Common Questions People Ask
What is a criminal defense?
Criminal defenses usually attempt to accomplish one of two things. The first is to refute the evidence against you as incorrect or untrue. The second is to admit to the factual allegations, but also to create a legitimate excuse for your conduct.
What is the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor?
In criminal law there are two general classifications of crimes: misdemeanors and felonies.
A misdemeanor is a less serious crime and often punishable by less than a year in jail.
Examples of misdemeanors could be:
- Disorderly conduct
Some misdemeanors can rise to the degree of a felony.
A felony is a much more serious crime. It involves the damage to property or harm to people.
Typical felonies in Nevada include:
There are subsets to these general categories too.
What rights do I have when being placed under arrest?
Those placed under arrest retain a set of rights known as Miranda rights. These rights include:
- You have the right to remain silent. This means that you do not have to answer any questions from police or investigators without your attorney present. This right is intended to help prevent you from incriminating yourself.
- You have the right to an attorney. You usually will be allowed to contact your attorney after you have been booked by the police.
- You have the right to a public defender. If you cannot afford a lawyer, you have the right to have one appointed to you by the court.
Do I need a lawyer?
Yes, you need to hire a lawyer who has the skill in defending people charged with the type of crimes alleged against you. Furthermore, you need a lawyer who is experienced in the court where you will be appearing.
Can I represent myself?
You have a Constitutional Right to represent yourself.
However, given that the prosecuting attorney is a lawyer and that lawyer undergoes years of education, practice, and continuing legal education, the average citizens are unable to adequately represent themselves in a criminal case. Furthermore, consider that most good attorneys would never represent themselves in their own case. The best response to the question is, "Why would you want to?"
Abraham Lincoln once said, "He who represents himself has a fool for a client." Well, it's true.
What will a lawyer do for me?
Most lawyers, experienced or not, will work hard for their clients. It is just the way we are made. After a minimum four years of college and three years of law school, a lawyer seldom knows how to relax. However, hard work may not be enough. You need to know where to spend resources and time. An inexperienced lawyer can spend hours pursuing a defense that is destined to fail, while experienced lawyer will focus on those areas of a case that will do a client the most good.
A legal defense begins at the basics with a preliminary hearing and discovering facts through bond and suppression hearings. Being prepared is the key to a successful legal representation.
If I did not do anything wrong, do I need to worry?
Yes, you need to worry about the charges you are facing. Just relying on the fact that you FEEL you are NOT guilty will place you in the most vulnerable position.
Our legal system is far from being perfect. Persons who are innocent are, sometimes, convicted. It is not so uncommon to hear of citizens being released after having been incarcerated for years. The fact that a person is innocent of the charges alleged against them should never lead to the conclusion that they do not need the very best legal defense.
So, yes, you need a lawyer.
The attorneys at Heshmati & Associates are aware of the urgency to prepare a defense for our clients. Time is of the essence. By waiting to secure legal representation many valuable advantages can be lost.
If you or a loved one is charged with a crime, do not wait to hire an attorney in the hope that the district attorney will “drop the charges”. The district attorney will make every effort to secure a conviction, and you need to hire a good criminal defense attorney to protect your rights.
Can you guarantee a result?
No attorney can ethically guarantee a result. The guarantee of a result implies that your fee is refundable if your lawyer is unsuccessful. Such a fee would then be contingent on the outcome of the case. The ethical rules governing the behavior of lawyers forbid a lawyer from entering into an arrangement for a contingent fee in a criminal case.
If a lawyer guarantees a result, ask them to put it in writing. If they will not reduce it to writing, they lied to you. You need an attorney that will be straight with you; one, who will give you the bad news as well as the good; who will fight for you and keep you informed of the law and the likely outcome of your case.
Heshmati & Associates: Las Vegas Criminal Defense Attorneys
If you have any further question please do not hesitate to contact a criminal defense attorney at Heshmati & Associates at 702-432-1000.
We represent clients in Las Vegas, Henderson, North Las Vegas, Summerlin South, Boulder City, Laughlin, Mesquite, Clark County and throughout the surrounding areas of Nevada.