If I plan to plead guilty, how can a lawyer help me?

Even if you are planning to plead guilty to the allegations leveled against you, a criminal defense lawyer can help. With the help of a criminal defense lawyer, the crimes you plan to plead guilty to may be reduced or somehow mitigated.  If you don’t fully understand the law, it will be difficult without sound legal advice to determine whether you are guilty or not.  Aside from reducing the consequences of a conviction, an experienced criminal defense lawyer can advise you toward the best possible course of action in your circumstances and in turn prevent you from taking a course of action you may later regret.

How can a criminal defense lawyer help?

If you have been charged with a criminal offense it is advisable that you retain the services of a criminal defense lawyer as early on in the legal process as possible. Having a lawyer present during any questioning or investigation can be critical in protecting your rights. Additionally, an experienced criminal defense attorney will know how your charges are likely to be prosecuted and, moreover, how defend against them. With proper legal representation, it may be possible to reduce or altogether eliminate the charges being brought against you.

What is bail?

When a person is arrested, in most circumstances they will be entitled to be released pending trial if sufficient “bail” is given. Bail is security given by the accused that he or she will appear and answer charges in the proper court. Bail may be given in the form of surety bond, cash bond, or personal bond. A surety bond is obtained through a bail bondsman who guarantees the accused appearance in court. Typically a bail bondsman will require the accused pay around 10% of the bond amount as fee for the bail bond. The accused also has the option of posting a cash bond by depositing cash with the court in the amount of the bond. Once the accused complies with the conditions of the bond the court is required to refund the cash. A personal bond is when the magistrate releases the accused without surety or cash but rather on the accused agreement to appear before the court.

How much does hiring a criminal defense lawyer cost?

Without knowing the facts about your case, it is impossible to quote a fee for legal services. Legal services is not a one size fits all matter. Before a fee agreement is made, Edward will discuss your case with you and do some preliminary investigation. Edward’s rates are reasonable and fee agreement can be tailored to meet the needs of your case.

Will my case go to trial?

It depends on the factors of your individual case. Depending upon the circumstances surrounding your case, you may benefit from reaching an out of court agreement. Under other circumstances, it may be in your best interest to pursue a trial. To best understand how the particulars of your case are likely to affect any possible sentencing, and to more generally understand the extent of the charges brought against you, you should speak with an experienced criminal defense lawyer.

Do I have to disclose my criminal history to a potential employer?

If you are placed on a deferred adjudication and your probation is never revoked, you may qualify for an order of non-disclosure. An order of non-disclosure would prohibit the government from sharing information related to your criminal history with the public.  If you do obtain an order of non-disclosure for a previous deferred adjudication, you will not be legally obligated to share information related to the offense with a potential employer.  You are eligible to apply for an order of non-disclosure upon completion of your probation for most misdemeanors and must wait five years for felony offenses.  Criminal history for certain offenses may disqualify you from obtaining an order of non-disclosure and a judge may deny an order of non-disclosure for a qualifying person if they determine the order in not in the interest of justice.