FAQ: Criminal Defense
The legal system can be complex and intimidating, especially when you're facing criminal charges. I recognize the fear, confusion, and stress that come with criminal charges. But remember, you don't have to navigate it alone. My firm—Metro Law Firm—is here to help.
If you're in the Tri-Cities, Washington, area—including Kennewick, Pasco, Richland, Benton-Franklin County, Yakima County, Wall Walla County, or another neighboring community—get in touch with me and request a complementary consultation today.
Frequently Asked Questions About Criminal Defense
As a criminal defense attorney with years of experience, I understand that facing charges can be stressful and confusing. It's a time filled with uncertainty, and having the right information is crucial. I'll answer some frequently asked questions about criminal defense to give you the knowledge you need to make informed decisions.
Do I have to speak to the police after I’m arrested?
After an arrest, you have the right to remain silent. It's generally best to exercise this right and not speak to the police without your attorney present. Anything you say can be used against you in court, so having legal representation is crucial to protect your rights and avoid self-incrimination.
I just want this to go away. Should I accept a plea deal?
Deciding whether to accept a plea deal is a significant decision that should be made in consultation with your attorney. While a plea deal might seem like a quick solution, it's important to carefully consider the potential consequences and weigh them against the strength of your defense.
What is the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor?
The main difference between a felony and a misdemeanor lies in the severity of the offense and the potential penalties. Felonies are more serious crimes that typically carry harsher punishments, while misdemeanors are less severe offenses usually punishable by fines, probation, or shorter jail terms.
If I'm completely innocent, do I still need a lawyer?
Yes, even if you believe you're completely innocent, it's essential to have a lawyer by your side. A criminal defense attorney can thoroughly investigate your case, gather evidence, and build a strong defense strategy to prove your innocence.
When are police allowed to search my person, vehicle, or home?
The Fourth Amendment protects you from unreasonable searches and seizures. Generally, the police need a warrant to conduct a search. However, there are exceptions. For instance, if an officer has probable cause to believe you've committed a crime or if there's evidence in plain view, they might not need a warrant.
The police didn’t read me my rights. Am I still under arrest?
Yes, you can still be under arrest even if the police didn't read you your rights. The Miranda rights, which include your right to remain silent and your right to an attorney, must be read to you before any custodial interrogation occurs. If these rights weren't read, it could affect the admissibility of any statements you made in court, but it doesn't invalidate the arrest.
What happens if I’m charged with a crime in Washington but live in another state?
If you're charged with a crime in Washington but live in another state, you're still subject to Washington laws and procedures. You'll need to return to Washington for court appearances.
How long does a criminal case typically last?
The length of a criminal case can vary greatly depending on the complexity of the case, the severity of the charges, and the court's schedule. Some cases might resolve in a few months, while others could take years.
Can I clear a criminal charge from my record?
In some circumstances, you might be able to have a criminal charge cleared from your record through a process called expungement. Eligibility requirements vary, and not all crimes can be expunged.
Do I really need a criminal defense attorney?
Absolutely. Whether you're facing a minor charge or a serious felony, having a skilled criminal defense attorney is invaluable. As your attorney, I bring 25 years of experience to the courtroom, offering trial-tested, insightful advocacy every step of the way. I will work tirelessly to protect your rights and strive for the best possible outcome in your case.
Take Control of Your Future Today
Facing criminal charges can feel like an uphill battle, but with the right legal representation, you can fight for your rights and work towards a positive outcome. If you or a loved one is facing criminal charges in Tri-Cities, Washington, don't hesitate to reach out to me.
If you're ready to take the first step towards protecting your rights, reach out to Metro Law Firm for a complimentary consultation. I'm dedicated to offering a robust defense tailored to your unique situation. Together, we can navigate the complexities of your case and work towards the best possible outcome.