Frequently Asked Criminal Defense Questions
After being arrested and charged with a crime, you are likely frightened, overwhelmed, and have a number of questions. Our talented team at Okabe & Haushalter has provided aggressive advocacy for countless clients, and we would be proud to defend your case. We have fought for our clients' freedoms in a variety of cases, and challenged all different kinds of charges, from drunk driving to
drug crimes to
child pornography cases. If you enlist our firm, you can be confident that you will receive the exceptional legal counsel and relentless defense you deserve. Below are answers to some the questions most commonly asked by those facing criminal charges. For more information or to discuss your unique situation, please call our firm at your earliest convenience!
I've been arrested; should I talk to the police?
If you are placed in custody, it is very important that exercise your right to remain silent and do not answer any questions or given any verbal or written statements regarding the circumstances of your arrest. You should simply tell the officers or investigators that you want an attorney present before you will speak. It is crucial to retain the skilled representation of a knowledgeable attorney who can help protect you from making any self-incriminating statements and explain your legal options and the charges made against you.
My child has been charged with a crime- will they go to jail?
It is very frightening to watch helplessly as your child is taken into custody and accused of a crime, but you should be aware of the juvenile court process. Unlike an adult's criminal process, your minor's case will be heard and decided by a family court judge, not a jury. It is important to have a powerful defense attorney on your child's side who can challenge the prosecution's evidence and cross-examine witnesses, and to advocate for your child's freedoms. The juvenile system is typically more interested in rehabilitation than punishment and incarceration, and your lawyer can implore the judge to lessen your child's possible penalties and protect their future opportunities.
What is the difference between jail and prison?
Jails are typically run by the county's sheriff department, and are most often used for temporary holdings, shorter sentences, and less serious offenses. Prisons are either state or federally run, and usually hold inmates facing very long sentences and who are convicted of very serious criminal offenses. While jail sentences rarely exceed one or two years, prison sentences can last for any length of time.
I was not read my Miranda Rights. Does this matter?
The arresting officer's failure to read your Miranda Rights is incredibly significant. Law enforcement officers have a legal responsibility to advise you of your rights upon arrest, including your right to remain silent and your right to have an attorney. If the officer fails to read your rights, anything you say to the officer or investigators may become inadmissible in the court.
I was convicted of a crime. Is there anything I can do?
If you believe you were unlawfully charged or you did not receive a fair trial, an attorney can help you file an appeal with the appellate court. The appeals court reviews trials and the judicial actions to determine whether any legal errors were made that substantially affected the outcome of the cases. If they find such serious mistakes were made, they may decide to overturn the lower court's ruling.
Why do I need a private attorney if I can have a public defender?
Public defenders are available for defendants who cannot afford to hire a lawyer of their own. A public defender should not be used unless you truly cannot afford to enlist a private defense attorney for your case. Public defenders most often carry more cases than they can handle, and many are unable to give defendants the personalized attention and detailed preparation they need and deserve.