Being charged with a criminal offense is a serious matter. In most instances, you could face jail or prison, fines, probation, and more. For sex crimes and crimes of domestic violence, there are often enhanced penalties.
Regardless of the nature of the offense, you need criminal defense attorneys on your side who not only have a deep understanding of the statutes and legal processes for the Phoenix area but who also have a history of beating criminal charges.
Hernandez & Hamilton, P.C. is a top-tier Arizona law firm that has successfully represented hundreds of clients in the Phoenix area criminal courts. If you’ve been charged with a crime, contact Hernandez & Hamilton to get in touch with a Phoenix Criminal Defense Lawyer today.
Why You Need the Criminal Defense Attorneys of Hernandez & Hamilton
In order to convict you, the state must prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. However, not all criminal defense attorneys are adept at raising that doubt. Our attorneys have an established record of success when it comes to reducing penalties, getting charges dropped, or beating criminal charges in court.
The Types of Cases Our Criminal Defenses Attorneys Handle
Many law firms only represent certain types of clients who have been charged with crimes in their area of expertise. At Hernandez & Hamilton, PC, we believe that everyone deserves a professional criminal defense, regardless of the difficulty of the case or type of crime. Here are some of the types of a misdemeanor, felony, and traffic offenses that we handle:
- Drug Crimes
- Property Crimes
- Violent Crimes
- Sex Crimes
- Domestic Violence Crimes
- Assault and Aggravated Assault
- Fraud & White Collar Crimes
- Rape and Sexual Assault
- RICO & Organized Crime
- Vehicular Manslaughter
- Child abuse or neglect
- Juvenile crimes
This is by no means an exhaustive list. If you want Hernandez & Hamilton, PC to defend you in a criminal court, call us to discuss your case.
Public Defender vs. Private Criminal Defense
All criminal defendants have the right to legal counsel, whether they can afford one or not. That means that you can opt for a public defender if you choose. But that decision may not be in your best interest. Here’s why:
- Public defenders are overworked and understaffed. Sometimes, this means attorneys are overwhelmed and cannot pay adequate attention to each case in their caseloads, which means that they’re often unable to dedicate sufficient time to your case.
- The heavy caseload often leads to overwhelming pressure to clear cases and make room for the new cases coming in.
- Public defenders are often excellent attorneys, however, there are times where your case may not be handled by the public defenders offices themselves, but rather by outside attorneys who are on contract. Those contract attorneys can lack the supervision and resources that come with public defenders offices, and as a result, the contract attorneys may miss key information that could impact the outcome of your case.
At Hernandez & Hamilton, PC, our veteran criminal defense lawyers manage their own caseloads. We intentionally keep our caseloads law, with our attorneys carrying on average 12-18 felony cases at a time, whereas attorneys from public defenders offices can carry up to ten times as many cases at a given time. Our attorneys are able to devote the time, focus, energy, and attention to the cases that they deserve. Additionally, our attorneys are not under any pressure to stretch their resources. Your case is our top priority.
As veteran criminal defense attorneys, our legal team brings combined decades of experience to our cases. We have a solid reputation in the Maricopa County criminal justice system that both judges and prosecutors know and respect.
How a Criminal Defense Attorney Builds Your Defense
Many individuals who have been charged with crimes want to know how a criminal defense attorney will build a defense for their case. While every case is unique, these are some of the steps an experienced defense lawyer will take to establish a defense:
Your criminal lawyer will need to know all the details about the client and the case. You can freely discuss the details of your case under the protection of attorney-client privilege. It’s essential that you’re honest with your attorney about your involvement in the crime that you’re accused of committing, as well as the relevant background and details. The more information the attorney has at his or her disposal, the more he or she will be able to successfully represent you and achieve a favorable outcome.
If you retain our services, you will be represented by one of our attorneys for the duration of your case. At Hernandez & Hamilton, PC, we apply a team based approach to all of our cases. We regularly meet as a team to discuss each client and each case to get input from all of our experienced attorneys to formulate the best path to success in every case we take on. As the client, you have the right to access all discovery evidence the prosecution intends to use in court, and you will work along with us to formulate the best strategy to win your case. Our legal team will collect police reports, affidavits, witness statements, photos/videos, etc., used to bring charges against you.
Our attorneys also work with private investigators to gather helpful evidence on your behalf and use it to your advantage when the time is right. Our firm has unparalleled success in conducting defense investigations which demonstrate our client’s innocence and get charges dropped and cases dismissed.
Subpoenas and Interviews
Our attorneys and our private investigators will locate and interview all of the State’s material witnesses against you, including the investigative team, arresting officers, and/or witnesses. We will then review their testimony and look for inconsistencies and flaws. In addition, we will conduct a robust defense investigation and locate and interview witnesses who are helpful to your defense.
Develop a Legal Strategy
Once we have reviewed all of the evidence against you and developed any additional information, we will begin to develop your defense. This involves looking for flaws in the prosecutorial case, including illegal police procedure, violations of your constitutional rights, and anything else that demonstrates a lack of probable cause.
This overview is a simplification of the criminal defense process. For a more involved discussion, contact Hernandez & Hamilton, PC today.
Frequently Asked Questions About Criminal Defense
If you’re seeking a criminal defense attorney in Phoenix, or anywhere in the State of Arizona, you probably have questions about your legal defense. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions by defendants along with answers from our professional legal defense team.
When should I hire a criminal defense attorney?
Ideally, you should hire a lawyer as soon as you discover that you’re the subject of an investigation. If you know that the police are considering bringing charges against you, contact a criminal defense attorney. Phoenix law firm Hernandez & Hamilton, PC can serve you better if we’re involved early.
If I plan to plead guilty, do I still need a criminal defense attorney to represent me?
You should always have legal representation when dealing with the police or prosecutors. Even if you are planning on pleading guilty, you will be faced with a range of penalties. An experienced lawyer can negotiate with the prosecuting attorney to get you a more favorable outcome. Your attorney won’t talk you out of your decision, but they can potentially make your life a lot easier.
How do I establish a good defense strategy for my case?
Ultimately, it’s your attorney’s job to develop your defense strategy, but there are things you can do to help or hurt your case. For example, you should defer any questions from the police or prosecutors to your attorney. Even if the questions are seemingly innocent or appear to be unrelated to your case, don’t try to answer without first talking to your lawyer. Do not discuss your case with anyone other than your attorney. You could unintentionally complicate your case or inadvertently create new witnesses for the prosecution.
How does attorney-client privilege work?
If you tell your attorney information about the crimes you’ve been accused of, they are not legally required to disclose it, even if it’s an admission of guilt. There are exceptions to attorney-client privilege. For example, attorney-client privilege does not apply if you are planning to further a crime or commit new crimes. Your criminal defense attorney should inform you about the limits of attorney-client privilege.
Protect Your Rights With a Phoenix Criminal Defense Lawyer
Whether you’ve been accused of drug crimes, violent crimes, sex crimes, or some other type of criminal offense, you have the right to the best defense you can obtain. In Phoenix, AZ, that starts with a call to Hernandez & Hamilton, P.C. Don’t trust your future and freedom with anything less than a professional private criminal defense lawyer. Call Hernandez & Hamilton, PC today!