Criminal Law FAQ's
Q: I've been charged with a DUI. Will I go to jail?
A: It depends. Jail is a component of all DUI charges, whether a defendant will go to jail depends on many factors; is this a 1st offense, were there any accidents or injuries, were there any children in the car, what was the BAC level? In some cases there are defenses to the DUI charge and, depending on the facts of the case, DUI charges can get dismissed. If you qualify for a first offenders program you will not serve jail time. An experienced DUI attorney can help assure that you do not spend any time behind bars.
Q: I received a citation for a traffic violation. Should I plead guilty or not guilty?
A: Not guilty. In most cases, you do not gain anything by pleading guilty right away. Meet with an experience criminal lawyer to see if you have a good defense for your case or if there is an opportunity to have your violation changed to something that is less damaging to your driving record and you wallet. If you receive a traffic violation, meet with a criminal attorney with experience in traffic violations immediately.
Q: I hear people talk about getting ARD or ASP after getting charged with a crime? What are they and who qualifies?
A: ARD and ASP are first and second offender programs for DUI and certain criminal charges. If you are charged with a DUI or a crime you will at least want to consider your options which would include trying to gain entry into an ARD or ASP program. A criminal defense attorney can offer you counsel and examine all of your options. Meet with a criminal defense lawyer to see if ARD or ASP would help you.
Q: Can I get my record expunged?
A: In certain cases, yes. Expungement means the record of your charges is destroyed and if anyone searches your record, expungment removes it from the public eye. Many cases can be expunged and, in some cases, a pardon may be a viable option. Contact a criminal attorney to explore these options.
Q: If I am charged for a crime and go to jail, will I have to post bail?
A: If you do not wish to stay in prison while your case is pending, you will have to post bail. A criminal defense lawyer can represent you in arguing for a realistic bail and helping you remain free while preparing a defense for your case.
Q: If I am charged with a crime, when should I hire a defense attorney?
A: Immediatly. There is no benefit in waiting to hire a criminal defense attorney. From the minute you encounter an officer of the law and forward, everything you do or say can be used against you, and it will be used against you. If you have been charged with a crime or believe you will be charged with a crime, consult with and retain a criminal lawyer immediately.
Q: I got a DUI, will I lose my driver's license? If so, when must I surrender it?
A: If you are charged with a DUI, there is most likely a driver's license suspension. Whether there is a suspension and how long the suspension is depends on a number of factors including your BAC, whether you qualify for a first offender program and the actions taken by your criminal defense attorney.