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What to Know About Criminal Defense

bankruptcy el pasoIf you are charged with a crime, you may be debating whether or not you should hire a criminal defense lawyer. If you are unsure how or if a lawyer can help you, your best bet is to have a consultation with a few different criminal defense lawyers.

Being charged of a criminal act is very different than filing for bankruptcy. For instance, a bankruptcy attorney in El Paso, Texas can help you get out of a financial situation, however, a criminal law attorney in Stafford, Virginia will be the one to hire for any criminal crime you’re being charged with.

During this consultation, a criminal defense lawyer will be able to tell you what services they provide, what they can do for you, and how specifically they can help you with your case.

If you decide to hire an attorney to defend you against the criminal charges you are charged with, you will want to hire the best possible attorney. Knowing what questions to ask the attorney will help you zero in on the one that is right for you.

Asking a criminal defense attorney about their experience, about how they see your case playing out in court, and what they charge are all great questions that will put you on the path to finding the ideal lawyer for your case.

Information About Bail

If a loved one calls you from jail, you may immediately want to try to post bail on their behalf. However, if you have never posted bail for anyone before, you may have many questions about it.
Many people wonder what bail is, who determines how much bail is, if it shows up on a person’s record, and under what circumstances bail ends. If you have these questions, read on to get answers to frequently asked questions about bail.

Should You Defend Yourself?

If you are charged with a crime, you may be wondering whether you really need a lawyer or not. If you are charged with a minor crime, it may not be worth it to pay a lawyer to defend your. In such instances, you can defend yourself.
If you are thinking about defending yourself in court, there is some information you should know. Learn all of the ins and outs of defending yourself in court here.

Defend Yourself with Self-Lawyering

Defend Yourself With Self LawyeringIf you are charged with a crime, you have the right to hire an attorney. If you can show that you can’t afford one, a public defender will be appointed to you. However, you may be wondering what happens if you are charged with a crime and can afford an attorney, but don’t want to spend the money on one. Can you represent yourself? Here are some things you need to know if you find yourself in such a situation.

Can You Defend Yourself Against the Law?

Yes. The sixth amendment gives you the right to hire an attorney, but it also gives you the right to represent yourself. The legal term for representing yourself is pro se.

How Do You Become Your Own Lawyer?

After you are arrested for a crime, you will be arraigned. During your arraignment, a judge will ask you if you have an attorney or will be hiring one. If you can’t afford an attorney and wish to have one, now is the time to ask the courts for one. If you wish to represent yourself, now is also the time to make that clear. It is important to note that you can change your mind at any time up until your trial begins.

If you are considering representing yourself, it is still always best to consult with a lawyer. They can tell you what the worst case scenario is for the charges you have been charged with. You may not realize the severity of the charges until you speak with a lawyer. If you are facing severe penalties, you may want to consider retaining an attorney.

What Are the Benefits to Being Your Own Lawyer?

The biggest benefit to being your own lawyer is that you don’t have to pay a lot of money to an attorney. If you are a first time offender and the penalties you are facing for your crime are not severe, you may wish to represent yourself and save some cash.

The other benefit to being your own lawyer is that you have full control over your case. When you hire a lawyer, you two may not see eye-to-eye on what witness to call, what evidence to introduce, and whether you should take the witness stand. If you want to control the situation, being your own lawyer can help you with that.

Frequently Asked Questions About Bail

When To Ask For BailIf you have a loved one who is in jail, you may be wondering about bail. If you have never been in this situation before, you likely have many questions about it. Here are some frequently asked questions about bail.

What is Bail?

Bail allows a person convicted of a crime to get out of jail while awaiting trial. This allows them to work and properly defend themselves. There are a few instances where a person may not be entitled to bail, such as being suspected of being a flight risk or being charged with a serious and violent crime. But most people are given a bail amount.

How Do You Get Bail?

Many crimes have a standard bail amount based on the county and state a person is charged with a crime in. For example, a first time simple assault case may have a $10,000 bail. If the person charged with the crime thinks the bail is too much, or there is not a standard bail amount assigned to the case, such as murder, a bail hearing will be held and a judge will determine how much bail will be set at.

Once a bail amount is set, you may post bail on behalf of your loved one. You can use a bail bonds company who charges 10 to 15 percent of the bail amount or you can post the entire bail amount with the courthouse yourself. If you post bail yourself, you get all of the money back at the end of the trial. If you use a bail bonds company, you pay the 10 to 15 percent to the company in exchange for them posting the money for your loved one.

Does Getting Bail Show Up on Your Record?

As soon as someone is charged with a crime, it will show up on their record. If an employer or landlord does a background check, they will be able to see that charges are pending against a person. However, in most states, they will not be able to see that an individual is out on bail. However, should a police officer have to run a person’s name for any reason, they will see that the individual is out on bail.

When Does Bail End?

There are three instances when bail ends. If the person charged with a crime does not obey all laws or rules that they were ordered to follow when bailed out of jail, they can be rearrested and bail will end.

Another reason why bail may end is because bail was revoked by the person who posted it. If you post bond on behalf of a loved one, and you feel that your loved one may be trying to run or not doing what they need to do, you can revoke their bond and have them rearrested.

The last reason bail ends is because the case has ended. If a person is found not guilty, their bond is released to the person who posted it. If they are found guilty, bond money is released when they show up and are sentenced for their crime.

What Factors to Look For in an Attorney

What to look for in an attorneyIf you have never had to hire an attorney before, but find yourself in a position where you need one now, you may not know where to start. Most attorneys offer a free consultation, where you get the opportunity to meet the attorney, discuss their background and experience, and discuss your case. Knowing what factors to look for during this consultation can help you find the right attorney for you. Here are four factors to look for in an attorney.

What Experience They Have With Your Type of Case

One of the biggest factors to consider is what types of experience they have with cases such as yours. Attorneys do not have to undergo any training or certification based on the type of cases they want to handle. As such, technically, one attorney could handle personal injury, criminal defense, and family law. While most do not do this, there is legally nothing stopping them from doing so.
As such, the best way to find an attorney who is experienced with the type of case you need help with is to specifically ask them what experience they have with cases that are similar to yours. Is this their first case with charges like yours or their 100th? Finding out how much experience they have with cases like yours will help you select a lawyer experienced in the right area of the law for your case.

What They Think They Can Do For Your Situation

Another very important question to ask a lawyer during a consultation is what they think they can do for you in the situation you are in. Depending on the circumstances of your case, there may be a lot they can do, or very little they can do. Asking this question will help you determine whether you should hire an attorney and whether the one you are thinking about hiring has faith in your case. Based on this information, you can determine whether to work with that attorney, move on to someone else or not hire an attorney at all.

What They Charge

The last factor that you need to decided when looking for an attorney is how much they charge. Most lawyers charge anywhere from $100 to $500 per hour. Finding out how much an attorney charges will let you know whether you can afford them or not.