» Criminal Defense
The initial consultation is free. If you decide to hire Muter Law Office, LLC, it will be necessary to pay an Advanced Minimum Fee. The amount will depend upon the seriousness of the offense and the amount of time the lawyer estimates it will take to achieve the client's goals. In an effort to keep the initial attorney's fees affordable, Muter Law Office, LLC and the client may agree to limit the scope of the representation, such as through the negotiations stage. If such a limited scope agreement is entered, the client can still decide to retain Muter Law Office, LLC, for services beyond the negotiations stage. However, a new fee agreement would be entered into along with a deposit for another Advanced Minimum Fee. If, at the end of the case, there is money left over from the Advanced Minimum Fee, Muter Law Office, LLC, will return any unused portion of the Advanced Minimum Fee.
First and foremost, you have the right to remain silent. That means that aside from providing basic identification information such as your name, address, and date of birth, you do not have to answer questions unless you choose to. Before you talk to the police, it is best to consult with an attorney to explore your options and determine the best way forward. If you do decide to talk to the police to tell your side of the story, it is highly advised that you have an attorney present during questioning to ensure that your rights are not violated.
Unlike civil disputes, criminal charges are filed and prosecuted by the state. Once this process has been set in motion, the county or state prosecutor is in charge of the case and the ability to drop the charges no longer rests with the victim. In addition, if the case goes to trial, the victim may be subpoenaed to testify in court and has a legal obligation to appear and tell the truth or risk facing criminal charges or being held in contempt of court.
If you are willing to plead guilty you may be able to enter into a "plea bargain" or "plea agreement" with the prosecutor which will expedite your case and result in a less severe punishment, such as probation or paying a fine. Prosecutors rarely enter into a plea agreement with an individual who is not represented by an attorney. An experienced attorney can help negotiate a plea agreement to bring about the best possible outcome for your case.
Even minor offenses will go on your record and can have serious consequences that may affect you for the rest of your life whether they be personal, financial, or professional. Therefore, it is important to be represented by an attorney who can give you an honest assessment of your case and help you to explore the possible options to reduce or minimize the severity of the outcome.
If you were taken into custody or deprived of freedom in a significant way, you are entitled to have your rights read to you, including the right to remain silent and the right to have an attorney present. If your rights were not read in such a situation, then any information that you gave during the subsequent questioning cannot be used against you. In addition, if information that was obtained during that interrogation led the officers to discover further information, the subsequent "fruit of the poisonous tree" is also not admissible as evidence to prove your guilt.
If you are arrested, do not resist. Be polite and cooperate with law enforcement personnel. Also, remember that you are entitled to certain rights. For example, you have the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney, even if you cannot afford one. If you are questioned, you must provide basic information to identify yourself, including your name, address, and date of birth. However, if you are asked additional questions, respond by saying that you would like to speak to an attorney, and do not answer any further questions. Do not speak to anyone, unless it is your own attorney.
A misdemeanor is a minor offense generally punishable by paying a fine, although more serious misdemeanors may carry a prison sentence. Examples of misdemeanors include possession of marijuana, disorderly conduct, and driving under the influence. A felony, on the other hand, is a more serious conviction punishable by imprisonment of one year or more. Felony convictions include such things as murder, embezzlement, sexual assault, and more serious drug-related charges. A conviction in either case can have significant implications, and it is important to be represented by a qualified legal professional.