Monthly Archives: November 2014

When to Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney

Knowing when it’s time to fight back with a criminal defense attorney

If you enjoy watching crime dramas, you’ve probably seen one in which a defendant forgoes professional representation and attempts to fight the charges against him on his own. While this is common in film and TV, it’s much less common in real life. This is because hiring a lawyer puts you in the best possible position to secure a favorable outcome in your case.

What Do Criminal Defense Attorneys Do?

Criminal defense attorneys have several important duties. Contrary to popular belief, the act of arguing a case before a judge is just one of the many responsibilities that a competent lawyer brings to the table. The broad outlines of an attorney’s work include:

• Understanding the circumstances of your case
• Analyzing the evidence against you as well as evidence that supports your side of the story
• Understanding how legal statutes and precedent affect your case
• Making the strongest possible case for your innocence

Building a Case From the Ground Up

In some cases, evidence is easy to come by. In such instances, your attorney will work tirelessly to analyze and present it in the best possible light. In cases that feature a lack of evidence to support your claim, your attorney will seek sources of evidence that may have been overlooked as well as potential witnesses who have yet to come forward.

What About Appeals?

If your case ends unfavorably, you may be entitled to appeal the verdict to a higher court. Under these circumstances, it’s very important to work with an attorney who has experience with the criminal appeals process. In an appeal, your lawyer will evaluate existing evidence as well as new information that comes to light before presenting it in compelling fashion to the court.

What Are the Consequences of Failing to Hire an Attorney?

Although the media is rife with stories of defendants representing themselves in court, this strategy just isn’t as likely to produce a favorable outcome as you imagine. The potential drawbacks to self-representation include:

• Lack of courtroom experience among most defendants
• Fewer resources to track down hidden evidence and witnesses
• Lack of knowledge of legal precedent and statutes
• Higher probability of an unfavorable outcome in your case

Find an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney in Neenah and Appleton, WI

If you’re facing criminal charges, it’s important to understand the gravity of your situation. However, it’s just as key to realize that it’s possible for you to beat the charges against you. Hiring a competent criminal defense attorney puts you in the best possible position to do so. If you’re interested in learning more about defense representation in your specific case, call us or fill out the online contact form.

5 Long-Term Consequences of a Criminal Conviction

Why it pays to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney

Not all criminal cases are created equal. Some charges come with life-altering penalties that could result in years of incarceration or state supervision. Others feature a more lenient penalty phase. However, all criminal convictions have certain consequences that defendants would do well to understand and anticipate. These are five of the most important.

1. Your Charges and Conviction Become Part of the Public Record

As with many other legal matters, your criminal conviction will become a matter of public record for years. Anyone who wishes to access it is free to do so. Although it may be possible to conceal a conviction after a significant amount of time has passed, this is a separate, complicated area of the law.

2. Potential Limits to Employment Opportunities

Although there are some protections in place for job-seeking individuals with criminal records, employers have a great deal of latitude to terminate or refuse employment to workers who fit this description. Additionally, your conviction will appear on your criminal background check for years to come. If a job opportunity requires you to submit to a background check or obtain a license or certification that isn’t available to individuals with a criminal record, you could find yourself at a disadvantage.

3. Problems Finding Suitable Housing

In many cases, a criminal conviction can severely restrict your ability to find suitable housing. Whether they’re explicitly stated or informal, many landlords have policies against renting to individuals on probation and parole. In other cases, individuals with a criminal record may not be eligible for housing subsidies and other assistance that could make the difference between a subpar living arrangement and a comfortable home.

4. Student Loans and Other Financial Issues

Depending on the nature of the crime, your conviction could disqualify you from receiving federal student loans or other forms of financial aid. The federal government regularly updates its rules for aid, so it’s best to check with the Department of Education on this matter.

5. Privileges of Citizenship: Voting, Military Service, and SNAP

Depending on its severity, a criminal conviction could disqualify you from many of the privileges associated with American citizenship, including voting and military service. It may also render you ineligible or limit your access to assistance programs like SNAP.

Find an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney in Neenah and Appleton, WI

Are you facing a criminal case? Whether you’ve been charged with a misdemeanor or felony, it’s important that you do right by your family and seek competent legal assistance at your earliest convenience. We stand ready to provide aggressive and compassionate representation on your behalf and ensure that you get fair treatment under the law. To learn more about how we can help you with your pending criminal case, call us or fill out our online contact form.