FAQ: Criminal Defense
- What happens when I get arrested?
- Who sets my bond?
- Do I need an attorney?
- If I get arrested will I always have a criminal conviction?
- I haven't been arrested but the police want to talk to me about some alleged criminal activity, should I talk to them?
- How much is all of this going to cost me?
- How do I choose an attorney?
- Why should I use your law firm?
When you get arrested, you will be assigned a court date at the police station or at the time the police officer gives you a ticket. All cases are first heard at Superior Court, Part "B". These courts are located at over twenty sites throughout Connecticut. If you are arrested for a "domestic" incident, the law requires that the defendant must appear at the next scheduled court date.
Bonds are set at the police station by the police. A "bail commissioner" who floats around the various police stations can override the police. Telephone books and bond agency lists found at most police stations are sources of information for finding a bondsman. Their non-refundable commission range from 7-10% of the size of the bond.
Since the results of an arrest will be part of your criminal history record for life, you need to concern yourself with getting the best possible results. The prosecutor will not give you legal advice as they represent the State of Connecticut. You need someone who is on your side 100% who will fight for the best possible result. Even lawyers hire lawyers when they get arrested.
There are all kinds of alternative programs available to those defendants who are first offenders for non serious crimes. Your attorney must be aware of these various programs to best protect your rights.
I haven't been arrested but the police want to talk to me about some alleged criminal activity, should I talk to them?
For the most part, if you are a possible target of the police concerning criminal activity, you should generally not talk to the police before you first talk to an attorney. In our office we usually talk to the police first. Most of the time we inform the police that our client will not be talking to them. It is very true anything you tell the police can be used to prosecute you. A lawyer may very well be needed before you are ever arrested.
It depends on the type of the charges; your prior criminal record, if any, and the complex nature of the facts. The cheapest is not usually the best. "You get what you pay for", is indeed true. Some law firms work on a volume business basis. We do not. We feel strongly of the need to spend the appropriate amount of time for each defendant to insure the best results. You should look upon any fee paid to an attorney as an investment in one's future. Poor representation can have life long repercussions.
Experience! Look for an attorney who goes to your designated court with some frequency; someone that knows the prosecutors; someone who has worked with judges in the past and knows their temperament, likes and dislikes. You want a law firm that has a solid reputation in the legal community. You want a law firm that will fight for the best result possible.
While we have over fifteen attorneys, only a few are permitted to do criminal law. They are experienced attorneys who know the law, who know the prosecutors and the judges, who know all the available alternative programs to avoid prosecutions when applicable. We have over thirty (30) years experience in this area of the law. We have a former prosecutor on our staff. We have the highest rating a law firm can have, according to the bible of the profession, Martindale and Hubbell. Ultimately, however, you must choose a law firm that you feel comfortable with.