Phoenix Criminal Defense Lawyer

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Phoenix Criminal Defense Attorney

Immediately following a criminal arrest, you may find yourself wondering what you should do next and what important first steps you should take. If you or a loved one is accused of a crime, you need an experienced attorney on your side. Our Phoenix criminal defense lawyers at Grand Canyon Law Group provide quality and compassionate legal representation. Call us today or contact us online. We’ll set up a free consultation to discuss your case, your rights, and what to expect from the legal process.

OUR RESULTS

At Grand Canyon Law Group, our attorneys have significant experience representing criminal defendants in Phoenix. While we cannot guarantee a favorable result in your case, we have obtained successful outcomes for many of our past clients. For example, we have proven innocence at trial, secured reduced sentences, and otherwise made it possible for many of our clients to proceed with their normal lives following their criminal cases. We provide compassionate legal advice to our clients, from the moment they are arrested until the conclusion of their cases.

Our goal is to protect the freedom and future of all of our clients. Let us focus on your case’s legal proceedings while you focus on recovering from the emotional toll that can accompany criminal charges.

WHAT ARE CRIMINAL LAW CASES?

Criminal law covers a wide variety of subcategories. If you’re accused of a crime, you need an experienced criminal defense lawyer to work with you to help ensure that you aren’t unfairly treated throughout the process, and that you aren’t convicted of a crime that you didn’t commit. Some of the most common criminal charges include:

  • White collar crimes, including embezzlement
  • Sex crimes
  • Criminal traffic violations
  • Criminal DUI
  • Drug crimes
  • Assault
  • Domestic violence
  • Theft

If you or a loved one is accused of a crime, don’t try to tackle the charges alone. Hiring an experienced Phoenix criminal defense attorney is the most effective way to ensure that you will achieve the best possible result in your case.

WHO IS AT FAULT?

Mere criminal accusations or charges don’t necessarily mean that you’re guilty. Oftentimes, police or prosecutors will accuse people of crimes that they didn’t commit. For example, you may be:

  • Set up to take the fall for someone else. Others are responsible for the crime, but they planted evidence that makes it appear that you’re responsible.
  • Unfairly accused. You may have had nothing to do with the crime, but were in the wrong place at the wrong time, leading to serious legal problems and accusations.
  • Accused with inadequate evidence. You may face criminal charges, but sufficient evidence to prove your guilt may not exist—or was not collected properly and/or legally.
  • Regardless of whether you committed the crime for which you are accused, you need a criminal defense attorney to represent you throughout the process. Your attorney will ensure that the authorities followed proper procedure during your arrest and did not infringe on your rights, and that you understand the legal proceedings as they occur. The best way to protect your rights is to hire an Phoenix criminal defense attorney.

WHAT PENALTIES CAN I EXPECT?

The nature of the crime, your past criminal history, and a range of other factors will influence the penalties you face. These penalties may include:

  • Fines for some offenses may create long-term financial hardships for you and your family.
  • Your criminal record. A criminal record can cause difficulties down the road, including finding future employment and/or housing. As a result, you want to hire a criminal defense lawyer who can help you avoid a criminal record when possible.
  • Community service. If your alleged crime hurt other people, you may end up needing to complete a certain number of community service hours.
  • If placed on probation, you may lose certain freedoms, including drug and alcohol use, who you’re allowed to associate with, where you’re permitted to travel, and more.
  • Prison time. A prison sentence may place your entire life hold until your release, at which point you may struggle to piece your life back together. In addition, if your criminal record contains your prison sentence, you may find substantial difficulty obtaining future employment.

An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you understand the legal proceedings and the future ramifications that you may face. In many cases, you may incorporate certain conditions into a plea agreement that will provide increased freedom following your conviction or release. Consider both your immediate freedom as well as long-term consequences, and how those may affect your future. Hopefully, you can limit the effect of any consequences that you may encounter after trial, even if the court convicts you or you plead guilty.

HOW MUCH WILL A CRIMINAL LAWYER COST ME?

When you or a loved one is accused of a crime, plenty of worries race through your mind. You may feel concerned about how a conviction will restrict your freedom, what expenses you will incur fighting the charges, what fines you will need to pay, and how much work you will need to take off, among other key considerations. You may also worry about how to pay for a lawyer to represent you.

When you contact Grand Canyon Law Group, we will set up a free consultation, during which you can discuss the details of your case and any estimated costs with one of our experienced Phoenix attorneys. In many cases, hiring a qualified criminal defense lawyer may prove far less expensive than the criminal penalties you may otherwise face. Don’t let the fear of affording an attorney keep you from contacting Grand Canyon Law Group.

What Is the Difference Between Felony and Misdemeanor Charges?

The distinction between misdemeanor and felony charges largely revolves around the perception of the severity of the crime. Due to the idea that “the punishment should fit the crime,” this means that misdemeanors will generally be sentenced less severely than a felony crime.

For the most part, misdemeanors do not involve a jail sentence of more than a year. Often, they will not include any time in jail, especially for first-time offenses. Instead, the crime may be punished with fines, probation, and other more minor consequences. There also may be a better opportunity to negotiate a plea bargain in the case of a misdemeanor.

Felonies, on the other hand, tend to involve much harsher penalties. There is usually a prison sentence of at least a year, and this will often need to be served in a high-security prison rather than a county jail, as is the case for most misdemeanors. In some cases, the prison sentence may last for the rest of one’s life. When convicted of a felony, you could lose your right to vote and your right to possess weapons. If you’re a first-time felony offender, your voting rights should automatically be restored when you fulfill the requirements of your sentence.

There is also a difference in the social stigma around the two levels of crime. Generally, those who have committed a misdemeanor are not looked upon as harshly in society as convicted felons. This could impact a number of areas of life, including employment. It may be harder to get a job with a felony conviction than with a misdemeanor on your record.

Why Would I Take a Plea Agreement Instead of Going to Trial?

A plea bargain is a useful tool for both prosecutors and those who are faced with criminal charges. It helps prosecutors manage a large caseload, prevents the courts from being backed up, and maintains the right to a speedy trial for those who go down that path. Prosecutors are so regularly willing to take plea deals that some research shows as much as 90%-95% of criminal cases are resolved through a plea bargain rather than going to court.

Plea bargains are something that the defendant must voluntarily accept. Therefore, they should offer the defendant certain advantages. It’s important to first recognize that a plea deal will involve the defendant waiving some of their constitutional rights, namely:

  • Their right against self-incrimination,
  • Their right to confront the witnesses who testify against them, and
  • Their right to a trial by a jury of their peers

There are a few different advantages that a plea deal could offer, which would be worth giving up these rights. The specifics of what a plea may look like in your situation will depend on the charges, what the prosecution is willing to offer, and what your lawyer is able to negotiate. Not every potential benefit will be available in every case, but at least one or more of the benefits is likely to be offered.

Benefits of a Plea Deal

One of the most common types of plea deals is those that result in a reduction of charges. This happens when the prosecutor is willing to reduce the severity of the offense in exchange for accepting guilt and the agreed-upon sentencing. In some cases, this means bumping a felony charge down to a misdemeanor, which can have a number of benefits for someone facing charges, including a lighter sentence and less cultural stigma.

Another common benefit of taking a plea deal is the opportunity to receive a reduced sentence. A prosecutor may offer a penalty that is at the lighter end of the sentencing guidelines, whereas a guilty verdict after a trial could lead to a much harsher penalty.

In particular, there are many cases where a plea deal will allow defendants to avoid jail time that could have been likely at the end of a trial. The opportunity to avoid incarceration prevents the stigma of having spent time in jail and prevents defendants from being taken away from friends and family.

While the opportunity to resolve the case quickly is a benefit for prosecutors, it may also be a benefit to defendants. Even though there is a right to a “speedy trial,” the reality is that the term is a relative one, and the matter could be ongoing for months or longer. Many people may want to move on more quickly.

One of the other major benefits of a plea bargain is the element of certainty that’s involved. It’s impossible to be certain of what will happen when a case goes to trial. Juries are unpredictable, and even what appears to be a strong case may result in a guilty verdict.

While a trial may result in an acquittal, it could also result in much harsher penalties. A plea deal, at least, offers the certainty of knowing exactly what the penalties and impact will be. That certainty and avoiding the anxiety of a trial is often appealing to many defendants.

What Does a Phoenix Criminal Defense Lawyer Do?

When you hire a lawyer to defend you, they are responsible for acting as your representative through the legal process. They will advocate on your behalf and perform several different functions. Additionally, they can offer advice, particularly if you are considering a plea deal. At Grand Canyon Law Group, our experience with the law and understanding of your case means we can help you better understand how to weigh your options.

One of the first things that we will need to do is investigate your situation. Even if the most likely outcome is a plea deal, this investigation can be helpful in strengthening our negotiating position on your behalf. Through discovery, we can examine the evidence that the prosecution has against you.

As former prosecutors, we can also understand how they might go about making a case against you. In performing this investigation, we can also consider what a potential defense would look like.

In most cases, the next step is likely to be negotiations for a plea deal. This could overlap with pretrial hearings and motions, depending on how long the process takes. Potentially, if a pretrial motion is able to see important evidence dismissed, that could positively impact your position.

Having a skilled lawyer negotiating on your behalf is beneficial because it allows you to benefit from our experience. Having been on both sides of these negotiations, we understand how prosecutors think and what may be an effective approach. We also understand what a reasonable expectation is for a deal, given your circumstances.

In the case where a plea deal doesn’t make sense, we are prepared to represent you and make your strongest argument before the judge and jury. We can attempt to create reasonable doubt in the mind of the jury. Should they come back with a “guilty” verdict, we can also argue on your behalf in sentencing and even represent you in appeals if that option makes sense.

What Should I Do if I’m Arrested?

Getting arrested can be a frightening experience. There are likely to be a number of emotions and thoughts that you may be struggling with during this time. However, there are a few things that can be helpful to remember. Unfortunately, it’s easy to make your situation worse during an arrest.

One of the first things to remember if you are being arrested is to stay calm. Resisting and behaving belligerently is likely to result in additional charges, making it harder to defend against the initial charges. Certainly, feeling upset is understandable, but it’s better if you avoid acting out of those emotions. You will have the opportunity to defend yourself, but the smartest choice you can make at that moment is to wait for the appropriate time and comply with the arrest.

If you’re arrested, it’s also important to remember that you have a right to remain silent. Use it. The arresting officers and anyone else involved will be listening closely to see if there is anything you say that could be used to argue your guilt when the time comes. It’s better to not give them anything. You should be reminded of this during the arrest when you are told your Miranda Rights.

It’s important to remember that officers are trained in trying to get people to talk. Even what may seem like small talk to you could be an attempt to get you to drop your guard and more easily say something you shouldn’t. It’s better not to engage and remind them that you would like to wait for an attorney.

Finally, make sure you get legal help as soon as they give you the opportunity. We can help protect your legal rights, such as the right to remain silent. You don’t need to face the situation alone. We are here to help and ensure that you get fair treatment. The sooner you contact us, the sooner we will be able to begin work on your case.

GET THE HELP YOU NEED FROM A PHOENIX CRIMINAL ATTORNEY NOW

If you or a loved one is accused of a crime, hire a Phoenix criminal lawyer who will support you throughout the process. Don’t delay. Call us or contact us online, to schedule your free consultation. We provide quality legal representation, and will fight to protect your rights.

Schedule A Consultation With The Grand Canyon Attorney Who Can Help