Niagara Falls Criminal Lawyers
When you face serious criminal charges and the possibility of a lengthy prison sentence, you need the best criminal defense lawyer that you can afford. In these cases, going with a public defender can be downright detrimental to your case. Many times the public defender works on many different cases, which means he doesn’t put as much emphasis on yours. Is that the type of person that you want defending you when you face up to 10 years in prison? Here at Spodek Law Group, we will use every defense available to us and do our best to keep you safe. We will come to your legal defense to fight against the charges.
Reducing your Sentencing
Many times a lawyer can reduce your sentence through plea bargains and deals. Your Niagara Falls criminal lawyer understands how to negotiate the deal and plea bargain. In addition, your lawyer also understands when you will be getting a raw deal and if you have a better chance of fighting the charges with the prosecutor. Criminal defense attorneys have the ability to lower your charges, but they can also eliminate them altogether. For example, they might look at a specific intricacy of the law where the arresting officer failed to get a search warrant or something else that would make for a weak case with the prosecution. In other cases, the criminal defense lawyer could negotiate lesser sentences like you have to attend a rehabilitation program to keep you from coming back to the criminal justice system for the second time.
Invaluable Legal Advice
Legal counsel can help you to understand the best way to proceed in your case and receive a reduced sentence. In some cases, when you plead guilty, it lowers the amount of time spent in the prison system.
Giving You Emotional Assistance
It shouldn’t come as any surprise legal battles can be an emotionally taxing experience. Criminal defense lawyers aren’t therapists, which is true, but they might help to deal with the emotions that come with a criminal trial. In addition, they could explain some of the realities that have popped up in the legal system. Since they have been well-versed in law, your criminal defense lawyer can also look at the regulations and court rules that will help you to understand how you navigate this case.
The Unwritten Rules
Criminal lawyers also understand some of the rules that go unwritten. They have been well versed in this because it’s part of their profession to handle it. Many times a public defender will handle between 100 to 200 cases at a time, and many times, they won’t even have the case in front of them the day before they go to court.
Accessibility for a Strong Defense
Both the witness statements and the evidence will help to build your case. Your criminal defense attorney at Spodek Law Group will have access to all this information. In some cases, witnesses may not want to speak openly, but they will discuss the case with a criminal defense lawyer who has the ability to comfort and relieve their fears. This provides testimony that can help to clear your name. All of this creates the opportunity to build a strong defense.
Expertise with Defending
An attorney ensures that you never feel intimidated in the courtroom sessions. They have the legal expertise to correctly defend you because they have trained and studied in criminal law to give you a good defense. In addition, good criminal lawyers understand the aspects of court procedures, and they know how to use this to their advantage. Through their expertise, they can build a strong case on your behalf. They have a job to defend their clients from criminal charges, and they will also check for inconsistencies and loopholes within the case that could be played out in your favor.
Fighting in the Legal Battlefields
When you have an expert who understands how the legal battlefields work and who is fighting in them, you can have a more successful result in the majority of cases. If you have decided to defend yourself or go with a public defender, you put yourself in a vulnerable position because you might not have enough knowledge of the situation for an adequate legal defense. Meanwhile, the public defender might not have the specialization to defend you. Public defenders are licensed attorneys; however, because of the high turnover rate with clients, they might not have a strong field of expertise that the private attorney has. Would you visit a family doctor when what you need is a heart surgeon?
Criminal Lawyers Can Design a Strategy
In every case, you need to change the approach to handle the criminal charges because every case has different circumstances. Spodek Law Group measures all the events in time, and they look at the set of circumstances. Accordingly, they will design their strategy to fit the case. For example, they might perform an investigation independently to learn more crucial information, or they might negotiate or look for a settlement. It depends on the type of case they face, but you can always count on criminal lawyers to prepare better for the trial. Attorneys of criminal law will protect you from unfavorable court terms and drastic penalties. When they see that the prosecution has no case against you, they will maximize the potential of it.
In every criminal case, the prosecutors do their best to come down harsh against you. However, what if you are innocent of the charges, and you had been falsely accused? You won’t be excused from the charges until proven innocent. Without a criminal attorney, you will be vulnerable to unfair charges, and the attorney protects you from a brutal prosecution that understands the ins and outs of the court system. We do our best to protect you from unfair sentencing, and we mitigate the risks by taking immediate action to build up your case.
Niagara Falls Federal Criminal Lawyers
In any legal proceeding, you’re always benefited by working with an attorney, but this is especially true where you’re facing federal criminal charges. This type of criminal case is often complex and usually carries stiff penalties in the form of prison sentences or significant fines. Learning more about federal criminal charges and what the process of facing a federal trial entails can help you understand why it’s so vital to your livelihood to consult an experienced attorney as early in the process as possible.
What Constitutes a Federal Crime?
In our system, laws are established at several different levels, including the federal level. When a state enacts a law that establishes certain activities as crimes, those acts are only illegal within that state. However, federal crimes are generally illegal everyplace within the United States and have been established as crimes by federal legislation.
Many states mirror the federal government in making certain crimes illegal. For instance, every state has laws against kidnapping, even though there is an existing law that establishes kidnapping as a federal offense. As is true of most rules, there are exceptions. Crimes that are committed on Native American reservations or on federal property are federal crimes, though they’re not illegal at the state level.
When a federal crime has been committed, the government authorizes certain organizations to investigate the incident. One of these organizations may conduct the investigation exclusively, or investigators from several of the following groups may work together to build a case:
- FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation)
- ATF (Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives)
- DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency)
- IRS (Internal Revenue Service)
- ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement)
- U.S. Secret Service
While there are literally hundreds of crimes established as federal offenses, there are some crimes that are more commonly committed than others. These include the following:
- Terrorist activity
- Public corruption
- Violations of civil rights
- Organized crime
- White collar crime
- Theft of art, jewelry, gems, and other precious cargo
- Drug-related crimes
- Bank robberies
- Indian country crimes
- Acts of violence against children
- Interstate acts of kidnapping, rape, or murder
- Immigration law violations
- Assassinating (or attempting to assassinate) the U.S. president or vice-president
U.S. laws designate a time limit on how long the government has to prosecute specific crimes. This is known as the statute of limitations and it varies based on the crime. If a crime has a three year statute of limitations, the countdown begins on the date upon which the crime was committed and prevents prosecution from beginning after the three years have elapsed.
There are some crimes that do not have a statute of limitations, meaning the crimes can be prosecuted anytime. At the federal level, crimes without a time limit involve those punishable with the death penalty, some acts of terrorism, and some federal sex crimes. Many other federal crimes are regulated by a five-year statute of limitations, though the law allows for exceptions in certain cases. The complexities regarding the statute of limitations for federal crimes show why it’s vital to enlist the help of an experienced federal criminal defense attorney with a good track record. Only a professional legal advocate will know how to apply the statute of limitations to your specific circumstances. If you need help with federal appeals, our federal appeals lawyers can assist with this as well.
The Steps in a Federal Criminal Investigation
As previously mentioned, you should consult an attorney as early as possible, so he can handle your defense more efficiently. In fact, as soon as you become aware that you have become the focus of an investigation, you should consult an attorney to serve as your advocate. If the attorney is hired early in the investigation process, he can better ensure all of your rights are protected and he can better develop a strategy for your defense.
The process of prosecuting a federal crime is similar to the process at the state level, which includes the following steps:
- Investigation of the crime
This is the process of gathering evidence against a suspect, or suspects.
- Filing of charges
Once the prosecutor believes he has enough evidence, he will formally file charges against a suspect. At this point, the suspect is named as the defendant and the prosecution process can move forward with the arraignment.
At this hearing, the defendant will appear in court and will be informed of his rights and of the charges filed against him. If the defendant hasn’t already hired an attorney, arrangements will be made either for hiring a lawyer or for applying for a court-appointed attorney. The judge will also either set or deny bail at this time.
This is a process designed to help the prosecutor and the defense attorney prepare their cases. They must share evidence, reveal witnesses, and answer questions pertaining to the case to ensure each side has access to the same information.
- Plea Bargaining
Once discovery is complete, the criminal defense attorney will be able to better assess his client’s situation. If an acquittal seems unlikely, he may negotiate a plea arrangement with the prosecutor. He may advise his client to plead guilty in exchange for a lighter sentence.
- Preliminary hearing
The preliminary isn’t always necessary and the defense attorney often recommends waiving this step. It’s simply an opportunity for the prosecutor to show the evidence it will use against the defendant and resembles what the actual trial will look like. The prosecution will call witness and show evidence, which may or may not be permitted at the actual trial.
- Pre-trial motions
This is an opportunity for the defense or prosecution to present motions, requesting the judge to settle an issue. Most commonly, the defense may ask to have the case dismissed or either side may request that specific pieces of evidence be suppressed.
The trial is the time at which the prosecution presents evidence and calls witnesses to testify in order to prove their case. The defense can respond and present their case, or the defendants own side of the story.
- Post-trial motions
This is another opportunity for each side to request the court to take action. Typically, motions at this step involve asking for a new trial, a judgment for acquittal, or for sentencing to be vacated or set aside.
At this hearing, the judge will hear arguments and sentencing recommendations from the prosecutor and the defense attorney. Although mitigating factors may influence his decision, the judge will usually follow the guidelines established by the United States Sentencing Commission. These guidelines provide a minimum and maximum sentence recommendation for each crime to discourage biased sentences.
Although the prosecution of a federal crime is closed by this point, the defense attorney may be able to find a reason to appeal a guilty verdict. Usually, new evidence won’t be accepted, during this phase. An appeal must be based on errors in the prosecution process, a violation of the defendant’s rights, or an unfair sentence.
Each phase of the prosecution of federal crimes is a complex matter and requires more than simply the knowledge of the legal system. The expertise and the familiarity with the process possessed by federal criminal defense attorneys are your best weapons in protecting yourself. If you’re facing the possibility of a federal criminal trial, hiring a lawyer now can significantly impact the outcome of your case.