Smith & McGhee, P.C.

Criminal Defense FAQs

While researching your legal concerns is important to develop a base knowledge of what you’re up against, questions about criminal defense strategies and the ramifications of a possible criminal conviction deserve the personal attention of an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Houston County, Alabama. Call a reputable criminal defense attorney right away, if you have been charged with a crime or suspect that you might be. An attorney can answer all your questions about your specific case and begin building your defense strategy right away.

If you have been arrested, first and foremost, remain silent. Regardless of your innocence and your belief that you can explain your situation, any statement you make without talking to an experienced criminal defense attorney in Houston County first can be damaging to your ability to win your case in Alabama. It is your right to have the attorney of your choice present during police questioning. Call a premier criminal defense in Houston County, AL, and he or she will ensure that you understand any and all criminal charges you may face and how to proceed with your defense.
The main difference between a felony charge and a misdemeanor charge is the severity of potential punishments. Being convicted of a felony means possibly having to serve time in a state prison. Any incarceration time served for a misdemeanor charge is done in a local jail. The jail term for a misdemeanor cannot exceed one year.
The law office of each criminal defense attorney in Houston County, Alabama has its own policy when it comes to consultations and case evaluations. The matter of legal fees should always be discussed before proceeding with an attorney on any type of case.
The vast majority of cases in Alabama, both criminal and civil, settle before ever going to trial. Your Houston County criminal defense lawyer will take a close look at the possible scenarios for your case and determine if any type of plea agreement is favorable and in your best interest. If your case does go to trial, your attorney’s experience and detailed preparation will certainly work in your favor.
You should never plead guilty to any charge without talking to a criminal defense attorney in Houston, AL, who can advise you and inform you of all the potential consequences a criminal conviction might have on you, your family, and your future. Even a simple traffic violation can cause your car insurance rates to rise and add points to your driving record, which will damage you later. The unknown penalties for a misdemeanor or traffic violation conviction exceed the cost of working with a qualified criminal defense attorney.
A person who intends to commit an illegal act and takes substantial steps toward perpetrating that crime, but fails to actually complete the act, may be guilty of the separate crime of attempt. However, an act that is extremely removed from the completed criminal act, such as very early preparation, will not usually be significant enough to constitute a criminal attempt charge.
The US Constitution requires that the federal government gather a grand jury to decide whether charging a person with a major crime is appropriate or not. As a practice that originated in England, the grand jury reviews the evidence against you and may hear testimony in deciding whether to indict you or not. The grand jury makes no decision about your guilt or innocence. Another traditional purpose of the grand jury is to stand as a buffer between the prosecuting attorney and the accused person. All states in America use the grand jury system.
The prosecutor is the attorney who represents the federal, state or local government in a criminal case against a defendant. The title of the prosecutor can vary jurisdiction to jurisdiction, with the most common titles including the district attorney, county attorney, city attorney, prosecuting attorney, and state attorney. The prosecutor is the one who has the public duty to punish those who are committing crimes in his or her jurisdiction, balanced with the duty to provide such individuals with a fair trial. It is the prosecutor who will negotiate with your criminal defense attorney to come to an agreeable plea agreement if you wish to settle your Houston County, AL criminal case.
Probation is a criminal sentence that can allow a person to stay in their community rather than serve time in prison or jail, as long as he or she complies with certain probation conditions, such as regularly reporting to their probation officer, being tested for drugs and alcohol, and refraining from committing additional crimes. Parole is the conditional release of a prisoner from prison back into the community before the actual end of his or her sentence.
Part of the sentence for a criminal conviction can include the payment of restitution to the victim or victims for the losses they incurred. Restitution calculations may include property damage, medical expenses, lost income, or funeral expenses.
Smith & McGhee, P.C.

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