Criminal lawyers, also known as criminal defense lawyers/attorney and public defenders, defend individuals, organizations and entities that have been charged with a crime in court. Criminal lawyers handle a diverse spectrum of criminal cases, ranging from domestic violence crimes, sex crimes, violent crimes and drug crimes to driving under the influence (DUI), theft, embezzlement and fraud.
When do I need a Criminal Defense Attorney?
Generally anyone who has been arrested or charged with committing a crime will for sure need the assistance of a criminal defense attorney. Many individuals who are facing criminal charges usually delay finding a qualified attorney until there is no other option left, which may turn out to be a big mistake. There are undoubtedly many important things happening at once when charges are made that must be handled immediately; however, the first thing that should be done is to find legal counsel. Most criminal defense attorneys would agree that the outcome of the case may very well depend on early attorney representation.
What Does a Criminal Defense Attorney do?
A criminal attorneys will represent you if you are charged with either of the two categories of criminal law: misdemeanors and/or felonies.
Misdemeanors are less serious charges which can result in less than a year imprisonment or a fine.
For instance in Nevada, a misdemeanor is punishable by up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. But if you are convicted of a misdemeanor, the judge can also order you do any number of other things before closing your case. This might include community service or counseling, etc.
Gross misdemeanors are somewhere in between felonies and regular misdemeanors. A gross misdemeanor is punishable by a maximum of one year in Clark County Detention Center and a $2,000 fine.
Felonies are more serious and if found guilty, are punishable by a minimum of one year in Nevada state prison. There are different categories of felonies in Nevada, from category A to category E. Category A include murder, first degree kidnapping, and sexual assault. Category B felonies include robbery, burglary, and home invasion.
Since both felonies and misdemeanors can end up with a prison sentence, you should consult a lawyer if you are charged with any of them.
It is always wise to look for a specialized criminal defense attorney. You can search for a lawyer who concentrates his practice in the specific area of defense that you need. Many criminal defense attorneys not only handle routine criminal defense cases but some concentrate in a particular area of defense, like dui, dwi, divorce, traffic, domestic violence, criminal cases, drug and weapons crimes, constitutional law issues, white collar crimes, etc.
What Should I Expect When Working with a Criminal Lawyer?
A criminal defense lawyer will do what he can to prove your innocence or at least lessen your sentence.
If your attorney knows that you can’t win the case, he may advise you to settle out of court, which will usually get you a shorter or easier sentence.
If you do end up in court and are charged with a felony, your defense lawyer can attempt to: prove your innocence, lower the charge to a misdemeanor, get you a shorter sentence, or get you placed in a better facility. For a misdemeanor your attorney will advocate for fines or community service over jail time.
Although there is no guarantee that the outcome will be favorable to you, it’s a good idea to hire a criminal defense attorney who understands the way courts work. The aid of a lawyer will greatly increase your chances of reducing your sentence or winning your case.
If you have further questions about what a criminal defense attorney can do for you, please call or visit
Law Offices of Gary A. Modafferi
612 S. 3rd St. Suite A Las Vegas, NV 89101 Phone: 702-327-3033