Answers To Questions We Receive Most Often About Criminal Law
At Harwell Legal Counsel, our lawyers understand that navigating the complexities of criminal law can be daunting. To provide clarity and support, we’ve compiled answers to common questions that individuals facing criminal charges often have.
What is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony?
Misdemeanors are less serious offenses, typically punishable by fines or less than a year in jail. Felonies are more serious crimes, often carrying longer sentences and more severe consequences.
What is the role of the prosecutor in a criminal case?
The prosecutor represents the government and is responsible for proving the defendant’s guilt. They bring charges, present evidence and seek convictions.
What happens during an arrest?
An arrest occurs when law enforcement officers take a person into custody based on suspicion of committing a crime. The individual is informed of their rights, including the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney.
How does the criminal trial process work?
A criminal trial involves several stages, including jury selection, opening statements, presentation of evidence, cross-examination and closing arguments. The jury then deliberates and delivers a verdict.
What are Miranda rights, and when do they apply?
Miranda rights include the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney. They must be read to a suspect in custody before questioning by law enforcement.
Do I have the right to an attorney if I can’t afford one?
Yes, if you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed to represent you. This is often referred to as a public defender.
Why is it important to hire a criminal defense attorney?
Experienced criminal defense attorneys protect your rights, build a strong defense strategy and navigate complex legal processes to achieve the most favorable outcome for your case.
How do I choose the right criminal defense attorney?
Look for attorneys with relevant experience, a track record of success and a commitment to understanding your unique circumstances.
What is bail, and how is it determined?
Bail is a sum of money paid to secure a defendant’s release from custody before trial. It is determined by various factors, including the severity of the offense and the defendant’s flight risk.
Can bail be reduced or waived?
In some cases, bail can be reduced or waived, particularly if the defendant poses no flight risk or danger to the community.
What is expungement, and can I clear my criminal record?
Expungement is the legal process of sealing or erasing criminal records. Eligibility and requirements vary by jurisdiction, but it can provide a fresh start for those with past convictions.
Get Answers To Your Questions
If you have specific questions or require legal assistance, you can get started with a free consultation in our Indianapolis office. Contact us today by calling 317-344-9085 or filling out this online form. We are ready to provide professional counsel and representation tailored to your unique situation. We represent clients across Hendricks, Hamilton, Johnson and Hancock counties.