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Why Should You Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney for a Misdemeanor?

If you’re facing a misdemeanor charge, you’re likely wondering if it would be worthwhile for you to hire a criminal defense lawyer to represent you or not. Many people make the decision to handle misdemeanor offenses without hiring an experienced attorney to be by their side, instead attempting to represent themselves in the courtroom or using the service of a public defender.

This isn’t something we would recommend, as having an attorney as your legal representation can play a huge role in the outcome of your case. In fact, an attorney could help lower your charges or even get them dropped altogether.

Representing Yourself in the Courtroom

The Sixth Amendment of the Constitution gives citizens the right to seek legal representation in all criminal cases. However, some jurisdictions actually allow a defendant to act as their own representation, instead of obtaining an experienced attorney. In order to do this, you would have to request the permission of the court and you’ll need to have a separate proceeding to present any knowledge that would make you qualified to take on this role.

In most cases, people are not able to prove they have the skills and understanding required to represent themselves in the courtroom. In this case, the court will require you to seek the aid of a public defender or another court-appointed attorney. If you do not qualify for either one of these, you will be forced to hire a private attorney on your own.

If a public defender or another attorney is appointed to you, you have no say in who takes on your case. You may wind up working with an attorney who is not the most experienced in criminal defense cases. For this reason, it’s preferred that you seek out legal representation on your own so you can be sure you have someone qualified to take on your case when you head to the courtroom.

Why a Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help

A skilled, qualified criminal defense attorney can easily make a difference in the outcome of your case. Although many people don’t take misdemeanor charges seriously, they absolutely should. Any kind of criminal charge can leave you facing jail time, exorbitant fines, and will ultimately blemish your public record.

A criminal defense attorney will be experienced after handling many cases and will have the knowledge of all the laws in your site. This will work in your favor in the courtroom because your attorney can put together a strong defense that could potentially keep you out of a jail cell. Don’t be fooled into thinking only felonies will leave you serving time. Regular misdemeanors in the state of Rhode Island can have you facing six months to one year in of imprisonment.

As mentioned above, a criminal charge will leave an unsightly blemish on your public record for anyone to discover. If you are applying to jobs, attempting to get a loan, or even trying to secure housing, misdemeanor charges will show up in a background search. A simple online search could reveal every arrest you’ve ever had and details of your battle in the courtroom. However, the help of a criminal defense attorney could prevent any misdemeanor from leaving you with a permanent record that could be damaging to you in the future.

Finding the Right Criminal Defense Attorney

The ideal criminal defense attorney to take on your misdemeanor charges is one who is experienced and knowledgeable. You want someone who has a history of taking on a variety of cases for clients and getting favorable results in the courtroom. You want someone who is knowledgeable about all the laws and will be able to put together a strong defense to represent you in the most effective way possible.

Having a confident and capable attorney by your side when your case heads to the courtroom will make all the difference. It might just be the thing that keeps you out of jail and prevents you from having to pay expensive fines and hindering your future opportunities.

Ken Barrett No Comments

What is an Insanity Defense in a Criminal Defense Case?

By now, you’ve probably heard about someone “pleading insanity” in a criminal defense case, but have you ever wondered what that actually means? With most states in the country having at least one version of an insanity defense, it often becomes even more confusing to figure out how it all works. To help you get a better understanding of exactly what an insanity defense is and what it means in a trial, we’re breaking it down for you.  Read more

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What Not to Do If You’re Arrested

There’s no doubt that being arrested for any kind of crime can be a very scary situation. Most likely, you aren’t sure what’s going to happen next or what you should even do at a time like this. The good news is, you don’t have to panic or feel intimidated by being in the police station, surrounded by officers. You can remain calm, cool, and collected and handle the situation in the best way possible. You just need to know what not to do if you’re arrested. Keep this advice in mind…  Read more

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What’s the Difference Between a DUI and a DWI?

You’ve likely heard of both a DUI and a DWI, but do you know the difference between the two? “DUI” is an acronym that stands for driving under the influence. “DWI” stands for driving while intoxicated or impaired. Many states use both of these terms and in some cases, a DWI will strictly refer to someone being intoxicated with alcohol, while a DUI refers to being under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Some states will use them the other way around. It really depends on the state you live in and how they choose to use each of the acronyms.

In the state of Rhode Island, both DUI and DWI are used interchangeably for drunk driving offenses. You may even come across the phrase, operating while impaired (OWI) used in Rhode Island as well. The use of the word “operating” is meant to cover more than just driving under the influence. It also means that someone can be charged even if the vehicle is stopped and not running. For the full scoop on the difference between a DUI and a DWI, we have some Rhode Island DWI/DUI facts for you.  Read more

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How Long Does it Take to Expunge a Case?

When you are arrested and charged with a crime, the details of the case are put online for all the world to see. A quick search online by anyone (e.g. family, friends, co-workers) will reveal any crime you have been charged with, as your public record is free for anyone to view. Having that information available to the public isn’t always a good thing. When you’re applying for a job or trying to get housing from a potential landlord, a background check will likely be conducted. All of this information will come up for them to see.  Read more

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How a DUI in College Could Affect Your Future

As a college student, you have a pretty full schedule ahead of you. You’re attending classes, studying, and possibly working off-campus so you can make enough money to put a dent in those student loans. As many college students do, you probably attend a few parties during the semester and ultimately have a few drinks. Many students turn to alcohol as a way to relieve the stress long hours of hitting the books can cause. If you’re of age, there’s nothing wrong with having a drink or two. However, many students make the poor decision of driving themselves home after a night of drinking.

Driving under the influence is never acceptable and will put you and those around you in tremendous danger because there’s an increased risk of causing a traffic accident. If you are caught driving drunk, having that arrest on your record is not going to look good. In fact, getting a DUI in college could affect your future. And not in a good way! Here’s why getting a DUI in college can be pretty detrimental for you and the career ahead of you. Read more

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What to Do Directly After You Are Arrested

Being arrested, whether it’s for a DUI or any other crime, can be a stressful and scary situation. If you’ve never been arrested before, you likely have no idea what to expect. And no matter how many times it’s happened to you, you still need to think carefully about what your next move will be. To help make this a bit of an easier time for you, we’re sharing a few tips so you will know what to do directly after you are arrested.  Read more

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How to Avoid a DUI During the Holiday Season

The holidays are a time for enjoying the company of your loved ones, celebrating, and partaking in all of the fun festivities. Unfortunately, it’s also a time of year where the number of DUI arrests increases. Because so many people are attending holiday parties and dinners, they often decide to have a drink or two. And there’s nothing wrong with that! However, the problem arises when you have a few drinks and decide to drive yourself home.

Driving under the influence is never a good idea. It puts you and those around you in danger. And let’s just say that a DUI is a quick way to put a damper on what is meant to be a fun time of year. To make sure this doesn’t happen to you, we’re sharing how to avoid a DUI during the holiday season…  Read more

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New R.I. Drunken-Driving Campaign Hits Hard

The recorded warnings from the Rhode Island State Police this holiday season are quite different from the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” video campaign you’ve seen in the past.

The new approach, part of a series that cost $75,000 to produce, opens to a tense beat and the words “Viewer Discretion is Advised.”