Gilbert Criminal Defense Attorney

Getting charged with a crime is an unpleasant and stressful experience. As soon as you find yourself facing charges, you need to turn to a trustworthy Gilbert criminal defense attorney. At AZ Defenders, we are prepared to provide fierce advocacy and reliable representation. Our lawyers have the resources and experience to launch a complete investigation of the claims against you and construct a strong defense on your behalf.

Why is AZ Defenders the Right Law Firm for You?

When you are facing criminal charges in Gilbert, you need to turn to a trusted criminal attorney with extensive resources and experience. At AZ Defenders, we are ready to help.

  • Our firm has a track record of success, with more than two decades of successful resolutions.
  • We work to ensure that each of our clients gets the individualized attention and tailored defense they deserve.
  • You can count on aggressive legal representation from AZ Defenders. We know how to negotiate, but we are not afraid to take your case to trial to defend your rights.

What Our Clients Are Saying: 5/5 ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Great lawyers. They have been helping me with a case for a little bit of time now. Holly, Lesley, and Craig are a wonderful team. I would and have recommended them to friends.

– Abigail D. (leave a review here!)

Gilbert Criminal Defense Lawyer

Why Do You Need a Gilbert Criminal Defense Lawyer?

When you are facing a criminal charge, you need an attorney who will put all of their resources into your case. For criminal charges in Gilbert, your attorney works to obtain and review all of the evidence in your case. They also carry out a separate investigation to uncover facts about the case that may have been missed by the prosecution and which can be used as the foundation for your defense. A proper defense of a person charged with a crime varies significantly, depending on the nature of the charges levelled against the defender. However, some of the most common defenses our attorneys have experience with include:

  • Improper police procedures in your case
  • Mistaken identity
  • Alibi for the crime in question
  • Right to a speedy trial violations
  • Facts do not match the seriousness of the charges
  • Self-defense (when applicable)
  • Defense of property (when applicable)
  • A mistake of law applied to your case

In addition to building a strong defense on your behalf, your attorney can give you as much peace of mind as possible during this difficult and stressful time in your life. You can trust your lawyer to handle complicated legal processes, court appearances and paperwork for you while you focus on your future. When it feels like the world is against you, a defense lawyer will be on your side from beginning to end.

What to Do After an Arrest in Arizona

While hiring a Gilbert criminal defense lawyer can do wonders for your case, you can also help influence the outcome. Reacting correctly to an arrest is crucial to protect your rights and avoid self-incrimination. The best thing that you can do is stay calm throughout the situation and take the following critical actions to benefit your case:

  1. Cooperate with the arresting officer. Never try to run from the cops or resist an arrest. This can result in additional charges against you, as well as serious injuries.
  2. Understand and use your Miranda rights. Your Miranda rights are given to you by the Constitution. They give you the right to remain silent and have an attorney present when questioned by the police. Do not waive these rights by talking to the officer.
  3. Remain silent. Do not say anything upon arrest except that you wish to wait to have an attorney present. Once you assert your Miranda rights, any information elicited by the police without your lawyer present will be inadmissible in court.
  4. Call a defense attorney. Once the arresting officer books you at the county police department, you will have the opportunity to make one phone call. Either call a defense attorney directly or call a friend or relative and have that person call a lawyer for you.
  5. Secure your release or wait in jail for your first hearing. Follow the required legal procedures to obtain your freedom. You can post bail if offered or enter a plea deal that permits your release from custody. Otherwise, you will have to wait behind bars for your first hearing.

The most important thing to remember after an arrest in Arizona is your right to remain silent. Many criminal defendants hurt their own cases by revealing incriminating information. Even if you think what you are saying will help your case, the police can twist your words and use them against you. The best way to protect your rights after an arrest is to stay silent and hire a defense attorney immediately.

Types of Criminal Offenses We Handle

There are many criminal charges that a person in Gilbert could face. At AZ Defenders, we focus on all areas of criminal defense, and regularly help clients get through the following types of charges:

No matter what type of criminal charges you or a loved one is facing in Gilbert, the staff at AZ Defenders can help. Our attorneys have been navigating the criminal justice system for many years.

What Are the Different Levels of Crimes in Arizona?

An important thing to know if you wish to estimate the penalties you face for a criminal conviction is the classification of the crime. Your criminal defense lawyer in Gilbert can help you understand the classification of your charge, as well as the potential penalties and how to reduce your charges, if possible. In Arizona, the criminal courts classify crimes into three main categories:

  1. A felony is the most serious category of crime. It is a major crime that often involves either serious bodily harm or a great deal of money lost. Common offenses that are classified as felonies in Arizona include murder, sexual assault, fraud, serious drug crimes and white collar crimes in Gilbert. Felony crimes are almost always punished with time in jail. The death penalty is also possible for the most serious felony crimes in Arizona.
  2. A misdemeanor is a step below a felony in the seriousness of the crime. However, it can still result in a sentence that includes time spent behind bars. In most states, the maximum jail term for a misdemeanor crime is one year. Other common punishments include fines, community service and probation. It may be possible to reduce a misdemeanor to an infraction in some cases.
  3. Infractions are the least serious criminal classification. They describe minor crimes or petty offenses that are generally not punishable with jail time. Examples of infractions in Arizona include drunk and disorderly, littering, and traffic offenses. Since an infraction does not come with a chance of jail time, the defendant will not have the right to a trial by jury.

A crime in Arizona could also fall under the classification of a wobbler. This describes an offense that could either be charged as a misdemeanor or felony. Wobblers can be downgraded either at the start of a case or at the time of sentencing. A felony crime that is a wobbler, for example, could receive a misdemeanor level of punishment at the time of sentencing, making it a misdemeanor conviction rather than a felony.

Arizona Criminal Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations on a criminal case in Arizona is the deadline by which the prosecution must bring a criminal charge. Statutes of limitations are in place to keep the criminal justice system fair for both sides of a case. Their goal is to preserve evidence, including DNA evidence and eyewitness testimony, by encouraging the prosecution to come forward promptly with a charge. It also helps the justice system stay more efficient. Different types of criminal charges come with different statutes of limitations in Arizona.

  • No statute of limitations: murder, terrorism, falsifying public records, misuse of public money, sexual exploitation of a child, and violent sexual assault.
  • Seven years: most other felonies.
  • One year: misdemeanor crimes.
  • Six months: petty offenses.

The statute of limitation is tolled, or paused, when the suspect is absent from the state or when his or her identity is unknown. If a prosecutor waits too long and exceeds the statute of limitations for the alleged crime committed, the prosecutor will no longer have the ability to bring the charge at all.

For the most part, a criminal court in Gilbert will refuse to hear a case brought after an expired statute of limitations. Even if the court accepts the case, your lawyer can use the missed deadline as a reason to request case dismissal. The odds are low of a criminal charge going through if the prosecution has already missed the statute of limitations for the specific crime. A criminal defense lawyer can let you know the exact statute of limitations on your case.

Criminal Defense Attorney Gilbert

What Defenses Can Be Employed Against Criminal Charges?

Every criminal defendant in the U.S. has the right to hire a lawyer for defense. The defense strategy you use can be critical to the fate of your case and your future. It is extremely important to hire a criminal defense attorney in Gilbert that will use aggressive and tailored legal strategies. The right lawyer will use the ideal defense strategy for your situation, the facts of the case, the charges against you and your criminal record.

Common defense options include:

  • Actual innocence/alibi
  • Intoxication
  • Mistake of fact
  • Justification
  • Self-defense
  • No crime committed
  • Coercion or duress
  • Police misconduct
  • Entrapment
  • Insanity

It is the prosecution’s responsibility to prove you committed the crime in question beyond a reasonable doubt. Your defense lawyer will have the opportunity to refute or answer each claim made by the prosecution to reduce your chances of a conviction. If your defense lawyer succeeds in planting enough doubt that a jury cannot rule you guilty, you will either receive an acquittal or the courts will dismiss the charges based on a hung jury. Discuss the possible defense strategies available for your specific case in more detail with a lawyer.

What to Expect From the Criminal Justice Process in Gilbert

 If you have been arrested for an alleged offense in Gilbert, you may wonder what comes next – especially if this is your first encounter with the criminal justice system. Try to remain calm and know that help is just a phone call away at AZ Defenders. We will guide you and your family through the legal process that comes after an arrest, which typically involves:

  • Initial appearance: the initial appearance is where you will hear the charge(s) being entered against you and be appointed a public defender if you do not wish to hire a private attorney. You may also be given the conditions for your release from jail, such as bail.
  • Arraignment hearing: you will go to the Superior Court of Arizona in Maricopa County for your arraignment hearing, where you will have the chance to enter a plea of guilty, not guilty or no contest. It is important to have an attorney representing you at this time to advise you of your plea.
  • Pretrial conference hearing: a meeting typically held between an attorney (without his/her client) and a judge to determine if there is enough evidence to proceed with a criminal trial. This preliminary hearing will take place unless you have an indictment on a felony offense. You can also waive the preliminary hearing if a plea agreement is reached.
  • Criminal trial: if your case goes to trial, the prosecution must prove that you are guilty of the charge(s) with proof beyond a reasonable doubt. This is the highest burden of proof in the justice system. Your attorney can combat the prosecution’s arguments to show that they have not met the burden of proof.
  • Sentencing: if you are found not guilty of the crime(s), your case will end here. You cannot be charged again for the same crime under the rule of double jeopardy. If you are found guilty, you will attend a sentencing hearing where your lawyer can speak on your behalf, or you can talk to the judge yourself before receiving your sentence.
  • Appeal: depending on the facts of the case, your lawyer may be able to appeal a guilty verdict. An appeal is a request for a higher court to review your case under the belief that the first court made errors. You also have the right to file a petition for Post Conviction Relief.

Your case may end at any time before the first day of your trial if you and the prosecution come to a plea agreement. At AZ Defenders, we don’t urge every client to take plea deals. Instead, we recommend the best strategy to move forward based on the specific facts of each case. Our defense attorneys are fully prepared to go to trial, when necessary.

Penalties for Criminal Charges in Arizona

Criminal charges can lead to severe and lifelong consequences for those convicted. The list of crimes here is certainly not complete, and you should speak to a qualified Gilbert criminal defense attorney from AZ Defenders about the particulars of your specific case. A guilty conviction of a misdemeanor or felony charge could lead to a range of punishments, including:

  • Jail or prison time
  • Probation
  • Sex offender registry (for sex crimes)
  • License suspensions
  • Fines

Criminal charges will also result in a permanent mark on your record, which can make it difficult to gain employment, attend school, or find housing. A felony conviction is especially damaging, as it will lead to the permanent loss of your right to vote and bear arms. A felony will remain on your permanent record forever.

How Much Does a Defense Attorney Cost?

Most defense attorneys in Arizona charge either flat fees or hourly rates. Hourly rates are more common due to the highly variable nature of each criminal case. Charging a flat fee may not make sense if the services rendered are substantially different from one case to the next. The total cost of your defense attorney will depend on how many hours the lawyer must spend on litigating your case. Hourly billing rates among defense lawyers can differ significantly. Ask your potential Gilbert criminal attorney about his or her rates before you sign.

One of the most common questions we receive at AZ Defenders is how much it costs to hire our defense lawyers. We understand that cost is often a cause for concern, especially after an arrest. Our lawyers do our best to make our fees transparent, easy to understand and affordable. We base our rates on each specific situation based on the facts of the case and how difficult it will be to litigate. If your case involves complex issues and will take a long time to negotiate, we may charge more than our services on a simple case. We will always let you know the price of our services ahead of time.

The U.S. Constitution guarantees you the right to counsel as a criminal defendant. If you cannot afford to hire a private attorney, the courts in Arizona will appoint a public defender for you. The courts will make this decision based on your income and assets available. if you can afford a private attorney, going this route could lead to a stronger defense. A private lawyer generally has more time and resources to spend on defending you. Using a public defender, however, is still better than trying to represent yourself.

Consult With a Reliable Gilbert Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you or a loved one have been charged with a crime in Gilbert, Arizona, you need to seek legal assistance as soon as possible. At AZ Defenders, our knowledgeable and experienced team will get to work on your behalf today. We have the resources and experience to fully investigate the charges against you. When you need an aggressive Gilbert or Phoenix criminal defense lawyer, you can contact us for a free consultation of your case online or by calling our local law office at (480) 456-6400.