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Criminal Charges - What to Expect

Experienced Missouri Defense Attorney Handles All Criminal Charges

Knowledgeable Kansas City lawyer advises clients charged with crimes

Knowledge of your legal rights is power, especially when you are arrested and face criminal charges. At Howard L. Lotven, P.C. in Kansas City, I represent individuals charged with Missouri misdemeanor and felony crimes. As your dedicated advocate, I will guide you and your loved ones through the criminal justice process, providing reliable advice and responsive communication every step of the way. My commitment is to protect your rights and pursue the best possible outcome for your criminal case.

Dedicated Jackson County law firm offers counsel before and after arrests

If police stop you and accuse you of a crime, or if you are a suspect in a criminal investigation, there is a high likelihood that you will be arrested. During an arrest, maintain your calm and behave in a respectful manner. You have a right to remain silent and do not need to make any statements or answer any questions asked by law enforcement officers. Likewise, you have no obligation to consent to a search. Once you are arrested, ask for a lawyer. Do not sign anything or admit to anything without a lawyer present.

Respected attorney represents clients during arraignments

After the arrest, the arraignment is a hearing where the court presents criminal charges and asks you to enter a plea. Unless you have already agreed to a reduced charge, usually the plea will be not guilty.

A person who pleads guilty loses the ability to present a criminal defense at trial. Contrary to what some people assume, pleading guilty does not automatically result in a reduced sentence. Entering a guilty plea may result in a harsher punishment than if you plead not guilty and are convicted at trial.

By pleading not guilty, you maintain your right to the presumption of innocence. You will have time to work with a lawyer to build a defense, counter the prosecutor’s allegations and present evidence at trial. If it is prudent, your lawyer may negotiate a plea deal with the prosecutor later on. A plea deal typically involves pleading guilty to a lesser criminal charge in exchange for a reduced sentence.

When you enter a not guilty plea, a judge has the power to keep you in police custody until the trial. In most cases, the judge will either release you on your own recognizance or set bail. The bail bond amount will depend on the criminal charges and your perceived danger to the community. As your defense attorney, I can work to convince the judge that you should be released without bail, or that that your bail should be minimal.

Seasoned lawyer assists with cases against juveniles and foreign nationals

Juveniles and non-citizens face different challenges and punishments than adult U.S. citizens. If a non-citizen is convicted of a crime, he or she may be deported in addition to facing the punishments that would be given to a citizen. If a person under the age of 18 is arrested for a crime, they may be charged as a juvenile or an adult. Though the juvenile justice system focuses less on punishment and more on improving future behavior, an adverse decision in a juvenile proceeding can still be very difficult for a young person to handle.  

My considerable experience in criminal defense law gives me the skills to take on complicated cases involving non-citizens and juveniles.

Contact an accomplished Kansas City criminal defense attorney for a free initial consultation

Howard L. Lotven, P.C. in Kansas City, Missouri helps clients fight criminal charges in northwestern Missouri. To schedule a free initial consultation, call 816-295-6822 or contact me online.

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