Springdale, AR Criminal Defense Lawyer
Often, when people are charged with a crime, they are frightened and do not know what to do. The Arkansas criminal justice system can be confusing and scary, especially if this is your first time facing charges. However, it would be a mistake not to take criminal charges filed against you seriously. If convicted, such charges can lead to severe penalties and a criminal record that will impact you for the rest of your life.
A skilled Springdale, AR criminal defense lawyer like those at Gunn Kieklak Dennis LLP can use their years of experience fighting cases like yours to help you get your charges downgraded or even dismissed. Every case is different and requires unique attention and considerations, and our lawyers will look at you as a person, not just a file to be closed. Call us today at (479) 717-9068 to speak with us about your case.
How the Criminal Arrest Process Works in Springdale, AR
There are two ways you can be placed under arrest in Arkansas. The first is if a police officer personally witnesses you commit a crime, or, in the case of all felonies and some misdemeanors, if they have a reasonable suspicion based on witness statements and other facts that you are the person who committed the crime. In these cases, you can be arrested on the spot without an arrest warrant.
More commonly, an investigation will be conducted into the commission of a crime and when the police believe they have gathered enough evidence to implicate someone, a warrant for their arrest will be issued. After you are arrested, you should not answer any of the police officers’ questions without an attorney present. Even if the police request an interview with you before making an arrest, you have the right to have a lawyer present for that interview and should exercise that right.
Two court hearings will occur after you have been arrested: an arraignment and a pretrial release inquiry. At the arraignment, the judge will read you a list of your rights, explain the charges that have been filed against you, and then ask how you would like to plead. An experienced criminal defense attorney like those at our firm would likely advise you to plead not guilty at this point so that they can collect evidence and attempt to negotiate a deal for you.
At a pretrial release hearing, a judge will decide whether you will be released or held in detention for the duration of the criminal proceedings against you. The judge may release you on bail if you can put up the required cash or assets. Factors a judge takes into consideration when determining the amount of bail include your criminal history, ties to the community, and the severity of the crime alleged.
How the Criminal Trial Process Works in Springdale, AR
Before you decide to go to trial, your attorney will have a chance to attempt to negotiate a plea deal for you with the prosecutor. A plea deal can involve the charges being dropped in exchange for you doing community service or entering into some sort of program, the charges being reduced, or the prosecutor promising to recommend a lesser sentence in exchange for you foregoing you right to a trial. While the prosecutor and your defense lawyer negotiate, there will be periodic check-ins with the court known as omnibus hearings or pretrial hearings to ensure that the case is proceeding in a timely manner and that the lawyers are cooperating.
If no deal is reached, the case will proceed to trial. There are two types of trials: jury trials and trials before a judge. In Arkansas, a criminal defendant has the right to choose between the two. No matter which type of trial you choose, your lawyer and the prosecutor will each get a chance to introduce witnesses and evidence and present their side of the case. At the end of a trial before a judge, the judge will render a verdict. At the end of a jury trial, the jury will vote on whether to acquit or convict you. If they cannot reach a unanimous verdict, the judge will declare a mistrial.
A separate sentencing hearing will be held if you are convicted of the crime. Here, the judge will hand down your sentence. Your lawyer can help make a case for why your sentence and penalties should be less severe.
Types of Springdale, Arkansas Criminal Cases We Handle
Arkansas criminal charges are classified as either misdemeanors or felonies, with felonies being the more serious type of charges. Some types of crimes can be classified as either a felony or a misdemeanor depending on particular factors like the amount of forced used, the value of stolen property, or whether or not you have previously been convicted of a crime.
At Gunn Kieklak Dennis LLP, our team has many years of experience in the courts of Springdale and the surrounding areas fighting a variety of charges on behalf of our clients. The following are just some of the charges that we have successfully defended clients against:
- Other Sex Crimes
- Reckless Driving
- Disorderly Conduct
- Conspiracy and Attempted Crimes
Call Today to Speak with Our Springdale, AR Criminal Defense Lawyers
Your future is too important to leave things up to chance when it comes to criminal charges filed against you. You need an aggressive advocate fighting to make sure that your case is handled properly and that the charges brought against you are resolved in the most positive manner possible. Our team of Springdale, AR criminal defense attorneys at Gunn Kieklak Dennis LLP understand how difficult and disorienting facing criminal charges can be. We will be there every step of the way to answer any questions you may have and to work to get the charges against you dismissed or downgraded. If you or a loved one are facing criminal charges, don’t delay. Call us today at (479) 717-9068 to schedule a legal consultation.