you need an attorney who will fight hard for your rights.

Q: How long does trial typically take?

A: No one knows for sure. Everyone accused of a crime has the right to a “speedy trial,” but actually knowing what that means is difficult. Most criminal prosecutions happen relatively quickly, but depending on the details of the situation, some get bogged down for months, or even longer. However, your lawyer can probably help give you some idea of what to expect. As an example, civil trials can sometimes take years to complete. Some attorneys have seen cases that aren’t resolved until a number of years after the initial incident that the case involved.

Q: How Does Bail Work?

A: A simple way to think of bail is to imagine it as a deposit against your freedom. When you pay bail, you are allowed out of jail while you await your court dates. You are promising that you will appear in court, and guaranteeing that promise with money or property. Your defense lawyer may be able to ensure that you are able to get bail, and that that bail is as low as possible. After the disposition of your case, regardless of the outcome, you receive your money or property back, as long as you did in fact appear at all of your court dates. If you fail to appear, you forfeit the bail.

Q: What Is the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor?

A: A misdemeanor is a criminal offense for which the maximum penalty is less than one year in jail. A felony is a criminal offense for which it is possible to spend more than one year in incarceration. Generally speaking, people who are sentenced to jail for misdemeanors serve their time in county jails, while those who are sentenced to over a year are generally transferred to a state prison. There are many crimes, such as theft, which may be either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the severity of the offense. In these cases, one possible strategy for your defense might be to argue that the particular crime of which you are accused should be a misdemeanor and not a felony.

Q: Does everyone who is convicted go to jail?

A: No. There is generally a range of penalties, which may be at the discretion of the judge. It is in fact not unusual for a first-time offender to be given a penalty that does not involve jail for non-violent crimes. In some cases, the penalty may be fines and/or restitution, while in others the penalty may be a suspended sentence, in which case you do not have to go to jail, as long as you meet certain conditions of the court. It is important to remember that your defense lawyer’s job doesn’t end if you are convicted. He or she can still work with the prosecutor and the judge to try to secure the most lenient sentence available under the applicable statute.

The Importance of Good Representation

If you or a family member have been charged with any crime, regardless of how serious, contact an experienced lawyer immediately. Protecting your rights begins right away,and can be the difference between putting an ugly situation behind you, and having your future ruined by the charges. Those who are facing criminal charges have rights that deserve to be protected. The right attorney will fight to protect those rights.

Contact Mertes Law For Help Today

Mertes Law Logo - Criminal Defense FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)You need a Boulder Criminal Defense Attorneys who will work tirelessly to uncover any evidence which will effectively weaken the criminal case against you. You need an attorney you can place your trust in when your freedom, your rights, your family, your career and your future are all on the line, and the Mertes Law Firm can provide everything you need following your criminal offense charges. Contact the Mertes Law Firm today.  Call us at 303-440-0123 to start fighting these serious charges.

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