Instructions for the Criminally Accused
Criminal Law Services
If someone is being held in jail with a high bond, most judges will not usually reduce the bond until an attorney has been hired. If our client is in jail when we are hired, our immediate goal is to attempt to procure a reduction of the bond as quickly as possible to minimize time missed at work, etc.
Many times we are able to get our clients out of jail on the same day we are hired.
We can usually adjust the attorneys’ schedules to go to work on getting someone out of jail on the same day we are hired. Unless it is a very serious charge, many times a prosecutor may be willing to discuss a bond reduction without requiring official legal notice of one week for a formal bond hearing. This expedited process serves the client well in terms of reuniting him or her with family, minimizing the inconvenience of missing time from work, and reducing the stress of being separated from love ones by deprivation of liberty.
If someone has a warrant for their arrest for failure to appear on a summons or traffic case, we can in many instances win a recall or cancellation of the warrant for that person’s arrest. Recalling the warrant means no additional bond will need to be posted and there is no need to go through an arrest process because the warrant is cancelled. Hiring us can many times result in paying less in bonds because many times, the client winds up paying less to hire us than to pay the bond to have the warrant cancelled because our fees for attempting the recall of the arrest warrant are typically less than the warrant itself.
PROBATION VIOLATION HEARINGS:
If someone on probation is accused of violating probation, then frequently the person is taken into custody and a hearing date is set. Many times there is no bond allowed prior to an attorney entering on the case. In some instances, someone may be held in jail for over a month before the hearing is held.
We have handled many probation cases over the last dozen years and are usually successful in getting an affordable bond set so that the client does not have to sit in jail until the hearing date.
DEFENDING TRAFFIC OFFENSES:
Our goal is to help our clients keep driving privileges intact whenever possible and to keep their insurance rates as low as possible. We handle all traffic offenses, including Driving While Intoxicated, Driving While Suspended and Driving While Revoked.
Traffic legal services include recalling warrants, and negotiating to get tickets dismissed or amended to lesser non-moving violations whenever possible.
Services also include defending cases by trial (either by judge or by jury).
DEFENDING MISDEMEANORS AND ORDINANCE VIOLATIONS:
Misdemeanors are criminal offenses that are filed in the county courts. Ordinance
violations are similar to misdemeanors, but are filed in municipal courts. The most serious misdemeanors are punishable by up to one year in jail.
We provide all legal defense services for misdemeanor and ordinance violations, including bond reductions filing appropriate motions, and jury trials.
DEFENDING DWI (DRIVING WHILE INTOXICATED) OFFENSES:
Our goal in defending DWI cases is to prevent wherever possible the loss of driving privileges. Even in cases when our clients decide it makes more sense to enter a plea of guilty to the DWI charge, many times loss of driving privileges can be prevented. Depending on whether or not the person has had a DWI in the past, DWI offenses can be misdemeanors or be felony charges.
In defending a DWI case many issues that are examined. To name a few of the questions to be asked: Was there a breath test? Who performed the test? Was the person qualified to perform the test? Was the machine functioning properly? Was the machine being properly maintained? How was the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test performed? Was the test performed properly? Was the person qualified to perform the test? Were there field sobriety tests? Where were they performed? If the tests were given at the roadside, was the ground level, was there oncoming traffic, etc.? Is who was driving an issue? Are their verbal, audio or written statements? Is there any video evidence? What does it show?
By carefully examining all of the evidence, my client and I can make a decision
on how best to defend the case. Deciding to have a trial is the best defense in some cases. Other cases can be resolved satisfactorily without a trial.
DEFENDING FELONY CASES:
Felonies are criminal offenses that are more serious than misdemeanors and include the possibility of time in prison if one is convicted.
In Missouri, felony offenses are grouped by seriousness of the offenses. The most serious offences, Class A felonies, (for example, robbery in the first degree) are punishable with sentences ranging from ten years to life in prison. Class B felonies (for example, robbery in the second degree) have a range of punishment of five years to fifteen years. Class C felonies (for example, possession of cocaine) have a range of punishment of one year to seven years. Class D felonies are the least serious felony offenses (for example, criminal non-support) and have a range of punishment of one to four years.
We provide all legal defense services for felony offenses, including bond reductions, filing appropriate motions, and jury trials. We have handled all kinds of felony cases, for example: assault, rape, arson, drug possession, sodomy, stealing, burglary, driving while intoxicated, property damage, and criminal non-support.
We also handle appeals of convictions in the Missouri State Courts of Appeals.