CRIMINAL LAW – PROTECTING YOUR RIGHTS AND FUTURE
How Can I Help? State prosecutors have the authority to determine the level of charges in each individual case (i.e., misdemeanor or felony) and indeed whether or not charges will be filed at all. This is where I come in. Having an experienced, aggressive and highly skilled defense attorney can give you outstanding results. By intervening early in the criminal process to prevent cases from being filed or prosecuted, or by influencing the seriousness of the charges filed you achieve a more favorable disposition. If the matter does proceed to trial, as your attorney I will, as they always do, obtain the best possible outcome for my clients. Arraignments , Bond Hearings , DUI , Traffic Infractions , Domestic Violence , Theft , Assault , Battery , Drug Offenses , Probation Violations ,and Sentence Modifications , are just a few of the criminal law areas where I can represent you. No one accused or charged with a crime should ever make a confession or statement or agree to have their residence or possessions searched, or submit to a lie detector test or voice stress analysis test without first contacting an attorney. Any and all statements or evidence obtained following a voluntary statement or voluntary consent to a search will be admissible in court and used against you. Often times, the police will explain that your cooperation is necessary to help you, that is, to help them to help prove your innocence to the charge. It is important to remember that at all stages of the criminal process, you, as a person charged with a crime, do not have to prove your innocence. If the police are asking for your help, that may be an indication that they do not have enough reliable information to charge or convict you of the crime. Once charged or arrested, you are entitled to the protections guaranteed to you by the United States and Missouri Constitutions. Most important of these rights are the “ Miranda Rights ” , which guarantee an arrested person the right to remain silent in response to police interrogation, the right to know that anything you say can be used against you in court, the right to stop answering questions at any time, and the right to consult with an attorney prior to police questioning. This right (representation by an attorney) attaches at the time that you have become the focus of police investigation and may or may not require that you are in actual police custody. The failure of the police to advise you of your Miranda rights may prevent law enforcement from using your statements against you in the prosecution of your case. However, it is important to remember that any voluntary statement made, that is, volunteered statements not made in response to police questioning, may still be used against you in some circumstances. Before speaking with the police or cooperating in any way, it is recommended that you speak to a qualified attorney so as to not jeopardize your case. Maters I defend State vs. Federal ? What’s What? Federal Crimes If one is arrested by federal authorities and taken to a federal detention center, the likelihood is that the case will be handled in federal court. There are numerous types of offenses that fall under the category of “Federal Crimes”, which include: Smuggling Controlled Substances Internet Crimes Large Quantity Narcotic Conspiracy Cases Bank Robbery and Bank Fraud Pornography Cases Mail Fraud/Theft from the Mail Bribery of Public Officials Crimes Committed on Federal Land Interstate Crimes Violations of Civil Rights In federal court, both the United States Code and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines aid the judge in determining your sentence. Under the Guidelines, a federal judge may sentence you according to a formula, which is a combination of the offense of conviction and the defendant’s criminal history. Once the defendant is convicted and the prior record is determined, the judge uses a chart to determine the sentence that must be imposed. Since there are only a few ways to get a downward departure from sentencing guidelines, it is imperative that you are represented by an attorney who is thoroughly familiar with federal court procedures. State Crimes If you have been arrested or are under investigation by a local police department, you will most likely be prosecuted in a State court. State crimes are violations of State and local statutes or ordinances. They are prosecuted in either Municipal or Circuit Courts in the county in which the charges are filed, by either City Attorneys or Circuit Attorneys. Typical examples of State crimes include: Murder Embezzlement Rape Child Abuse/Molestation Embezzlement Fraud Sex Crimes Drug Transportation Drug Sales/Distribution Domestic Violence Assault and Battery Robbery/Theft Controlled Substance Possession Under the Influence Before you speak to anyone about your case talk to an attorney first. It is critical that the attorney and defendant manage the details. Cases are won and lost in the details. If your have a criminal matter pending in the St. Louis metropolitan area contact Bryan S. Johnson and have the Johnson Law Offices work for you.