Is it Possible to Get My Criminal Charges Reduced in Indiana?

After an arrest, your first thought is, “how much trouble am I in?” So, it is no surprise that one of the most common questions among criminal case defendants is, “can I get my charged reduced? Or better yet, dropped?” If you are wondering whether or not it is possible to get your criminal charges reduced in Indiana and avoid jail time completely, you are already on the right path. It is important to protect your rights and preserve your freedoms, and we will tell you what you need to know.

Continue below to learn about felonies and misdemeanors in Indiana, as well as their current sentencing schedules.

Indianapolis Indiana Criminal Defense
Indianapolis Indiana Criminal Defense 317-636-7514

Most Crimes are Classified as Misdemeanors and Felonies

Misdemeanors

Misdemeanors are not as serious as felonies, but they are still criminal offenses, nonetheless. Misdemeanors are categorized from Class A to Class C, with Class A being the most serious, and Class C being the least serious misdemeanor. Regardless of seriousness, they can all affect several aspects of a person’s life, including finances, driving privileges, renters’ agreements, housing, financial aid benefits, employment, professional reputation, child custody, and more. Misdemeanors are punishable by up to 1 year in jail and up to $5,000 in fines.

Felonies

A felony is a serious crime because it is a federal crime, or crime against the federal law. Felonies come with harsher penalties as a result. If you are facing a felony conviction in Indiana, it is vital that you hire a private Indianapolis criminal defense lawyer to protect your rights and keep you out of jail. Felonies are categorized on a spectrum from least serious to most serious, from Level 6 Felonies to Level 1 felonies, and then murder at the very top as the highest felony, and in its own category.

Level 6 felonies are punishable up to 3 years in prison, up to $10,000 in fines, and several other court-ordered penalties. Level 6 Felonies are typically called “wobblers” because they can often be reduced to a Class C Misdemeanor if the defendant has no priors. Level 1 and 2 felony crimes are the most serious levels, excluding murder.

How to Reduce Your Indiana Criminal Charges

If you are charged with a misdemeanor crimes or felony crimes in Indiana, it is vital to speak with an experienced and skilled Indianapolis criminal lawyer you can trust. Your next moves can drastically impact the overall outcome of your case, and the well-being of your future! Call Attorney David E. Lewis at 317-636-7514 to discuss the most effective legal strategies and defenses for your Indiana criminal case. We offer free consultations, so there is no out-of-pocket obligation to learn more about your charges and possible penalties. Schedule your consult over the phone, via video conference, or in-person at our Indiana criminal defense law firm

Indianapolis Criminal Defense 317-636-7514
Schedule a Free Consultation Today!
Posted in Criminal Defense, Criminal Law | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on Is it Possible to Get My Criminal Charges Reduced in Indiana?

What if I Regret Entering a Guilty Plea?

We often say and do things that we regret. Even if in the moment we feel strongly about our decision, later on after it sinks in, the reality of your choices can hit you hard. Such is often the case with criminal defendant’s who plea guilty to their charges. Do these individuals have a chance to take back their plea if they later decide they don’t want to plea guilty?

Continue reading to learn more about appealing pleas in criminal court, and what you can do to ensure your defense protects you from losing your rights and your freedoms.

Indianapolis Criminal Defense Law Firm
Criminal Defense Law Firm 317-636-7514

Granted Appeals

After a person is found guilty of a crime they were charged with, they do not have to agree with the judge or jury’s findings. Defendants are given the right to appeal a verdict and ask for a new trial in appellate court. This procedural right is denoted in the United States Constitution, Article 7, Section 6. For this purpose, they often hire a criminal defense attorney who is a certified, court-recognized criminal appellate lawyer. These are lawyers who are certified through their state bar organizations and specialize in appealing convictions.

Denied Appeals

As a defendant in criminal court, you have the right to file for an appeal to overturn the conviction, or certain perimeters of the conviction. However, if you have already agreed to and entered a guilty plea, whether you went to trial or not, there is no chance at appealing your verdict. This also applies to no contest or “nolo contendere” pleas. However, in place of an appeal, you could enter a “motion to withdraw” your plea, which simply means you have changed your mind and wish to plea differently.

Filing an appeal and withdrawing a plea are two different processes. The laws and regulations for withdrawing plea deals vary greatly from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. It also differs between state and federal levels, as federal court has its own unique appeals process compared to state-level ones.

In some states, limited indirect appeals are permitted, and can be pursued without withdrawing a plea; a processed referred to as “filing a writ of habeas corpus.” And this process is very similar to the appeals process. Because of these variations, it is important to check with your criminal defense attorney to learn your state’s particular laws about such procedures.

Need a Skilled and Aggressive Criminal Defense Lawyer in Indianapolis?

If you do not already have a licensed Indianapolis criminal defense lawyer working on your case, you need one right away. Contact David E. Lewis, Attorney at Law, at 317-636-7514 to start building a strong and impactful defense against your criminal charges so that you have a chance at avoiding the maximum penalties for your suspected crimes. Our law firm offers free initial consultations, so there are no out-of-pocket obligations to you. Call 317-636-7514 and get started protecting your future, today.

Indianapolis Criminal Defense 317-636-7514
Schedule a Free Consultation Today!
Posted in Criminal Defense, Criminal Law | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on What if I Regret Entering a Guilty Plea?

Is Marijuana Legal in Indiana Yet?

Anyone from the far past who steps foot into our current world might be shocked to see that recreational and medical marijuana usage has been legalized in so many areas of the world. But even though there are so many states in our very own U.S.A., the Hoosier state is not on board quite yet. Although there have been some lenient changes in some Indianapolis jurisdictions, namely Marion County, marijuana usage, possession, horticulture, distribution, and trafficking are all illegal. This means they also come with strict penalties that will reside within your permanent record, forever.

Continue below to learn the Indiana penalties for marijuana charges, and what you need to do to protect your rights after being arrested for a marijuana crime in Indianapolis.

Marijuana is Not Legal in Indianapolis, Nor Anywhere in Indiana.

The Possible Consequences of Violating Marijuana Laws in Indiana

Whether you call it weed, cannabis, pot, or ganja, marijuana is still illegal here in Indiana. If you are caught in possession or weed, or caught using, dealing, growing, or trafficking, you could face a wide scope of penalties, both on a state and federal level. Even juveniles under the age of 18 will be subjected to legal penalties if arrested or charged with marijuana. From joints, blunts, and pipes, to vape pens, edibles, and more, all forms of marijuana are illegal in our state. Furthermore, it is illegal to buy marijuana in Illinois, Chicago, or other state that has legalized recreational use, and bring it back to Indiana. The only exception to the Indiana marijuana rule is that very recently, Marion County granted legal leniency for minor marijuana offenses.

Common Marijuana Offenses include Possession, Possession w/Intent to Distribute, Manufacturing, and Trafficking / Dealing

Defendants Can Be Penalized Further if:

► Manufacturing Marijuana
► Priors for Dealing Drugs
► Dealing to a Minor
► Dealing to Someone 3 Years One’s Junior
► Possession of Firearm
► Crime Took Place in a Drug-Free Zone
► Crime Took Place in the Presence of Children
► Crime Took Place in on School Grounds or Within 500 Feet
► Crime Took Place in on or Within 500 Feet of a Park or School Bus

How Indiana Penalizes Marijuana Crimes:

►► Under 30 Grams: Class A Misdemeanor – Up to 1 Year in Jail – Up to $5,000 in Fines

►► Over 30 Grams: Level 6 Felony – Up to 3 Years in Prison – Up to $10,000 in Fines

Where to Find Aggressive Criminal Defense for Marijuana Charges in Indiana

Call the Law Office of David E. Lewis at 317-636-7514 to learn how you can beat your Indiana marijuana charges with aggressive defense. Attorney David E. Lewis is your solution to reducing your sentence, and protecting your freedom. Our Indianapolis criminal defense law firm offers free initial consultations, so you do not have to pay anything to simply talk to a lawyer and get advice on how to approach your charges. Call 317-636-7514 to schedule your online, over-the-phone, or in-office appointment, today.

Indianapolis Criminal Defense 317-636-7514
Schedule a Free Consultation Today!
Posted in Criminal Defense, Criminal Law, Drug Crimes, Marijuana | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on Is Marijuana Legal in Indiana Yet?

Call Attorney David E. Lewis and Start the New Year With a Clean Criminal Record

See if you qualify for Indiana criminal record expungement in 2021 by calling the Law Office of David E. Lewis Today! Act fast, before this law is repealed and your chance at a better future is lost forever!

Don’t Let the Choices of Your Past Hold You Down in 2021. Take Back Control of Your Life With Indiana’s Second Chance Law.

How to Expunge Criminal Records in 2021

Better job opportunities, better education, better housing, and more are all cases in which a poor criminal history can affect your quality of life. But that does not have to be your life this year! You might finally qualify for criminal record expungement in Indiana! Attorney David E. Lewis is your solution to cleaning up an inaccurate or long-past criminal record that has been holding you back ever since your initial arrest in Indiana.

Attorney David E. Lewis Will Ensure Your Petition is Filed Correctly

Attorney David E. Lewis is an aggressive criminal defense lawyer that offers professional assistance and counseling for those who wish to petition for criminal record expungement and record sealing in Indiana. The petitioning process is tedious and complex, so mistakes are common and simple to make. But you can only apply once in your life and one little mistake will get your application denied. He is your best chance at filing correctly so that you are not denied based on a simple clerical error or missed deadline.

Don’t Qualify Yet? Well You Might Next Year in 2022 or the Year After!

In the case that you do not qualify for criminal record expungement this year, there is no need to worry! You may still qualify to have your criminal and arrest records sealed instead of expunged. Or, you may just have to wait another year or two. It all depends on several eligibility factors. If you are unclear of the difference, then you are the same as thousands of fellow Hoosiers! Simply talk to Attorney David E. Lewis about your options for cleaning up your criminal record, and get started on a path towards opportunity and happiness!

Common Criminal Record Expungement Qualification Factors Include:

► Type of Arrest, Charge, or Conviction
► Severity of Conviction
► Time Passed Since Date of Arrest
► Your Current or Pending Legal Matters
► The Accuracy of Your Petition
► And More

Schedule a Free Criminal Record Expungement Consultation TODAY

Call David E. Lewis, Attorney at Law at 317-636-7514 to learn more about expunging or appealing your arrest records in Indiana. He is prepared to help you get the fresh start in life that you deserve! Best of all, his services start as low as $850, so you can afford to clean up your record just as much as the next guy. Call 317-636-7514 to schedule a free initial consultation, today.

Indianapolis Criminal Defense 317-636-7514
Schedule a Free Consultation Today!
Posted in Criminal Defense, Criminal Law | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Call Attorney David E. Lewis and Start the New Year With a Clean Criminal Record

Does Someone Need Proof to Issue a Restraining Order Against Me?

Have you recently had some toxic relationship troubles? Or perhaps a person at work feels threatened by you? Maybe a family reunion over the holidays went bad at some point in the celebratory revelries? Regardless of the circumstances that got you here, facing a restraining order is not something anyone wants to deal with. Unfortunately, just about anyone can petition for a protective order against another person, so long as they have valid justification to do so. But what makes a restraining order request valid in the eyes of the law? Or at least the presiding judge?

Continue reading to learn more about restraining orders, including what is needed to officially put one into motion, and what to do if you violate one.

Indiana Restraining Order Violation Attorney
Indiana Restraining Order Violation Attorney 317-636-7514

Restraining Orders are Court-Ordered Documents

A restraining order is a court-ordered document that legally mandates a defendant (the person the order is against) to stay a specified distance away from the plaintiff (the person filing the order). In most cases, such orders are issued in situations of domestic violence or stalkers. However, they are often issued in legal matters regarding bullying, harassment, provocation, voyeurism, and similar threatening behaviors. It is against the law for a person named in a restraining order to violate any of the terms decreed.

The Process of Filing for a Restraining Order

The process of filing a restraining order is very similar to any other type of court filing process. You would go to the local courthouse, fill out the proper documents given to you by the clerk, and submit the paperwork as instructed. From there, a hearing will be scheduled in which you and the person named in the restraining order will be mandated to appear.

After delivering the facts of the case, the judge will decide if you have provided valid facts that justify granting you a restraining order against the defendant. At this same hearing, the defendant will also have the opportunity to tell their side of the story. If you are the one named in the order, it is vital to have a criminal defense lawyer represent you at this hearing.

Types of Proof

The person filing for a restraining order holds the burden of proving that they are indeed in some form of danger. They must provide facts to the judge that show the defendant is threatening and unwilling to stay away at the plaintiff’s repeated requests. Such proof might include text messages, emails, witness statements, photographs, surveillance video, police reports, and medical records. Word of mouth is not enough to convince a judge to grant a restraining order against a person.

Temporary Restraining Order (TRO)

A temporary restraining order (TRO) is basically the same thing as a standard restraining order, with the only real difference being time. Standard restraining orders, once granted, are kept active until the filer drops the order of protection. Temporary restraining orders are short-term, and only remain in effect for 15 to 20 days. They are mostly used in situations of domestic violence, as well as victims of verbal, emotional, and mental abuse.

Protective Orders Vs. Restraining Orders

Protective order is just another term for restraining order. The exact term used in court proceedings varies among jurisdictions, but they do mean the same thing. Here in Indiana, we use the term, protective order.

What to Do if You Violate a Protective Order in Indiana

Call the Law Office of David E. Lewis at 317-636-7514 to learn how to protect yourself after violating a restraining order in Indianapolis, Indiana. Attorney David E. Lewis offers free initial consultations, so you do not have to pay anything to simply talk to a lawyer and get advice on how to approach your potential or pending charges. Call 317-636-7514 to schedule your online, over-the-phone, or in-office appointment, today.

Indianapolis Criminal Defense 317-636-7514
Schedule a Free Consultation Today!
Posted in Assault and Battery, Criminal Defense, Criminal Law, Misdemeanor Charges | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Does Someone Need Proof to Issue a Restraining Order Against Me?

How are Federal Laws Different From State Laws?

If you were recently arrested in Indiana, you could be facing either misdemeanor or felony charges. At a basic level, misdemeanors are charges brought against you at a state level, while felonies are charges brought against you on a federal level. How are these two levels of laws different from one another? Continue reading to learn more about federal and state law, and what you should do if you are facing charges in Indiana right now.

FEDERAL CRIMES

VS.

STATE CRIMES

Federal Laws Versus State Laws

Federal Crimes

Felonies are federal crimes that are illegal under federal law. Crimes committed on federal property are also made illegal under federal law. There are several types of federal-level offenses. Some of the most common examples of felony crimes here in Indiana include white collar crimes like tax fraud, bank fraud, embezzlement, and counterfeiting, as well as other types of serious crimes like grand theft auto, sexual assault, kidnapping, armed robbery, firearm crimes, civil rights offenses, and of course, murder.

LEVELS OF FELONIES IN INDIANA:

Murder – Most Serious
Level 1 Felony
Level 2 Felony
Level 3 Felony
Level 4 Felony
Level 5 Felony
Level 6 Felony – Least Serious

Misdemeanor Crimes

Misdemeanors and infractions are state crimes that are illegal under state law. Like federal offenses, there are many types of misdemeanor and low-level crimes that are illegal under state and local laws. Both residents and visitors of the state are vulnerable to prosecution, including businesses and franchised businesses. The most prevalent misdemeanor crimes committed in Indiana include DUI’s, drugged driving, assault and battery, theft, drug crimes, burglary, disorderly conduct, probation violation, public intoxication, disturbing the peace, and traffic infractions.

Misdemeanor crimes are categorized into three “Classes” based on the seriousness of the crime: Class A, Class B, and Class C. They are punishable by up to 1 year in an Indiana Department of Corrections facility, fines up to $5,000 (not including court costs and probation fees), and several other penalties which include: suspended drivers’ license, probation, routine urine screening, community service, alcohol/drug education, victim impact panels, high risk auto insurance, and more.

Aggressive Criminal Defense for Felony and Misdemeanor Arrests in Indiana

Call the Law Office of David E. Lewis at 317-636-7514 to schedule a free initial consultation with aggressive Indiana criminal defense attorney who will stop at nothing to protect your rights and preserve your freedoms. With decades of hands-on experience, you can trust Attorney David E. Lewis to build you a strong and impactful defense against your Indiana criminal charges.

Indianapolis Criminal Defense 317-636-7514
Schedule a Free Consultation Today!
Posted in Criminal Defense, Criminal Law | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on How are Federal Laws Different From State Laws?

Will I Be Arrested for Writing a Bad Check?

When a person writes a check and presents it to a bank or merchant, and does so knowing that their bank account cannot cover it, they are committing a crime called check fraud. Passing a bad check can be defended in court by claiming “you did not know” if the state cannot prove intent. This is because passing a bad check is sometimes unintentional, and rather, a result of poor or irresponsible banking practice. On the other hand, there are countless cases of intentional check fraud, ranging from petty to white collar.

What happens to a person who knowingly writes a bad check? Continue reading to find out.

Indiana Bank Fraud Lawyer
Indiana Bank Fraud Lawyer 317-636-7514

Intentional and Knowing

In order for a person to be convicted of check fraud, the state must prove that the defendant wrote and submitted the check knowing that there was not enough money in the account to cover the amount. This court standard is called “intentional and knowing”, and it is the primary element to every check fraud case. If a person is simply bad at balancing their check book, it is possible that they did not knowingly write a bad check.

In this case, the state could not prove intent, so the court could not convict the defendant of check crime. However, the defendant can still be held liable in civil court for any bad checks written. In civil court, they can be ordered to pay restitution to the merchant that received the bad check. Not paying back restitution could lead to more lawsuits and poor credit scores.

What to Do if You Write a Bad Check

If you accidentally write a bad check, you must resolve the situation immediately in order to show you are not trying to defraud anyone. This means paying back the bank for any overdrafts and associated fees, or paying back the merchant who cashed the check. In these cases, time is of the essence, so be sure to act fast. Even a phone call to notify the merchant can help avoid criminal charges from being filed.

Intentional Check Fraud

If you intentionally wrote a bad check, it is not likely that the police will come knocking at your door to arrest you. Instead, the state will issue an arrest warrant and you will need to surrender to the jail and then post bail. If you are worried about being arrested or caught, you need to speak with a licensed criminal defense lawyer right away. They can help you develop a plan that best protects your rights and prevents the maximum penalties for your charges.

Here in Indiana, bank fraud is generally charged as a Level 6 Felony. This is punishable by up to 3 years in prison, up to $10,000 in fines, and several other court-ordered penalties.

How to Beat Your Indiana Bank Fraud Charges

Call David E. Lewis, Attorney at Law, at 317-636-7514 right away if you are facing criminal charges for bank fraud in Indiana. Our skilled criminal defense lawyers retain decades of trial and litigation experience in criminal law and will get to work the very same day you hire us. We will instantly begin investigating your case and building a powerful defense on your behalf. And if we must, we will take your case to trial if we have to, and challenge any evidence brought against you in an effort to obtain the most favorable resolution possible. Schedule a free consultation to discuss your legal options today.

Indianapolis Criminal Defense 317-636-7514
Schedule a Free Consultation Today!
Posted in Criminal Defense, Criminal Law, Fraud Crime Charges | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on Will I Be Arrested for Writing a Bad Check?

Can I Be Arrested for Prank Calling?

Most Americans have gleeful childhood memories of prank calling neighbors and friends during sleep overs. But have you ever thought about how this seemingly innocent practical joke can lead to real life legal troubles? Generally, children and adolescents who make prank calls are not likely to get in trouble with the law. However, there are some forms of prank calling that could be considered illegal. Whether as a concerned teen who thinks they took a call too far, or a parent who knows their kids enjoy this common, juvenile pastime, it important to be knowledgeable on all possible consequences.

Continue reading to learn when prank calling crosses the line, and can get you or your child arrested or indicted on criminal charges.

Indiana Disorderly Conduct Lawyer
Indiana Disorderly Conduct Lawyer 317-636-7514

When Prank Calling Goes Too Far

Prank calling, as mentioned, is a common and generally innocent juvenile pastime. In most cases, such calls are perfectly harmless, and in worse case scenarios, really only cause frustration and confusion on the other end of the connection. But there are times when certain types of calling can cross the line into illegal activity. In the case of going too far or crossing the line, the potential types of crimes a prank caller could be charged with include harassment, disorderly conduct, hate crimes, or wiretapping.

Possible Prank Call Criminal Charges

Harassment – The crime of harassment sits on a wide spectrum. When it comes to prank calling specifically, the act can turn into harassment if the calls are persistent, such as consecutive calls in a short period of time or calling every day. They can also be considered harassing if a prank caller is repeatedly calling to make threats.

Disordering Conduct – Many states, including Indiana, consider making abusive, threatening, or offensive language a form of disorderly conduct, which is an illegal act. Being verbally abusive on a prank call can be against the law, and lead to the arrest of a prank caller if the person being pranked feels threatened or suffers damages like mental trauma or anxiety attacks.

Hate Crimes – When prank calling is about abusing a person or family based on their gender, race, ethnicity, religious beliefs, vocation, sexual orientation, or any other characteristic of their life, it can be deemed a hate crime. Hate crimes are illegal, and will be investigated and penalized according to law.

Wiretapping – If a prank caller records the conversation without the person’s consent, it can be considered wiretapping. Many states decree wiretapping as against the law, so if caught, a prank caller could face legal penalties, whether the person called presses charges or not.

Where to Get Criminal Defense for Your Harassment Charges in Indiana

Call the Law Office of David E. Lewis at 317-636-7514 to schedule a free initial consultation with aggressive criminal defense lawyer who will stop at nothing to protect your rights and preserve your freedoms after being charged with harassment or disorderly conduct in Indiana. With decades of hands-on experience, you can trust Attorney David E. Lewis to build you a strong and impactful defense against your Indiana criminal charges.

Indianapolis Criminal Defense 317-636-7514
Schedule a Free Consultation Today!
Posted in Criminal Defense, Criminal Law, Disorderly Conduct, Juvenile Crimes, Misdemeanor Charges | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on Can I Be Arrested for Prank Calling?

4 Reasons to Fire Your Lawyer and Hire a New One

There are thousands of reasons why a client may want to fire their current lawyer and hire a new one. Of these countless reasons, there are 4 in particular that may indicate you are being poorly represented. Continue reading to learn what to examine when deciding whether or not your lawyer is meeting your legal needs.

Indiana Criminal Defense Law Firm
Indiana Criminal Defense Law Firm 317-636-7514

Thinking About Dropping Your Lawyer? Here are 4 Good Reasons You Should:

Your Lawyer is Unprofessional.

There are many signs that indicate a lack of professionalism, from being on time and neatly dressed, to behaving in a respectful and dignified manner. More importantly, if your lawyer is seemingly disorganized, not properly preparing for court hearings, wasting time in meetings, mishandling your funds, losing important documents, and similar behaviors, it may be time to end that relationship and move onto more professional representation.

Your Lawyer Does Not Communicate.

Communication is the key factor between an attorney and their client. Without proper communication, it is very challenging to resolve matters and issues. If your lawyer is not returning your repeated phone calls and emails, or ignoring your questions and requests, it could be a cause for concern. When you feel like you are working too hard to get in touch, or begging for information, your lawyer may not the best fit for your case.

Your Lawyer Lacks Sufficient Knowledge of the Law

If it seems like your lawyer does not understand your case, or is having trouble grasping the laws surrounding your case, it is never a good sign. Experience and expertise are top qualities to look for in an attorney; after all, you have hired them because they know the law and you do not. Whether your lawyer is deviating outside of his actual area of expertise, or they are simply fresh out of law school, your best move is to find a seasoned Indianapolis attorney to represent your case.

You Have Opposing Views on How to Handle Your Case

There are many ways you and your lawyer might disagree on how to handle your case. Although there is nothing out of the ordinary for a lawyer to encourage a client to settle for less than they actually want (or lower than originally thought possible), if your lawyer is trying to force you into a plea deal, this is a bad sign. Your lawyer’s job is to constantly reassess your case and recommend options that are in your best interest. If this is not happening, you may need to find a new lawyer.

Where to Get Trusted Criminal Defense in Indiana

Call the Law Office of David E. Lewis at 317-636-7514 to schedule a free initial consultation with aggressive Indianapolis criminal defense lawyer. Attorney David E. Lewis will stop at nothing to ensure you are not sentenced to the maximum penalties when facing any level or number of criminal charges. With decades of hands-on experience, you can trust our law firm to build you a strong and impactful defense against your Indiana criminal charges.

Indianapolis Criminal Defense 317-636-7514
Schedule a Free Consultation Today!
Posted in Criminal Defense, Criminal Law, Felony Charges, Misdemeanor Charges | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on 4 Reasons to Fire Your Lawyer and Hire a New One

What Does a Lawyer Do at a Preliminary Hearing?

When a person is arrested, the first court hearing they will have regarding their charges is called an arraignment, or first appearance. This hearing is usually held within 24 to 48 hours of the arrest, and generally takes place while the defendant is still detained in jail. The purpose of an arraignment is for a judge to explain the criminal charges to the defendant, allow the defendant to plea if they choose to, determine if they are eligible for bail or not, and assign a public defender to their case if they have not already hired a lawyer by this time. Once the defendant is bailed out of jail, another hearing is scheduled, which is often confused with arraignments. This following hearing is called an initial hearing, or preliminary hearing.

Continue reading to learn more about the facts surrounding preliminary hearings, including a defense lawyer’s role in it all.

Indianapolis Indiana Criminal Defense Lawyer
Indianapolis Indiana Criminal Defense Law Firm 317-636-7514

What to Expect at a Preliminary Hearing

A preliminary hearing is typically scheduled within 20 to 30 days of an arrest, and only lasts a couple of hours. It takes place in an open court with a judge, prosecuting attorney, and the defendant’s attorney in attendance. During this hearing, a judge determines whether or not the Prosecutor has enough probable cause to move forward with the criminal charges against a defendant. More or less, a preliminary hearing is an opportunity for the prosecution’s charges to be judicially reviewed and confirmed valid by the magistrate assigned to the case.

So, if this hearing is all about the prosecutor and judge, what does a criminal defense attorney do during this time? The answer is incredibly vital to the outcome of a defendant’s rights, freedoms, and future.

A Criminal Lawyer’s Role at an Initial Hearing

At the preliminary hearing, a criminal defense lawyer is already prepared to fight their client’s criminal charges. By this hearing, they have developed a strong and impactful case (if the defendant has hired a good lawyer, that is) that aims to dismiss, reduce, or further analyze a defendant’s charges prior to going to trial. They make sure that any charges brought against their client are not inadmissible, illegal, or without sufficient probable cause. During a preliminary hearing, a criminal defense lawyer will also work their professional magic by cross-examining witnesses, presenting their own evidence to refute the prosecution’s allegations, and set forth any relevant motions.

Preliminary hearings protect defendants from unjustified, false, or impractical charges by the prosecution. Without a private criminal defense lawyer working your case, you will not get the best possible outcome at your preliminary hearing.

A public defender simply cannot put in the time, attention, and effort into your criminal case like a private attorney can. Their case loads are too massive, and they have handfuls of cases they deal with in court each and every day. When it comes to serious criminal charges that can impact the rest of your life, and your family’s life, you want to hire an attorney, rather than be appointed one by the courts. The cost of a lawyer is worth avoiding jail time, and/or the maximum sentence for your criminal charges.

Indianapolis Indiana Criminal Defense You Can Truly Afford

Call the Law Office of David E. Lewis at 317-636-7514 to schedule a free initial consultation with aggressive Indiana criminal defense lawyer who will stop at nothing to protect your rights and preserve your freedoms. With decades of hands-on experience, you can trust Attorney David E. Lewis to build you a strong and impactful defense against your Indiana criminal charges.

Indianapolis Criminal Defense 317-636-7514
Schedule a Free Consultation Today!
Posted in Criminal Defense, Criminal Law | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on What Does a Lawyer Do at a Preliminary Hearing?