When charged with a Minnesota criminal offense, it is imperative that you speak to an experienced Minnesota criminal defense attorney as soon as possible so that you can obtain the results that you need in order to have the best possible future.
It is your right to fight the charges so that you can obtain the best possible conclusion.
If charged in St. Paul, MN, or North Dakota, our Minnesota criminal attorneys will prepare an aggressive defense and help navigate your case.
Informing You of Your Options – Keeping You Updated on Your Criminal Case
It is very important that you are aware of your options. The reason is that your St. Paul criminal defense attorney doesn’t make decisions for you.
Instead, we provide you with your options so that you can make decisions that will positively affect the outcome of your case. You have a choice in what to do.
The experienced Minnesota criminal defense attorneys at Arechigo and Stokka will carefully explain your options to you, set realistic expectations, protect your rights, and develop and use creative defense strategies so you can obtain the best possible outcome in your case.
What Should I Look For in a Criminal Defense Attorney in St. Paul, Minnesota?
If you ever find yourself arrested or charged with a crime, you should seek a criminal defense lawyer immediately. Hiring the right lawyer is essential in a criminal case so you can potentially reduce or eliminate your sentence. But how do you know who’s the right lawyer?
Here are some of the qualities you should look for in a criminal defense lawyer.
First, they should practice exclusively in criminal law. Lawyers usually specialize in a certain area of law. You wouldn’t go to a pediatrician for heart surgery. For the same reasons, you want to make sure the lawyer you pick focuses exclusively on criminal law.
Second, you want to make sure the lawyer has experience with your particular type of case. Most criminal defense lawyers offer a potential client a free consultation to discuss their case. This in-person meeting is a good chance for you to ask questions about the lawyer’s experience and to see if they’re the right fit for you.
Third, they should be familiar with prior court decisions. A good criminal defense lawyer knows how judges tend to treat cases like yours. Knowing how judges and prosecutors approach your particular type of case can assist the lawyer in your defense strategy.
The criminal defense lawyers at Arechigo and Stokka focus their practice exclusively on criminal law and have extensive experience handling all types of cases. Minnesota Lawyer has recognized criminal defense lawyer John Arechigo as Attorney of the Year in 2015 and 2019, with the 2019 honor carrying the exclusive Circle of Excellence recognition.
If you need an awarded criminal defense lawyer who gets results, contact us today for a free consultation.
How Do I Choose a Good Criminal Defense Lawyer?
Choosing a good criminal defense lawyer might not be as hard as it sounds. Looking for a lawyer with an excellent reputation in the legal community is incredibly important. Accolades from the legal community are also helpful in assessing whether you chose a good criminal lawyer. During your initial consultation, ask if the lawyer has experience with your specific type of case. Does the attorney you’re considering have former clients willing to speak to their positive experience working with a particular lawyer?
You could look for other characteristics as well. First, you should be comfortable with the lawyer. You potentially face challenging times ahead. You want someone whom you can trust.
Secondly, you want a competent lawyer. Lastly, you want to have a lawyer you are compatible with. You want someone you can talk with when you need to. Clashing personalities will prevent that from happening.
What Questions Should You Ask Your Criminal Defense Lawyer?
Effective communication is the key to a successful attorney-client relationship. You should feel comfortable asking any question that comes to mind about your case. It’s your freedom at stake. Any accomplished criminal attorney from St. Paul, MN will gladly sit down with you and answer all your questions.
You should never feel uneasy about asking any question of your attorney. There is no such thing as a dumb question. Your St. Paul criminal defense lawyer should welcome any question from their client.
Sometimes starting a conversation about your circumstances is difficult. You might be embarrassed or just unsure about what questions you should ask. Here are answers to some common important questions we get from our clients to get you started.
How Long Will My Case Take?
Courts try to move cases along as rapidly as possible. As a person charged with a crime, you have a constitutional right to a speedy trial. Having a right to a speedy trial does not mean that you should rush your case.
More straightforward cases like some misdemeanors can conclude in a court date or two. However, there are many reasons why you need to take your time with a misdemeanor case. The best option for you might be taking your case before a jury instead of pleading out early on in the process. You might make out better in the long run if you fight the charges all the way.
More complex cases require more time.
Felonies frequently involve highly complex investigations. Misdemeanor cases can also be complex, but felony cases tend to have more evidence to review. The stakes are significantly higher as well.
You should discuss your expectations with your attorney to be sure you are on the same page. Discuss with your attorney the various options your case presents and agree on how you should proceed.
Who from Your Firm Will Handle My Case?
Larger firms have associate attorneys who perform most of the leg work for the partner or senior associate who sweeps in and takes the case to trial. Larger firms will not offer you the same personalized service that a small firm can. Also, many hands touch your file, which can lead to miscommunication between lawyers.
You might be comfortable with more than one lawyer working on your case. However, you should know upfront which lawyer will be working on your case and what they will do for you. You need to make sure that the lawyer you want to represent you is the lawyer you get.
What Are My Options for Defending My Case?
A criminal defense lawyer with a strong and successful history of representing criminal defendants will take a wide view of your case at first. You might want to know the end-game at your first meeting with your lawyer. That is understandable.
In many circumstances, the best method is to review the case with your lawyer and pour over all the physical evidence before settling on a defense strategy.
Your case will be completely different from another person’s, so generalizing is not entirely helpful. Instead, you and your St. Paul criminal defense attorney can discuss how you would like the case to turn out. You could look for a plea to a reduced charge or fight it to the end.
You have the right to plead not guilty and force the state to prove the case against you. A lawyer who only represents criminal defendants will know the best method of protecting you from the government’s might.
You should be cautious of an attorney who promises a particular outcome. An attorney who guarantees you any result is trying to retain you as a client. An attorney who genuinely cares about people facing criminal charges will give the best advice possible and allow the client to make the best decision.
When Can I Call You?
The best criminal defense lawyers remain available to talk with their clients at any time. A lawyer who will take calls on the weekends or during evening hours is more helpful to a client than someone who never answers the phone. You should feel comfortable asking your lawyer for advice anytime.
How Much Does the Average Criminal Defense Attorney Cost?
The cost of a St. Paul criminal defense lawyer varies. Your legal situation will dictate how much a criminal defense attorney in St. Paul, MN will cost.
You should ask as many questions as you need to be comfortable with the fee arrangement. You should talk to your lawyer about:
How they arrive at their fee;
How long you have to pay the fee;
If you have to pay additional costs, such as investigator’s fees and fees for issuing subpoenas to witnesses; and
Whether their fee covers only a portion of the case or if you need to pay more money to go to trial.
These are just a few example questions to get you thinking about your fee arrangement with a qualified criminal defense attorney in St. Paul, MN.
As a person charged with a crime in Minnesota, you need to feel like you are receiving the best possible representation for your money.
What Are Your Other Options Besides Hiring a Criminal Defense Attorney from St. Paul, MN?
Some people believe that only the rich have access to justice. Remember that Lady Justice wears a blindfold for a reason. Everyone who appears before a judge in Minnesota should receive the same treatment as everyone else.
Should You Ask for the Public Defender?
You could explore other options, such as representing yourself or trying to qualify for representation by the public defender. The public defender’s office is highly overworked. They try hard, but they have scant resources and tend to be overworked. You might not receive individualized attention from the public defender. The experience could leave you frustrated and cynical about your chances of getting a fair trial.
Can I Represent Myself?
The right to an attorney is a right granted by the U.S. Constitution to every person facing criminal charges. If you elect to waive this right and represent yourself, the judge will ask you some questions to make sure that you freely waived a right to an attorney. The judge will also want to ensure that you are competent.
You will be held to the same standard of legal knowledge as a lawyer
Many people who choose to represent themselves do so because they understand their situation better than any lawyer. That much is true. However, self-representation is dangerous.
Courts expect you to know and follow Minnesota’s rules of procedure, understand the rules of evidence, and know the law. Without formal legal training, you might run the risk of not understanding the finer points of the law. A trained and accomplished criminal attorney from St. Paul, MN would understand the legal nuances of your case and can exploit them to your advantage.
You may not be objective. Self-representation is also tricky because emotions can run high. As a self-represented litigant, you are immersed in every aspect of your case. That can be a benefit, on the one hand. On the other hand, you need to have someone look objectively at your situation and advise you appropriately. A well-respected St. Paul criminal defense lawyer can do that for you.
You may have limited resources. Self-represented criminal defendants do not have the same level of access to resources as a skilled criminal defense attorney from St. Paul, MN. A seasoned defense lawyer knows what information to look for and how to get it. Additionally, an experienced attorney understands how to preserve evidence to benefit their clients. The prosecution must turn over exculpatory evidence if they have it. However, they do not have to go looking for it on your behalf like your criminal defense attorney from St. Paul, MN would.
At Arechigo and Stokka, our criminal defense lawyers will sit down with you one-on-one to discuss your case during a free consultation.
Contact a St. Paul Criminal Defense Lawyer or Fargo Criminal Defense Attorney
Being charged with a criminal offense is very confusing and makes for a highly emotional time.
It is important for you to have answers and the guidance that you need.
Our St. Paul, MN criminal defense attorneys will give you answers and provide you with your options so you can make the right decisions in your case.