Any person can make mistakes, and some mistakes can lead to significant consequences. Facing a criminal charge in Hot Springs, AR is often scary, and it’s essential to take steps to protect yourself, whether you are facing a misdemeanor or a felony. The consequences of a conviction include short-term penalties like fines and jail time, along with long-term penalties, like years in prison and a criminal record, that can negatively affect the rest of your life.
Even if you consider a charge to be relatively minor, such as a traffic ticket or drug possession, the legal consequences can be much worse than you expect. More serious charges, such as domestic violence or federal offenses, can be devastating to your liberty, career, and reputation. You need to give yourself the greatest chance at avoiding criminal penalties by working with an experienced Hot Springs criminal defense attorney.
At Kevin Lemley Law Partners, we understand how frustrating and frightening it can be to face criminal charges, and we want to ensure that you don’t face it alone. The prosecution must prove your guilt of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt, which is why you need our effective and aggressive legal advocacy. Our attorneys have 50 years of collective experience helping individuals in our community who are in difficult situations. We can help you through each part of the criminal justice system as we determine an effective defense that allows you to escape conviction or receive a lesser penalty. It’s our goal to find the most favorable result for your situation and fight for it.
When you hire a criminal defense attorney, you should choose a lawyer and firm with experience and success in cases similar to yours. Experienced attorneys know how to:
Some of the areas of criminal defense law that Kevin Lemley Law Partners have worked in include:
Misdemeanor convictions result in the following penalties, depending on their severity:
Felony convictions are also classified based on severity. Their penalties include:
Criminal conviction results in consequences other than immediate criminal charges. Conviction of any felony and some misdemeanors in Arkansas revokes that person’s gun rights. Criminal conviction can also affect a person’s child custody rights, their right to vote, and their ability to hold or obtain a professional license.
When you are convicted of a crime, you also have a criminal record. Even when you are no longer incarcerated, a criminal record can impact your ability to obtain housing, keep you from pursuing educational opportunities, and prevent you from getting employment. The most effective way to prevent these life-altering consequences is to begin working with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
The main types of defense attorneys in criminal law are assigned counsel, contract systems, and public defenders. Both assigned counsel and contract systems involve private attorneys, while public defenders are public attorneys. Public attorneys and assigned counsel are both assigned by the court to defend an individual, while the individual can select, hire, and pay for private counsel. Although this method is more expensive, it provides the person who is charged with more control and say in the firm and attorney providing their legal defense.
A retainer fee is a type of payment for attorneys that is common in criminal defense cases. It is an upfront fee charged based on the amount of time that an attorney expects the case to take. When a client pays a retainer fee, they are establishing a professional relationship with the attorney and ensuring that an attorney is available for a set period of time in the future. This is common in criminal law cases because it ensures that the attorney can be there when the client needs them. Retainer fees can vary based on the other fees that an attorney charges, their experience level, and how complicated your case is anticipated to be.
The cost of a criminal law attorney depends on several factors, including fee structure. Usually, a criminal defense attorney charges at an hourly rate. In Arkansas, the average rate for a criminal lawyer is $247 an hour. A more experienced attorney will charge a higher rate, but their higher amount of experience may mean that their defense takes less time or is more thorough. A high rate does not always equal a more experienced attorney, but an attorney with many criminal defense cases and successes is better equipped to handle your case well and secure the most favorable outcome.
The defense that will be strongest for your criminal charge relies on the type and severity of the crime that you are being charged with and the unique factors of your situation. If you are facing a drug possession charge, a defense attorney may attempt to prove that you unknowingly had it on your person. If you are charged with assault, an attorney may argue that it was in self-defense. For many types of criminal charges, police entrapment or misconduct can result in the charges or evidence being inadmissible. If the prosecution cannot prove you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, you can’t be convicted.
At Kevin Lemley Law Partners, we have the criminal defense experience you need to protect yourself from criminal charges. Whether you are facing a minor misdemeanor or have been charged with a serious felony, we can defend your rights and find the right legal option for your case. Contact us today.