Q: I have been arrested, what should I do?
A: The first thing you should do is to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you understand the law, investigate your case, determine your options, formulate a defense, and help you navigate the criminal justice process.
Q: Why not let the public defender represent me?
A: You must first demonstrate the inability to pay for a private attorney in order for the court to appoint a public defender to represent you. Further, a public defender will only be appointed after you are officially charged with a crime. This, at the earliest, is 21 days after your arrest. Much valuable time to discuss your side of the case and avoid the formal filing of charges will be lost by that time.
Q: I am not a U.S. citizen. What can happen if I am convicted of a crime?
A: For people who are not citizens, criminal charges pose an even more complicated hardship. If the charges are not dismissed, conviction of many crimes may mean that the Immigration and Naturalization Service will bring removal proceedings against the person in which a forced deportation to their country of citizenship may be a certainty. Therefore, it is critically important that non-citizens be represented by a criminal defense attorney who is acutely aware of the potential immigration consequences of a criminal conviction and does everything possible to ensure that such a conviction does not take place.
Q: What if I didn’t commit the crime?
A: This situation is difficult, as the prosecutor believes that you did commit the crime. There was enough evidence to arrest and charge you for the crime, and you will need to take action to fight for your defense. There have been many innocent individuals who have ended up in prison for a crime they didn’t commit. A strong criminal defense lawyer from the Law Office of Carlos M. Fleites must initiate the actions to defend you at once.
Q: Will the state use my prior convictions against me?
A: That depends on the nature of the offense and when the conviction occurred. Generally, prior convictions can affect many issues in a criminal case, from bond to sentencing. This is often a complicated question, and is definitely a situation where consultation with a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney is imperative.
Q: Are there alternatives to jail or prison if convicted of a crime?
A: There are many. Consultation with an experienced attorney is invaluable to properly determine which are the most viable options in a given case. Alternatives to jail include probation, alcohol and drug rehabilitation and treatment, electronic monitoring, house arrest, work release, work furlough, community service, pre-trial intervention/diversification, and many more. There are pros and cons to each, and a creative and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney can help fashion options palatable to the prosecution which are tailored to the client’s specific needs.
Q: Attorneys are expensive, how can I afford one?
A: While it is true that hiring a lawyer can sometimes be costly, consider the cost of being incarcerated for any period of time. A person can lose their job, family, and jeopardize their immigration status. We will arrange payment plans and accept credit cards as forms of payment to ease the burden of payment.
Q: Will I have to pay for an initial consultation?
A: No, initial consultations are always free of charge.
We are committed to providing our clients with an honest and zealous representation, along with regular communication. We are committed to providing each client with a written retainer agreement, specifically describing the services to be performed, and the exact expense anticipated. All telephone calls and electronic communication will be answered and returned promptly. The multilingual attorneys and staff of the Law Offices of Carlos M. Fleites know and understand that communication is important in every criminal case.