When you are facing criminal charges, the stakes cannot be higher. Depending on the nature of the charges, your freedom is often on the line (often for an extended amount of time). Jail time is only part of the consequences that you may face. A conviction could cost you a job, and it could compromise your future. You cannot afford to take any chances. The experienced criminal defense attorneys at Hogan Eickhoff can defend you from the charges, helping you possibly resolve them in the best possible manner.

Criminal Defense Attorney in Appleton, WI

You Have Legal Rights That Need to Be Defended

Law enforcement officers are looking to charge you with a crime. The police are often formally or informally incentivized to issue citations and make arrests. You may be the one whom they seek to charge. Law enforcement officers are not the ones who will be kept awake at night, wondering what will happen to their future and their family. Instead, you are the one facing uncertainty and consequences.

While you have legal rights, you may not even know what they are when you are on your own. If you make a mistake, you are the one who will pay the price, leading to a higher chance of conviction and a longer jail sentence. Once you have waived your legal rights, what’s done is done, even if you hire a lawyer later in the process.

On the other hand, hiring an attorney protects your legal rights now. There is a reason why law enforcement cannot speak to you without a lawyer present once you say you want counsel. Anything that you say can and will be used against you, as everyone knows and understands. However, that fact often does not stop suspects from talking to the police. Maybe they think that they can talk their way out of trouble, or they are simply not careful. Either way, criminal cases are often made on the strength of something a suspect said after being arrested.

When you hire an attorney, they must be present if law enforcement tries to question you. An attorney will protect your right to remain silent and answer any questions that you may have about the legal process.

Your Lawyer Would Help You Understand Your Own Legal Situation

One of a lawyer’s key roles comes at the very beginning of the criminal case. You will need to understand exactly what you are facing. For example, it’s important to know whether you are facing a felony or a misdemeanor and what the potential consequences may be. Then, you may not know what your options are in light of your own personal situation.

For example, you may have a certain job that you may lose if you are convicted of a felony. For instance, you cannot work in a skilled nursing facility if you have a felony conviction. Under federal law, you would lose your right to own a firearm if you have been convicted of a felony. Many misdemeanor convictions also carry consequences in addition to jail time. If you accept a quick plea deal, it may not be in your best interests. You may not even realize the consequences until you begin to experience them personally.

A Lawyer Can Negotiate with a Prosecutor on Your Behalf

Your lawyer would help you determine your course of action and the way forward in your case. An attorney would review the case against you and the charges and help you decide whether there is an opening to fight back. Then, you may decide that negotiating a plea bargain is what is best for you. However, you may want to put up a strong legal defense first to help you land a better deal when your attorney decides it is best to negotiate with the prosecutor. You may have the ability to get a better deal when you negotiate, and that is what an experienced criminal defense attorney can do best. The attorneys at Hogan Eickhoff regularly deal with area prosecutors, and we have earned their respect, which is invaluable in plea bargain negotiations.

Your Lawyer Would Challenge Any Evidence that Is Improper

Then, your case would depend on the strength of the evidence that law enforcement has gathered. The evidence against you would consist of:

  • Testimony from witnesses
  • Physical evidence that was gathered or seized from you in a search

Just because the prosecutor is trying to introduce evidence into your case does not mean that they can. First, any evidence being used against you could have been seized in violation of your Fourth Amendment rights. You may have even been illegally arrested yourself because the officer lacked probable cause. Second, the evidence may not be admissible because its introduction would violate the rules of evidence. For example, there may not have been a proper physical chain of custody for the evidence. The testimony itself may be hearsay, where someone is not testifying about what they observed personally. Either way, your lawyer would either file a motion to suppress the evidence or object to it when the prosecutor is trying to introduce it in court. Without an experienced attorney, you would have no means to stand up for your own legal rights.

Contact an Appleton Criminal Defense Attorney Today

If you have been charged with a crime, you cannot afford to be unrepresented by a lawyer at any point in time. Simply stated, waiting to get legal help, or going without it entirely, is a serious mistake that will cause lasting damage. The experienced lawyers at Hogan Eickhoff work to provide you with a strong legal defense. Contact us at (920) 450-9800 to schedule your free initial consultation. Legal help means peace of mind – or more of it than you had before.