Missouri Criminal Defense Overview
No one expects criminal charges, and when they come you have to put on a brave face. One of the most stressful aspects is often not understanding Missouri’s criminal process. After being arrested and hauled into court, it may feel as if you’ve already been convicted. However, no case is “open and shut”. Missouri criminal laws are complex and it is imperative to have an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side. Below is an overview of the criminal process in Missouri.
- Investigations, Interrogations, and Arrests: If they police are investigating you for a criminal offense, it is in your best interest to get an attorney involved. Often times, an attorney can speak directly with the investigating officer in order to stop further harassment from the police.
- Posting Bond: If the State has filed charges against you, a summons or a warrant with a bond will be issued. If you can’t afford your bond, we can file a motion for bond reduction to make your bond more affordable.
- Preliminary Hearings and Grand Juries: In Missouri, all felony cases require a judge or grand jury to make a finding of probable cause before the case can proceed further. Preliminary hearings can be a crucial stage in a felony case, because it gives the attorney an opportunity to cross examine the State’s witnesses prior to trial.
- Pre-Trial Motions: In many cases, there may be legal issues with the state’s case that need to be taken up before trial. For instance, if the police illegally searched you, an attorney can file a motion to suppress the illegally obtained evidence. Often times, this can result in the state being forced to dismiss the case.
- Plea Bargaining: If you decide that it’s in your best interest to work out a deal rather than to take your chances at trial, we can fight to ensure you receive the best deal possible. An attorney can use your personal history, weaknesses in the State’s case, and your conduct since being charged to persuade the prosecutor or judge to agree to a lower sentence.
- Trial: If you decide to proceed to trial, the State will have the burden of proving your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt to a jury. Prior to trial we conduct an extensive investigation into all aspects of the case. Often times, what may seem to be a minor mistake by the police can be used to create reasonable doubt.
- Probation Revocations: If you received probation, you will be placed under the supervision of a probation officer. The court and your probation officer can impose conditions on your probation. If you fail to meet, these conditions the court can violate your probation. However, in many cases, there may be legitimate reasons why you were not able to comply with the conditions of probations. An experienced attorney, can help paint a fuller picture of your situation in order to help you avoid revocation.