If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime in Kentucky, it is likely that you have many questions. We’ve listed a few commonly asked questions in order to help you better understand the criminal justice system and determine your best course of action.
What is the difference between a public defender and a private criminal defense attorney?
A public defender is an attorney who has been assigned your case by the court. While many public defenders are good attorneys, they are often facing large caseloads and struggle to give everyone they represent an adequate amount of attention. A private criminal defense attorney generally has much more time and resources to devote to their clients.
What can a criminal defense attorney do for me?
A qualified criminal defense attorney can help you in every facet of your case. They can use a team of experts to build your case, properly interview and depose witnesses, and generally help guide you through every step of the legal process to make sure your best interests are being represented. They can advise you if it is in your best interest to enter a plea or to go to trial. If you go to trial, they will know how to present your case to the jury. In short, a criminal defense attorney is an advocate who will fight for you and you alone.
A good criminal defense attorney is like an expert guide through the wilderness of a criminal case. He or she has been there many times, can protect you from toils and snares along the way, and often knows that safest and quickest path to the promised land.
Will I have to go to trial?
Each case is different, and it’s impossible to know what you’ll be facing without knowing the particular circumstances of your case. Sometimes a plea deal can be reached before a trial is necessary. Sometimes a case can be dismissed altogether. Sometimes a case just has to be tried to a jury. An experienced defense attorney will be able to pursue every avenue and determine your best course of action going forward.
Should I hire an attorney if I plan on pleading guilty?
Yes. A skilled criminal defense attorney might be able to help achieve a lighter sentence or lesser charges. No matter what your preferred course of action might be, it is best to hire an attorney to assist you through the process.
What is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony in Kentucky?
A felony is more serious than a misdemeanor. A person convicted of a misdemeanor can face up to 12 months in jail, while a person convicted of a felony could face years in prison. There are different types of misdemeanors and felonies, each fitting into one of various categories defined by amounts of jail or prison time and fines authorized.
What if my child has been charged with a crime in Kentucky?
Depending on the age of your child and, particularly, the nature of the crime, your child might go through the juvenile justice system and be tried as a Youthful Offender. In Kentucky, people can be tried as an adult as early as age 14 under certain circumstances. If your child is 18 or older, then they will be considered an adult by the criminal justice system.
One exception the realm of misdemeanors is DUI. DUI laws apply to those 16 and older in Kentucky.
How soon do I need to hire a criminal defense attorney?
If you or a loved one has been arrested, it is in your best interest to hire a criminal defense attorney in Kentucky as soon as possible. An attorney can help you in all stages of the criminal justice process, from an arraignment to a trial.
Should I speak to the authorities without an attorney?
Usually not. You should have an attorney present if you speak to anyone in authority. The police are trained to elicit statements that will be used against you in a court of law. It is vital that you tell them you want to speak to your attorney, and that you won’t answer any questions until your attorney is present. You are not required to give a statement or talk to the police. ONLY in a VERY limited set of circumstances will speaking to the police when you’re suspected of a crime help you. The safest bet is to remain silent until you have an attorney present. There is usually time to talk later IF it’s appropriate, and with your attorney by your side.
What is an expungement?
If you are found not guilty, you can file a petition requesting that your record be expunged. An expungement means that your case is wiped away and completely eliminated from your record, like you were never even charged.
What type of cases do you handle?
- Violations (probation or parole violations)
- Misdemeanors (theft, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, 4th degree assault)
- Felony Charges (A, B, C or D)
- Weapon Charges
- Drug Charges
- Domestic Violence
- Federal Crimes
- Murder 1st and 2nd degree
- Property Crimes (larceny, theft)
- Sexually-Based Offenses
Remember, you are guaranteed the right to an attorney. Dan Carman and Attorneys have represented many Kentuckians facing criminal charges to make sure they get fair treatment under the law. We will work tirelessly for you and pursue every avenue possible to fight for your best interests. Contact Dan Carman and Attorneys today to learn more about how we can help you.