Facing criminal charges is not something you should do alone. Whether the accusation is for a misdemeanor or a felony crime, having an experienced defense attorney representing you can make the difference between winning and losing your case. Here are a few circumstances where you can benefit from hiring a criminal attorney.
When Do You Need to Hire a Defense Attorney?
1. Felony Charges
Conviction of a felony charge in Missouri leads to time in prison from one to 30 years, probation of at least one year, and a fine, depending on the crime. Felony crimes include murder, forcible rape, child molestation, and discharging a firearm. To fight a felony charge effectively, you need a defense attorney who is a strong advocate. Your lawyer must be able and willing to investigate the circumstances, develop ways to discredit the prosecution’s case, and negotiate for you.
2. Misdemeanor Charges
Conviction of misdemeanor offenses generally results in a maximum of 12 months in jail, fines, and probation. With misdemeanors including driving while intoxicated, you risk losing your driving privileges as well. Your ability to go to school or work may be in jeopardy, and when your license is reinstated, your insurance rates are likely to increase. Hiring a criminal defense attorney to fight for you is a wise investment that might save you thousands of dollars and protect future career opportunities.
3. No Criminal Record
If you don’t have a criminal history, a skilled defense attorney may be able to help you keep it that way. A criminal law attorney can ask the court to place you in an appropriate state or federal pretrial diversion program for certain crimes. Once you complete the program successfully, the prosecutor dismisses the charges against you.
If you are charged with violating a state or federal criminal law, seek help from The Law Office of Christopher J. Swatosh. Based in Ava, MO, defense attorney Swatosh serves all of Douglas County, offering 20 years of local legal experience. This former prosecutor is an aggressive legal advocate for people who need effective representation at every stage of the criminal justice process. Call (417) 683-2987 to schedule a confidential consultation with this skilled and compassionate defense attorney today.