The U.S. criminal justice system exists to protect us, but police and convicting officers and make mistakes more often than most of us would like to imagine. Sometimes innocent people are wrongly convicted. Other times, sentences are delivered harsher than they should be. If you’ve been accused of a crime you did not commit or feel your punishment was unlawful, it can feel like no one cares to hear your side of the story. This is when you need the help of a Louisville criminal defense lawyer.
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Criminal Defense Claims Handled by Thomas Law Offices
A criminal defense attorney can fight on behalf of you and make sure your voice is heard whether you’re due to appear in court, are petitioning a charge, or are fighting to expunge a DUI or DWI charge on your criminal record.
At Thomas Law Offices, our attorneys are currently taking cases for the following areas of criminal defense:
The state of Kentucky comes down hard on individuals who are found behind the wheel in possession of alcohol or found driving while under the influence of alcohol. If you were charged with a DUI or DWI and feel the charges were falsified or inaccurate or that you were punished too severely for your situation, our law office may be able to fight the charges.
When we receive a traffic ticket, we know right away if we’re guilty of the action we’re being charged with. Most tickets are given fairly, but sometimes the police officer makes a mistake or is having a bad day and issues out a violation unfairly. In these instances, a traffic violation lawyer can fight against the violation and potentially remove it from a driver’s record.
If you’ve been charged with a traffic ticket for speeding, driving recklessly, disobeying the laws of traffic, or driving with a suspended/revoked license and feel you were wrongfully charged, we can make sure your rights are protected and potentially reverse the consequences of the violation.
Violent Crimes and Assaults
Being convicted of committing a violent crime in Kentucky can leave you permanently branded as a criminal and can result in devastating consequences for a family. There are two types of convictions that are issued for committing violent crimes in Kentucky:
- Misdemeanor Assault: Committed by causing minor physical injury or fear of physical injury to another person without justification
- Felony Assaults: Committed by causing serious physical injury or during circumstances where serious injury may have resulted. Assaults against protected individuals may also count as felonies.
Assaults are also classified in four different degrees in Kentucky which are based on the severity of the injuries inflicted, intent, and the use of a weapon or deadly instrument. Simple assaults or misdemeanors may result in up to a year of jail time while a class B felony, for example, is punishable by a term of imprisonment for more than 10 years.
If you’ve been charged with a violent crime or assault in Kentucky and feel your penalties may be too severe or that the circumstances of the crime do not match the charge, you have a right to hire a criminal defense attorney and find out your legal options. You may potentially be able to get a lighter sentence or less jail time.
Theft and Fraud
Theft and fraud crimes come in numerous forms and include acts you may not think of being criminal at all. Did you know that keeping an item mistakenly delivered to your house or using a business’ dumpster counts as theft? Other common acts of theft including shoplifting, writing bad checks, and receiving stolen property. Larceny, embezzlement, identity left, credit card theft, and extortion also count as theft under the legal system. Property theft of more than $500 is considered a felony offense in Kentucky.
Fraud crimes are crimes of deception that aim to steal property, assets, or services from someone else. Minor fraud crimes are often referred to as “white collar crimes.” Major fraud crimes are extremely serious in nature and prosecute at the federal level. Either may result in jail time, heavy fines, and/or restitution payments.
If you or someone you love was convicted of theft or fraud and you feel the charges were too severe, or that the circumstances of the crime were not fully explored, or that the truth was wrongfully covered, you have a right to hire an attorney who may be able to convince the court of your plea.
If you or a loved one has been charged with a drug crime in the state of Kentucky, it’s imperative to understand that Kentucky has some of the harshest drug possession and trafficking laws and penalties in the country. Being convicted of either type of crime will have consequences that will follow you throughout your entire life.
- Drug Trafficking – “Trafficking” is a term used to describe actions taken that result in the trading, selling, or dealing of illegal substances like drugs. Being charged of drug trafficking is one of the most serious crimes someone can be convicted of.
- Possession – Most drug arrests occur when someone is in possession of a controlled substance. The penalties for possessing drugs are often far harsher than they should be.
Drug crimes, as serious as they are, are sometimes handled unfairly in our court system. Police officers and drug search teams have been known to violate the constitutional rights of those convicted and may be violent or overzealous when handling matters that pertain to these types of crimes. There are also cases where officers are found to be guilty of racially or economically stereotyping those convicted and delving out harsher penalties than necessary due to discrimination.
How a Lawyer Can Help You
Your lawyer may be able to help you even before a charge has been filed against you. They may speak with the prosecution and any officers that were involved in the arrest or investigation. There may be situations where your attorney can explain the case in a way that makes it to the prosecution doesn’t feel the need for it to go to a courtroom.
When a criminal charge has been filed against you, it’s important to have someone experienced in criminal law at your side. They’ll be able to explain the entire process to you, so you never feel like you’re out of the loop with your own case. It may help to know a bit more on what’s going to happen. After a criminal charge is filed, there are a few things you can expect from your lawyer.
- Meeting. You and your lawyer will meet face to face. During this time, they’re going to try to get your side of the story, so they know all the details. When they’re asking you all these questions, it may get overwhelming; however, it’s important that you answer everything to the best of your ability. As they’re gathering details about what happened, they’re likely thinking about the direction your defense case should take. Depending on the details you provide, they’ll look at the arguments they could make to help you while thinking about the arguments that could be made against you by the prosecution.
- Investigation. After your lawyer speaks with you, they will start investigating your case. They’ll look for evidence that could possibly prove your innocence or reduce the potential sentence. Additional details and help could come from witnesses. There’s a chance they have more information than you, can corroborate your story, and noticed a small detail that helps you. Your lawyer may speak with police and discuss how they handled your case. A skilled lawyer will be thorough and ask the right groups of people the right questions. When they have investigated everything, they’ll start to build your defense.
- Evidence. Your lawyer will take the evidence they’ve gathered from the investigation and take the next step forward. They may need to have evidence tested or take time to examine it to help find the best way to present your case.
- Possible Dismissal of Charges. If you are innocent and your attorney believes they have enough evidence to prove this, they may try to get the charges dismissed. They will show the prosecution that their story doesn’t make sense based on the evidence of the investigation and that you shouldn’t have to face these charges. There is a chance that they could be dropped.
- Waiting. Another strategy your defense lawyer could take is waiting for the prosecution to realize that they don’t have enough evidence to prove your guilt. This could be if they initially thought they had a credible witness who later proves to be unreliable or takes back their statement. An unreliable witness could be someone who has changed their story multiple times or has been proven to lie in the past.
- Technicalities. If you were wrongfully arrested or evidence was illegally obtained, these are two errors that could get your case dropped. This is why it’s crucial for your lawyer to not only investigate your side of the story but follow up on how the charges were brought against you. They’ll go over every detail and make sure your rights were never violated. If they were, they’ll take action on your behalf.
Before the trial begins, your lawyer may meet with the prosecution to see if they can get you a plea bargain. This may mean that you’d plead guilty, but the charges or sentence could be reduced. For some people, this is a favorable option. Your defense attorney will be able to help you make your decision and let you know what they recommend.
If your case proceeds to trial, your lawyer will aid in jury selection. This is a careful process where they will ask the potential jurors questions and figure out if they would come in with any potential biases toward you that could lead to an unfair result. When they discover these jurors, they’ll do everything possible to dismiss them.
As you can see, your defense lawyer is with you at every step of this process. It can take a long time, but they will be there for you to address concerns, answer questions, and give you updates about your case. You can learn more about the process here.
This is why it’s so vital for you to get a defense attorney that gives you confidence and represents your best interests. You want a lawyer with experience in cases like yours so you know they have a solid background that will help them know what to do with your case.
Hire A Criminal Defense Attorney You Can Trust
The U.S. criminal justice system is not without faults. If you or a loved one has been convicted or was arrested for any of the above crimes and you feel that the arrest or conviction was wrongful, you should know that the law is on your side. At Thomas Law Offices, we can pair you with a Louisville criminal defense lawyer who will be happy to speak with you and tell you if we can help you fight your conviction.
Your time to act and potentially receive lighter penalties or potentially even reverse a conviction is running out. Get in touch as soon as possible to find out if we can help you find a light at the end of a seemingly-dark tunnel.