Violent crimes are almost always charged as felonies. A conviction would lead to a jail sentence, and likely a long one. Violent crime charges are a very serious matter. You need an experienced criminal defense attorney to defend you, and you need to hire one immediately. Your lawyer would help you determine the path forward in your case. The attorneys at Hogan Eickhoff are standing by and ready to help you.

Violent Crime Defense Attorney in Appleton, WI

Your Attorney Will Help Assess Your Legal Options

The first thing that you need to do is sit down with an experienced attorney to discuss your case. Your lawyer would take the time to learn about the facts of the case. They may perform their own investigation to learn more and gather possible evidence that could be used to exonerate you or defend against the charges.

There are two pathways that you can take in your case. You can mount a vigorous defense and fight the charges against you all the way through a trial. You can choose to negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecutor. Many defendants may begin to fight in court, only to reach a plea bargain at some point before the trial.

The Prosecutor May Not Be Able to Prove the Case

In any criminal case alleging violent crimes, the prosecutor would need to prove every single element beyond a reasonable doubt. This legal standard equates to 100% certainty on the part of the jury. One of the crucial elements that the prosecutor needs to prove is intent. The prosecutor must be able to prove your state of mind at the time that you allegedly committed the crime. You can accidentally commit a violent crime. There are numerous ways that you can dispute that you had the necessary intent to commit the crime.

You May Have Acted in Self-Defense

Self-defense is a common response to violent crime charges. In many cases, the defendant may believe that they were in imminent danger and had to use physical force to defend themselves. In order for the defense to be successful, you must have had a reasonable belief that you were in danger. In addition, the amount of force used must have been proportionate to the danger that you faced. For example, you can only intentionally use any force that is intended or is likely to cause death or great bodily harm when you reasonably believe that the force was necessary to prevent either imminent death or great bodily harm to yourself.

You Can Attack the Witnesses’ Credibility

In many cases, the charges against you are based on witness testimony from people who claimed to have witnessed the incident itself or other facts that pertain to the alleged crime. They may testify to establish a motive. You can attack the credibility of the witnesses who are testifying against you. They may have their own criminal record. The prosecutor may have offered them a plea deal to testify against you, which may give them a motivation to lie. Your attorney would learn about the individual witnesses and their motivations in the hopes of discrediting them in court.

Your Rights May Have Been Violated

You could also allege that your own Constitutional rights as a criminal defendant were violated. For example, you could have been illegally arrested for the crime. Law enforcement may have tried to question you without your lawyer present after you already said that you wanted an attorney. There are various ways that law enforcement could violate your legal rights that may lead to a dismissal of the charges against you.

Finally, you may challenge the physical evidence being used against you in the case. Prosecutors may not be able to establish the chain of custody of the evidence from the time it was seized until trial. The evidence itself may have been illegally seized without a warrant or when police lacked probable cause to do so. You may be able to have this evidence suppressed in court.

You May Have an Alibi

In other criminal cases, your defense may not be as complicated. The simple defense is that you are innocent of the crime. Although the prosecutor is the one who must prove each and every single element, you may need to prove things of your own. The most effective defense for you is to have an alibi that places you elsewhere at the time that the violent crime was committed. To establish an effective alibi, you need your own witnesses and evidence that positively establishes your whereabouts at that time.

Your Attorney Could Negotiate a Plea Bargain

You may also elect to plead guilty to a criminal offense after negotiations with the prosecutor. You may face the most serious charges that the prosecutor can file against you. They may want you to fear the consequences and plead guilty to avoid the most serious charges. Your attorney may negotiate a guilty plea to lesser charges, and the prosecutor will drop the more serious charges against you. An attorney may negotiate for a recommendation of a lower sentence so you are not facing as long of a prison sentence (or avoid jail altogether).

Much depends on having an experienced attorney in your corner. You need a lawyer who knows how the prosecutor is thinking. The attorneys at Hogan Eickhoff have extensive experience dealing with prosecutors. We have established a sound reputation with judges and participants in the court system. Prosecutors know that we deliver on our word when they are negotiating with us.

Contact an Appleton Violent Crimes Defense Attorney

If you have been charged with a violent crime or any type of criminal offense, you need to hire an attorney because your legal rights may be at risk. The attorneys at Hogan Eickhoff will provide you with vigorous legal representation without any judgment whatsoever. The first step is to reach out to us to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys. You can call us at (920) 450-9800 or contact us on our website to take the first step to getting the legal help you need.