Criminal Defense Lawyer

There are two fundamentally different types of court cases — criminal and civil. A criminal case arises when the government seeks to punish an individual for an act that has been classified as a crime by Congress or a state legislature (i.e. D.U.I., assaultmurder). A civil case, on the other hand, usually has to do with a dispute over the rights and duties that individuals and organizations legally owe to each other. Many times an incident may give rise to both criminal and civil penalties for the same series of events.

In a criminal case a prosecutor (the State), not the crime victim, initiates and controls the case. The prosecutor may file criminal charges even if the victim doesn’t approve, or refuse to file criminal charges despite the victim’s desire that criminal charges be filed. This method of beginning the case contrasts with civil cases where the injured party is the one who gets things started.

Penalties for being convicted of a criminal charge typically can include jail, a fine, probation, or some combination of the three. In a criminal case the burden is on the prosecution (the State) to prove that the individual charged with the criminal offense is guilty of all elements of that offense “beyond a reasonable doubt”. If you have been charged with a criminal offense an experienced criminal defense attorney can help you determine your situation and evaluate your options.  Contact a lawyer in your area as soon as possible and do NOT make any statements to law enforcement.