Being charged with a crime is always a bad experience, no matter the circumstances. An experienced criminal defense attorney is essential to prevent such a bad situation from growing much worse. One of the focuses of our practice at The Lackey Law Firm is easing the worry brought on by an arrest by providing each and every client with as strong a defense as possible.
If you have been arrested you probably have thought of many questions which you need answered. It is doubtful that the questions and answers below will tell you all you need to know, but it is a intended as a guide to cover a few initial questions. Please call us at (256) 259-3929 for a free in-office consultation to learn more about how we can fight for you.
- What is a preliminary hearing?
A preliminary hearing is a court hearing before a district judge which is held only in felony cases. A written request for such a hearing must be made within 30 days of the initial arrest, or the right is lost. Because of this, it is vital that you seek legal representation as soon as possible when charged with a felony. This hearing may be your only opportunity to question witnesses in your case prior to trial.
- What is the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor?
A felony is generally considered a much more serious crime than a misdemeanor and carries heavier punishment. There are different classes of felonies and misdemeanors in Alabama depending upon the severity of the offense a person is charged with. Class A offenses are the most serious while class C offenses are least serious in general. Misdemeanors carry a possible jail sentence of 12 months or less along with possible monetary fines and other penalties. Felony sentences in Alabama range in time from 1 year and 1 day up to life in prison. The death penalty is also still a possibility in Alabama. Felonies may also carry monetary fines or other penalties.
- Should I give a statement to the police if I may be suspected of a crime?When asked, we generally advise our clients to NOT give a statement to police or investigators if suspected of a crime, without consulting with us about their rights first. If you have been arrested or believe you are suspected, you may need legal advice and we recommend that let us evaluate your situation.
- Can you keep me out of jail?
Usually yes. Our goal is to always obtain the least restrictive outcome possible for every client charged with a crime. The first step in that process is attempting to get the charges dropped or get an acquittal. The second step, if the first step cannot be achieved, is to prevent jail or prison time for our clients. Every case and client is different and many factors can affect your individual case, including criminal history, severity of the crime, the amount of evidence against you, and more. There are no guarantees in criminal defense, other than that we will fight our hardest for you. No lawyer should ever promise a client they will not spend any time in jail.