vermont criminal defense

What Is Criminal Law?

Photo of a man in handcuffs

A criminal conviction can drastically affect the rest of your life. You may face the possibility of jail time, fines and other penalties, and your reputation may be damaged. Additionally, a conviction may prevent you from finding work and/or housing in the future. Since so much hangs in the balance, you should always work a criminal defense lawyer with a history of success. Even innocence is not always an ironclad defense – law enforcement and prosecutors may not care about your side of the story, but will simply focus on getting a conviction. An attorney can work to enforce your rights and expose any misconduct or negligence that may have led to your arrest. In many cases, a good lawyer can get your charges or penalties reduced, minimizing the negative impact on your life.

If you have been arrested or someone you know was taken into police custody, then you should find a lawyer as quickly as possible. No matter what kinds of charges you face, from a misdemeanor to a felony, finding an attorney you trust is essential.

Felony or Misdemeanor, What’s the Difference?

  • Felony Crime:

o   These are more serious offenses, like murder and rape.

o   Felonies are typically punishable by imprisonment of a year or more.

  • Misdemeanor Crimes:

o   These are less serious offenses, like petty theft or jaywalking.

o   Misdemeanors are typically punishable by less than a year imprisonment.

  • No Crime:

o   If an act has not been previously established as a crime by common law or statute, then it is not a crime at the time that it is committed.

What Are My Rights When Dealing With The Police?

A lawyer is your best line of defense when wanting to understand your rights as they apply to questioning by the police. Some areas that a lawyer can explain in greater detail include:

  • Questioning by the Police

o   Right to Silence

o   The Miranda Rule

  • Search and Seizure Laws

o   Search Warrants

o   Fruit of the Poisonous Tree

  • Arrests

o   Arrest Warrants

o   Probable Cause

  • Police Misconduct
  • Police Brutality

Learn More About Criminal Defense Law

Lawyers That Handle Criminal Cases

Criminal defense lawyers typically handle criminal cases. Because of criminal law’s vastness, it is strongly advised that you seek professional help in the form of a lawyer. A lawyer will help you to understand the full process of a criminal proceeding, as there can be many overwhelming things, such as bailment, arraignment, preliminary hearings, plea bargains, the trial itself, sentencing, and appeals.

Lastly, it is important to remember that you do have rights in dealing with the police and in a criminal trial. Seeking the professional help of a lawyer is important if you expect to effectively represent and defend yourself.


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