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Criminal Defense Lawyers
Criminal Defense Lawyers
If you have been charged with a significant crime, this is not the time to take a gamble on the outcome. The court of law is an animal of its own and for very good reason. Our nation, states, counties, and cities take trials very seriously and invest millions upon millions of dollars to be able to provide citizens the best possible court system. However, like everything in life, nothing is perfect.
Of course, you’re always entitled to be represented free of charge by a public criminal defense lawyer who serves a noble cause for our citizens. You can even represent yourself. But your chances of receiving an optimal outcome in either situation is greatly less than if you hire private counsel.
Whether you’re guilty of a crime or not, you stand to gain a lot from being privately represented in a court of law. You want to receive a fair trial. You want to receive a fair verdict or plea bargain. Your best chance of getting an optimal outcome is by hiring a proven and experienced private criminal defense lawyer.
And time is not on your side. As soon as you are charged, you should immediately seek private legal counsel.
The most common legal issues needed for a criminal lawyer are:
- Driving while suspended license
- Domestic Violence
- Assault & Battery
- Sexual Assault
About Our Criminal Defense Lawyers at Maceau Law
In the video, Colorado Springs Criminal Defense lawyer, Gregory A. Maceau, Esq., explains what to look for in a criminal Defense lawyer, his background in criminal defense law, and what you can expect when you hire Maceau Law for a criminal law situation you may be dealing with.
What Is a Crime and What Is Criminal Law?
A crime can be a serious legal issue. An improperly handled case can result in inappropriate financial penalties and time in jail – time away from friends and loved ones. If you have been charged with a crime, it is in your best interest and your civil right to gain the legal assistance of attorney before you talk to anyone else.
Criminal law are laws concerning crimes committed against the public. It is different than civil law as civil law involves crimes people commit against each other. Criminal law involves crimes a person commits against the public in the general. For example, even though a crime such as murder is committed against a person, it is considered a crime punishable under criminal law because it goes against the best interest of the general public to let a murderer go unpunished. In order to prosecute someone under criminal law, the alleged offender must be proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Criminal defense refers to defending yourself in court of law when you’ve been accused of a crime. All citizens are entitled to legal representation. If someone can not afford a private attorney, the government will provide one for you. Depending on the situation and your financial position, there are benefits to hiring a private attorney who may have highly-specialized training and vast courtroom experience over a public defender. Additionally, a private attorney is likely to have fewer clients to juggle.
Crime falling under criminal law encompasses three broad categories, and they are as follows:
The term felony signifies a person has committed a serious crime. The classification of felony includes a host of crimes. However, the most widely known felonies are as follows:
- Grand theft
- Aggravated assault
The most common felonies in America are property offenses, fraud, forgery, arson and drug offenses.
What level of court handles felony cases?
Federal and state court systems handle felony crime cases. Factors such as the type of crime committed and where it took place determine the trial location of a felony case.
What is the punishment for a crime classified as a felony?
Punishment for felonies could include imprisonment, probation, fines, community service and the death sentence in some cases. The death sentence is not allowed in every state, and only some felonies are punishable by death. Murder, treason and espionage are examples of crimes that could earn the death sentence. Although a felony can garner additional punishments, it will always require at least one year of imprisonment in a state or federal penitentiary.
Other consequences of a felony:
Less serious punishments are sometimes placed on a person once they have a felony on their record. For example, in some cases, felons are not allowed to obtain a driver’s license or lose their right to vote. In addition, people with felonies are usually prohibited from joining the United States Army.
Misdemeanors are less serious crimes often resulting in less severe punishments. Those who commit misdemeanors are imprisoned for five days up to a year. Because misdemeanors result in imprisonment, defendants are entitled to a jury trial and government provided legal representation. Crimes considered misdemeanors include the following:
- Petty theft.
- Crimes of a similar nature.
Infractions make up the least severe of all crime classifications. Those convicted of an infraction are most often punished via a fine or removal from an office. Speeding tickets are a good example of an infraction crime.
Do people who commit infractions have to go through trial?
In many cases, those who are facing infractions do not have a jury trial as part of their criminal defense. In fact, in some jurisdictions, crimes considered infractions are handled by a magistrate judge. Because the crime of an infraction is minor, there are no court-appointed attorneys for offenders.
There are five objectives of criminal law in regards to the handling of criminals, and they are as follows:
Restoration: Restoration is used as a way to pay back the victim for the wrong committed against them. For example, if someone embezzles money, they are required by criminal law to repay the money to those they took it from. In most cases, restoration is used in conjunction with other methods of punishment.
Rehabilitation: The goal of rehabilitation is to prevent the offender from committing another crime. It aims at transforming the offender into a useful member of society. True transformation only occurs when the offender becomes convinced their conduct was wrong.
Incapacitation: This aspect of punishment is meant to keep criminals away from the general public thus protecting the public from their misconduct. Incapacitation is usually fulfilled through a prison sentence.
Deterrence: There are two types of deterrence. One type is referred to as individual deterrence and is geared toward a specific offender. The second type is general deterrence, which aims at all of society. For example, general deterrence may impose a penalty on anyone who commits a certain predetermined offense.
Retribution: This type of punishment is aimed at making the criminal suffer for the crime they committed. This area is where the death penalty comes into play. Before a person commits a crime such as murder, they have the protection of the law giving them the right to life. However, according to retribution law, when a person takes another person’s life, they then forfeit their right to life.
Is It Necessary to Hire an Attorney When Dealing with Criminal Law?
In cases of infraction crimes, it is not likely defendants will require the services of an attorney. However, when an offender is facing a misdemeanor or felony charge, they should obtain the services of a highly qualified criminal defense attorney in order to best assure not only a fair trial but that you are properly treated by the authorities and protect your rights as a citizen … which includes spending time pursuing the joys of happiness, family, and opportunity.
Choosing a criminal defense lawyer
Anyone charged with a crime will need to acquire the services of a highly skilled criminal defense lawyer. This is especially true when the alleged criminal offense could result in substantial jail time. According to the American Bar Association, there are around 1,116,967 practicing attorneys in America. With so many skilled attorneys, it can become difficult to select the right criminal defense lawyer for a specific case. The following are some basic requirements a good criminal defense lawyer should meet:
A good criminal defense lawyer will have extensive experience dealing with criminal cases. Furthermore, it is best to obtain an attorney who specializes in the specific crime in question. For example, if a person is facing a criminal conviction involving a drug crime, it is best for them to obtain an attorney who has had success defending this type of crime.
During the course of a criminal case, a lawyer and client must communicate regularly. Having a lawyer who is several hours away can create some problems during a case. Moreover, a local criminal defense lawyer will understand the local laws and regulations and possibly be familiar with the judges presiding over the case. This is a huge advantage when building a successful case. The only reason a person may want to hire an attorney that is not local is if the crime they committed is uncommon, and no local attorneys have experience dealing with that particular criminal issue. However, in the vast majority of cases, keeping it local is best.
Is a former prosecutor:
Another aspect to consider when hiring a criminal defense lawyer is their past. For example, it is very beneficial if they previously practiced as a prosecutor. This is advantageous because a former prosecutor will understand how to build a case from both sides thus better predicting what the prosecution will attempt to bring forward during court. Although finding a good criminal attorney that did not formally practice as a prosecutor is possible, it is a huge advantage when an attorney understands both sides of the aisle.
Easy to communicate with:
Regardless of all their accolades, if a lawyer is difficult to talk to or unlikable, they will likely make a poor criminal defense lawyer. When a person is facing a criminal conviction, they want an attorney that will understand them and fight for them in court. Therefore, there must be a connection between the attorney and the client that promotes comfortable communication.
Once a person has chosen a criminal defense lawyer they wish to work with, they should set up an initial consultation, and ask the following questions:
- Have they handled a case similar to the one being tried? As mentioned before, it is imperative that an attorney have adequate experience dealing with the specific type of crime that a person is charged with.
- What problems may occur during the case? This question gives the attorney the opportunity to let a person know of any potential problems they foresee in regards to the coming case.
- What options exist? This question allows the attorney to reveal what options a person facing a criminal charge may have in regards to possible punishment.
- What strategy does the attorney have? Although on the initial visit the attorney may not have a set strategy, they can usually share the direction they expect to go when trying a case.
- How often do they advise their clients to agree to a plea bargain? This is a very telling question since the answer will reveal vital information about a criminal attorney. This question is designed to inquire how often an attorney advises their clients to plead guilty to a crime in exchange for some concession on the prosecution’s part. This can be the best course of action in some cases. However, it is wise to inquire how often this agreement is encouraged. In addition, it is vital to inquire how often an attorney goes to trail as this is another indicator of how often they advise their clients to compromise.
- What is their fee, and do they offer payment plans?
Most criminal defense attorneys are paid either in a lump sum or hourly. Therefore, it is important for clients to find out how much an attorney charges and if they offer payment plans.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney?
How much it will cost to acquire the services of a criminal defense attorney will vary greatly depending on geographic location and the severity of the crime being defended. Therefore, placing an exact dollar amount of how much hiring a criminal attorney will cost is virtually impossible. However, the following information is important when considering the cost of a criminal attorney:
Almost all criminal attorneys charge either a flat fee or an hourly rate, but there are additional fees that criminal cases could accrue, and they are as follows:
- A fee for an expert witness
- A fee to pay a paralegal
- Travel expenses if the attorney traveled in order to prepare for the case
- A fee for photocopying
- Paying an investigator’s fee
- Court fees
Hire a Top Colorado Springs Criminal Defense Lawyer at Maceau Law
If you’ve been accused of a crime and want an experienced and accomplished criminal defense lawyer in Colorado Springs, Pueblo, Castle Rock, and surrounding areas, contact Maceau Law. Call 719-633-2222 to schedule a free and confidential consultation today in-person or over the phone.