If you face a criminal charge, you could find your life turned upside down. Whether arrested for a serious felony charge, or a minor misdemeanor, a conviction can haunt you for a long time to come. However, the prosecution has a lot of work to do to turn an arrest into a conviction. An experienced criminal defense lawyer in Marquette, MI, can help minimize the damage.
At White Law PLLC, we have over 60 years of experience in the courtroom and are ready to help you fight for your freedom. Our team of criminal defense attorneys will work hard to build your case and minimize your risk of conviction. Give us a call or use our contact form to schedule a free case evaluation with a member of our team.
Reasons to Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney Serving Marquette
Whether you are innocent or guilty of the crime for which you have been arrested, you are entitled to competent legal representation. It is a fundamental pillar of our legal system. An experienced criminal defense attorney in Marquette, MI, will work diligently to build you the strongest defense against the charges you face.
When you hire a lawyer, they will take over every aspect of your case. Actions they are likely to take include:
- Conducting their own investigation into the crime for which you are accused
- Negotiating with the prosecution to get the charges dropped or reduced
- Building a strong defense on your behalf
- Arguing your case at trial
Your Fight Is Our Fight
Steps in the Criminal Defense Trial Process
There are several steps between an arrest and the conclusion of your case. Knowing what to expect as you begin the process can help make things more manageable during this challenging time. While your attorney will go through everything with you in detail, getting the general outline of what to expect can help make you feel more in control.
When preparing for a criminal trial, you can expect to face the following stages:
- Initial hearing/arraignment
- Plea bargaining
- Preliminary hearing
- Pre-trial motions
- Post-trial motions
Defendants are often unaware that the first step in the process of a criminal trial is taking place. Before an arrest can be made, law enforcement must collect evidence that links you to the crime.
An arrest warrant will be issued once enough evidence has been gathered. The police or another law enforcement agency will then execute that arrest warrant and read you your rights.
After reviewing the evidence collected by law enforcement, the prosecutor will decide which charges and penalties to pursue. This process may include determining whether to pursue felony or misdemeanor charges, depending on the type of crime for which you are accused.
Once you have been arrested and the charges have been filed, you will have an initial hearing with a magistrate judge.
Many important details are decided in this hearing, including whether you will be held in jail or not as you await trial. In this hearing, you will also learn the nature of the charges you face and your legal rights throughout the criminal proceedings.
During discovery, the prosecution and your lawyer will share all the evidence they have collected. This includes physical evidence, witness testimony, and expert opinion.
Therefore, both sides must have access to all evidence that will be used at trial to build the strongest cases possible based on all the available data.
Plea bargaining may be an option for avoiding the most severe charges you face. Accepting a plea deal might be your best option if there is enough evidence to convict you of the charges you face. The prosecution may offer a deal where you enter a guilty plea, and, in exchange, the penalties you face are diminished.
There are many types of plea deals. Depending on your situation, the prosecution may offer for some charges to be dropped, to change a charge from a felony to a misdemeanor, or to reduce the sentencing you will face for the crime.
Your criminal defense lawyer can help you negotiate a favorable plea deal. They can also advise you on whether a plea agreement is in your best interest or if you would be better served by taking your case to trial.
During your preliminary hearing, you will enter your plea of guilty, not guilty, or no contest. During this hearing, the prosecution must show that they have enough evidence to move forward with the trial. If the evidence against you is not strong enough, the judge may dismiss your case.
Before you go to court, you have the option of filing pre-trial motions. Pre-trial motions are requests submitted to the court regarding various aspects of the forthcoming trial.
During your trial, your criminal defense lawyer and the prosecutor will both present their cases and try to refute the arguments made by the other party.
If you are found guilty at the end of your trial, your attorney can file several different types of post-trial motions. These motions can include:
- A motion for judgment of acquittal
- A motion to vacate the sentence
- A motion to set aside the sentence
- A motion to correct the sentence
If you are found guilty, you will have to return to the court at a later date for sentencing. With many crimes, a judge has minimum and maximum sentencing guidelines to consider. Using these guidelines, as well as other details about your case, such as the severity of the crime, the judge will determine the punishment the defendant will face.
We’re not just lawyers. We’re passionate advocates who will ensure that your voice is heard and your rights are protected.
Hiring a Criminal Defense Attorney in Marquette
If you have been arrested, hiring an experienced criminal defense lawyer to represent you is essential. At White Law PLLC, our team of criminal defense lawyers serving Marquette has decades of experience helping minimize the penalties our clients face.
We will work diligently to get your charges dropped or secure a not-guilty verdict in court. If those outcomes are out of reach, we will negotiate a plea deal that serves your best interest.
Reach out to us today to schedule a free consultation by giving us a call or completing our contact form.
We’re Experienced. We Care.
We Exceed Client Expectations.