Criminal law and the issues presented have been divided into various categories and concepts with detailed explanations and supplemental videos. Our intent is to educate our clients, their families and friends as to the concepts and issues surrounding a criminal law case. Criminal law is different and distinct from civil law and it is important your lawyer | attorney know this and litigate accordingly. Our approach from day one is simple: we educate our clients as to the issues at play, front load cases with work, record and transcribe all interviews and fight for results.
Any Seattle resident who has been accused of a crime will want to hire a criminal lawyer as quickly as possible. Even so, it is important for the individual who is facing a criminal case to understand the basics of criminal law, the importance of hiring the right lawyer and what a good lawyer will do to defend the case effectively in court.
First of all, it should be noted that criminal law is very different from civil law. Civil law involves harm to individuals and/or corporations, as is the case when one party sues another party as a result of an accident, malpractice, failure to maintain safety standards, defective equipment, etc. The penalty for being found guilty in a civil suit rarely includes a prison term; however, the threshold for proving guilt is far lower than it is for a criminal case.
Criminal cases, on the other hand, involve crimes against the general public, society and/or the state. Such cases include domestic violence, assault, murder, larceny, fraud, possession and/or trafficking of drugs, illegal hunting, cyber-crimes and a host of other illicit activities. If found guilty, you will likely spend at least some time in prison or in serious instances even face the death penalty. What is more, you will have a criminal record that will follow you around for life, making it extremely difficult or even impossible for you to find gainful employment or gain acceptance to a reputable college or university. A criminal record can also be used against you if you face criminal charges in the future, causing a judge to hand down stiffer penalties than would have been meted out otherwise.
Because the charges and potential punishment are so serious, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty. Furthermore, you are entitled to protections granted by the fourth and fifth amendments. Law enforcement officials cannot force you to confess guilt either verbally or by signing a confession. Your home and/or business is protected from searches and seizure of evidence without a proper warrant. Additionally, prosecutors are required by law to disclose raw evidence to the defense before trial begins. Failure to do so can result in your case being automatically dismissed by a judge.
Unfortunately, not all defendants are able to take full advantage of all their legal rights simply because they do not have a good lawyer on hand who can fight for their rights on their behalf. The legal system is complex and one wrong comment, gesture or action can be construed as proof of guilt both by law enforcement and a court of law. Judges may decide on a case without being aware of important information about your past, state of mental health, past comments and actions of witnesses against you and a host of other factors. To avoid facing a sentence that can haunt you for life, we strongly recommend getting expert legal help if you are faced with the possibility of being charged with a crime.
At Rhodes Legal Group, we have over 75 years of experience handling a wide range of criminal cases. We are familiar with how the system works and can provide you with a thorough education regarding how your case will be handled, ensure your case is front loaded so there are no delays in facing trial and fight on your behalf to either have your name cleared or reach the best possible settlement. Get in touch with us at your convenience to avail yourself of expert legal help that will enable you to make wise decisions for yourself and your loved ones.