Gilbert Criminal Defense Attorney

Getting charged with a crime can be a scary and confusing experience. If you or someone you love is facing Arizona criminal charges, you need to turn to a Gilbert criminal defense attorney you can trust. At AZ Defenders, we are ready to help. Our lawyers have the resources and experience to investigate the claims against you and build a solid defense on your behalf.

Why Should You Choose AZ Defenders for Your Criminal Case?

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 gained through two decades of combined legal experience.
  • We work to ensure that each of our clients gets individualized attention because we know how much is at stake.
  • 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.

Client Review: 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.

Gilbert Criminal Defense Lawyer

How Can a Gilbert Criminal Defense Lawyer Help?

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 will work to obtain all evidence in your case. They will also uncover facts about the case that can be used to build your defense. A proper defense of a person charged with a crime will vary depending on the nature of the charges. However, some of the most common defenses our Gilbert criminal defense 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

What to Do After an Arrest in Arizona

While hiring a Gilbert criminal defense lawyer can do wonders for your case, you also have the ability to influence its outcome. Reacting correctly to an arrest can be imperative for protecting your rights and avoiding self-incrimination. Although an arrest can be frightening, do your best to remain calm and take a few critical actions to positively impact 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 rights 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:

Classifications of Crimes

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. 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

Defenses to Criminal Charges in Arizona

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.

  • 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.

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.

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.

Free Consultation With a Criminal Attorney in Gilbert, AZ

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 criminal offense lawyer, you can contact us for a free consultation of your case online or by calling our local law office at (480) 456-6400.