Something happened, and now you’re talking to the police and feel like you might be a suspect. Or maybe your vehicle was searched during a routine traffic stop, and now you’re facing criminal charges.
Whatever the situation, we believe everyone is entitled to a strong defense, and we work to provide every client with the right strategy for their situation and practical, effective counsel.
If you’re looking for a criminal defense law firm, our Las Vegas criminal lawyers can help. The attorneys at Benjamin Durham Law Firm are seasoned criminal defense attorneys and are prepared to help you defend yourself, from the initial plea all the way to trial if necessary.
What Happens When You Are Charged With a Crime?
Facing criminal charges is not pleasant, and it’s normal to be worried about what might happen and confused about the process. You should contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as you know you are suspected of a crime or have been arrested.
The sooner an attorney is involved in your case, the more they can help you. Below, we’ve provided an outline of the criminal justice process.
The Police Gather Evidence
To be someone to be charged with a crime, there has to be enough evidence. This doesn’t mean that the police need irrefutable evidence or that the case has to be airtight before an arrest can be made.
However, it does mean that the police can’t just arrest and detain you on charges before they have reasonable evidence.
This is a crucial timeline where it’s beneficial to have an attorney already if you’re aware of the investigation. Many people wait to hire an attorney until they are charged, but having a lawyer with you while the investigation is ongoing means that they can provide you with counsel on how to cooperate with the police and be with you when you are questioned.
You Are Formally Arrested
You will be formally arrested once the officers and prosecutors believe they have enough evidence to pursue the case through the courts. In some cases, you may turn yourself in instead of facing a public arrest.
A criminal defense attorney can often help facilitate the process of turning yourself in and sometimes help you arrange bail so that you don’t have to spend any time in jail waiting for your hearing date.
You Enter a Plea
After your arrest, the first step is to enter an initial plea. Most people plead not guilty at this stage, but it is possible to change your plea later if your attorney negotiates a deal. After you enter your plea, you will be given an initial hearing date.
This is to get the case onto the court docket and move it through the criminal justice system. Your attorney can help you understand how to prepare for your hearing. It’s important to note that hearings are often postponed – called a continuance – and your lawyer can let you know if this happens and what it means for your criminal case.
There May Be Negotiations on the Charge or Sentencing
Once you’ve been charged and entered a plea, plea negotiations happen. Your attorney must inform you of any plea deals the prosecutor offers so that you can be aware of your options and actively participate in your defense.
However, a plea isn’t always the right choice; sometimes, it’s not the right deal. Plea deals are negotiations that can go back and forth between the attorneys a few times before a deal works for both sides.
If you are interested in a plea deal, you can talk to your attorney about what would be a “good” deal. Your attorney can help you understand if that’s realistic and what the other options may be. If you decide to take a plea, you will enter that plea, and the judge usually agrees and moves the case forward. However, in rare instances, a judge may reject a plea deal. If you decide not to take a plea, the case moves to trial.
The Case Goes to Trial
During the trial, both sides will present their arguments and get a chance to oppose the other side’s argument. Trials can be before a judge if the defendant wishes or can be done before a full jury.
If you decide to go to trial, it’s important to have an attorney who is an experienced litigator with a strong track record of success at trial. It’s also important to prepare yourself mentally and emotionally for the long and arduous trial process.
How a Las Vegas Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help You
If you’ve ever watched a crime show on TV, you know that someone asking for a defense attorney stops all of the questioning and puts everything on hold.
While this isn’t exactly always the case in real life, you do have the right to have a criminal defense attorney.
Here are a few ways criminal lawyers help in criminal cases.
- Ensure You Understand Your Charges: Your criminal defense lawyer can go over the charges and explain them, including what they are, whether they are felony or misdemeanor charges, and what the degree means.
- Make Sure the Charges Are Legitimate: Criminal defense attorneys have extensive knowledge of these procedures. They can help identify issues in your case that may lead to the dismissal of charges or help you defend against the charges in a trial.
- Help You Understand Your Options: Good criminal defense attorneys will be able to explain all the options available, the pros and cons of each, and how they may or may not apply to your specific case. Your criminal defense strategy is one of the most – if not the most – important parts of your case, and it’s something that you will discuss at length with your attorney.
- Advocate for Your Rights and Interests: The courts are confusing, automatically putting defendants unfamiliar with the legal system at a disadvantage. A defense attorney safeguards your constitutional rights and ensures fair treatment throughout all legal proceedings.
All in all, your Nevada criminal defense lawyer is a critical ally throughout your case, and it’s important to remember that you work together as a team to get the best possible outcome for your specific situation and charges.
Types of Cases We Handle
At Benjamin Durham Law Firm, we are committed to protecting your rights and providing steadfast legal representation in various criminal cases in Las Vegas.
Our team of Las Vegas criminal lawyers understands the gravity of facing criminal charges and the potentially life-altering consequences they can bring. Here are some of the types of cases we handle.
Being charged with a drug crime can have severe consequences in Las Vegas. Our experienced criminal defense lawyers defend clients facing drug possession, distribution, manufacturing, and trafficking charges. We understand the complexities of drug crime laws and will work diligently to build a strong defense for your case.
DUI (Driving Under the Influence)
If you have been arrested for a DUI in Las Vegas, it is crucial to seek immediate legal representation. Our DUI defense attorneys deeply understand the state’s DUI laws and can challenge evidence, conduct thorough investigations, and negotiate with prosecutors to protect your driving privileges and minimize potential penalties.
A criminal record can have long-lasting negative effects on your personal and professional life. Our criminal defense lawyers can guide you through the record-sealing process, helping you to clear your criminal record and regain your privacy. We will handle the necessary paperwork and legal procedures to give you a fresh start.
Domestic violence charges can lead to significant legal and personal repercussions. Our criminal defense team takes these cases seriously and will provide you with a vigorous defense. We will analyze the evidence, interview witnesses, and protect your rights throughout the legal proceedings.
Assault charges, whether simple assault or aggravated assault, carry substantial penalties if convicted. Our skilled defense lawyers will examine every aspect of your case to develop an effective defense strategy. We are committed to safeguarding your rights and pursuing the best possible outcome for your assault case.
Theft crimes can tarnish your reputation and impact your prospects. Our criminal defense attorneys understand the intricacies of theft laws in Las Vegas and will fight to protect your rights. Whether you are accused of petty theft, shoplifting, burglary, or robbery, we will diligently work to achieve the best results for your case.
Even seemingly minor traffic offenses can accumulate points on your driving record and lead to license suspension or increased insurance rates. Our defense lawyers can help you contest traffic tickets and mitigate their consequences, enabling you to maintain a clean driving record.
Felony charges are the most serious offenses in Las Vegas, carrying severe penalties such as lengthy imprisonment and hefty fines. Our skilled felony defense lawyers have extensive experience handling complex felony cases and will tirelessly advocate for your rights and freedom.
Though considered less severe than felonies, misdemeanor charges can still have significant repercussions. Our criminal defense team is well-versed in handling misdemeanor cases, and we will work to secure the best possible outcome, whether through negotiation or trial.
No matter the type of criminal charge you are facing, our dedicated Las Vegas criminal defense lawyers are here to provide you with unwavering support and skillful representation throughout the legal process. We understand the importance of your freedom and will employ every legal avenue to achieve the best results for your case.
Why Choose Our Las Vegas Criminal Defense Lawyers
At Benjamin Durham Law Firm, we know that having an experienced criminal defense attorney representing you can make a big difference in your case. Our attorneys work to ensure that you have all of the information you need to be able to be a proactive and integral part of your defense tense. We advocate for your rights and interests, and we fight for your rights against the Clark County prosecution team.
When you choose our firm, you benefit from:
- 40+ years of combined legal experience
- Direct lawyer-client interaction, ensuring personalized attention to your case.
- A proven track record of successful outcomes for our clients.
- A strategic and aggressive defense to challenge the prosecution’s case.
- A client-centered approach, prioritizing your needs throughout the legal process.
Facing criminal charges is serious; having a defense attorney can make all the difference. We are here to stand by your side, advocate for your rights, and work tirelessly to achieve the best possible result for your case.
Contact Benjamin Durham Law Firm Today
If you are facing criminal charges, contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer at Benjamin Durham Law Firm. You can call our office to set up an appointment with our team, discuss your case, and find out how we can help you navigate the court system and protect your rights. Contact us now for a consultation.