Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Criminal Defense
Defense Attorneys | Crumbley, Blackwell, Wisda & Associates, P.C.
In nearly 80 years of experience, our team of dedicated attorneys have compiled a list of frequently asked questions regarding criminal defense cases. These questions were asked by real people, with real criminal related cases in North Alabama. If you or a loved one have been arrested, contact our dedicated team of defense lawyers today. We offer free consultations for all criminal related cases. Schedule a free consultation by calling (256) 539-4464 or completing a case evaluation form online. Our team handles a wide variety of criminal defense related cases to include:
Misdemeanor and Felony Charges
If you have been arrested for a misdemeanor or felony charge in North Alabama, it is imperative that you exercise your right to remain silent until you have a chance to speak with your defense lawyer. You have the right to remain silent and the right to legal counsel, insist on these rights. In addition, you have the right for your lawyer to be present during any interrogations. It is critical that you contact our experienced criminal defense lawyers before speaking with investigators.
After an arrest, you are entitled to post bail. Bail is the process of paying a predetermined amount of money to be released from jail. In most cases, bail will be set immediately. However, it is required to be set within 72 hours. If your bail amount is excessively high, our defense attorneys may be able to help reduce the amount. Once bail has been posted and you are released from custody, you will be required to appear in court at a later date for trial. If you or your family cannot afford to post bail, there are other options available. Contact your local bail bonding company who can inform you of your options and help you get out of jail.
White Collar Crimes
The term "white collar crime" is generally used to describe crimes that involve financial cheating or dishonesty as their common basis. Often times, these crimes are committed by professionals and entrepreneurs under the cloak of legitimate business activity. White collar crimes often carry lesser penalties because they are not associated with violence. However, defendants could still incur enormous fines, be ordered to pay restitution, or be sentenced to jail time. There is a trend toward harsher punishment for white collar crimes in North Alabama, as officials recognize the financial damages that these cases inflict on members of society. White collar crimes include identity theft, credit card fraud, extortion, forgery, securities fraud, and others. These crimes are serious offenses, and it is critical that you seek adequate defense representation from an experienced criminal lawyer.
Drug related offenses in North Alabama are not taken lightly. The majority of drug offenses are classified as felonies. Even a minor possession charge could result in a permanent criminal record and suspension of your Alabama driver's license. Local laws do not require a specific amount of drugs to be found guilty of misdemeanor or felony possession. If you are caught initiating the sale of drugs, or even giving them away, this could lead to a charge of distribution. A distribution charge could lead to both increased jail time and fines.
More serious drug offenses, such as trafficking charges, do require specific amounts of the drug to be present (for example, possession of 2.2 pounds of marijuana increases a possession charge to a trafficking charge). If you have been arrested for a drug related offense in North Alabama, contact a knowledgeable defense attorney from our team immediately. They can help you develop a strong defense tailored to the facts and circumstances of your case.
Domestic violence is defined by "abuse, or threats of abuse where the individual who is being abused or threatened, and the abuser, are having or have had a special relationship such as living together (with or without marriage), dating each other, or other family relationship." North Alabama domestic violence laws classify the following as abuse:
- Causing physical harm or attempting to cause physical harm to someone, intentionally or recklessly
- Sexual assault
- Causing someone fear that they or someone else will be seriously harmed (threats or promises to harm)
- Disturbing the Peace
- Destroying Personal Property
If you or a family member are being abused, it may help you to speak with a domestic violence counselor or domestic violence attorney. If you have been accused of domestic violence, it is imperative that you contact our experienced domestic violence attorneys immediately. They will meet with you to begin developing a strong defense that is tailored to your specific case.
Instead of sentencing to jail time upon a conviction or guilty plea, the Courts will often place individuals on probation for a specific time period. Probation requires the completion of specific conditions within an allotted amount of time outlined by the Judge.
Once these conditions are met, the defendant owes no further obligations to the court. However, when a defendant fails to complete or satisfy the required conditions, they violate the probation. Violating probation is a serious offense, and could lead to serious jail time. Probation typically includes some or all of the following:
- Drug Testing
- Community Service
- Attend Specific Classes
- Pay Restitution
A probationer who fails to comply with court ordered conditions of probation may face the possibility of having their probation revoked. This can result in jail or even state prison time.
At the end of the day, a police officer can do just about whatever they wish, though they will have to answer to their actions. If you have been stopped for a traffic or other violation, be polite and respectful to the officer. Here are the basic procedures that you should be aware of regarding traffic stops in North Alabama:
- If an officer asks if you know why you are being stopped, simply ask them if they will inform you of the reason
- If you have been stopped for a minor traffic violation, sign the ticket. With your signature, the officer will "release you on your own recognizance"
- If the officer asks you any questions or attempts to start a discussion that is not related to the reason you where stopped, seize the conversation immediately
- An officer must have reasonable suspicion or probable cause to request a search of your vehicle. The officer is not entitled to a search for any other reasons. If the officer asks you to search your vehicle, ask him if you have done anything to cause him to believe that there is something illegal in your vehicle. Remember, you always have the right to decline an officers request to search your vehicle
- As always, you have the right to remain silent and request an attorney, exercise these rights
Award Winning Criminal Defense Attorneys
If you have been arrested and are facing charges for a criminal offense, contact our experienced criminal defense lawyers. We have nearly 80 years of combined defense experience across communities in North Alabama. Our team has earned many awards for their outstanding criminal defense services, to include an AV-Preeminent Rating from Martindale-Hubbell, an A+ Rating from the Better Business Bureau, a 10.0 Superb Rating from Avvo, a 2016 Clients' Choice Award from Avvo, inclusion in the "Top 100" National Trial Lawyers, a 2016 Client Distinction Award from Martindale-Hubbell, and more. Learn more about our team of dedicated defense attorneys on the firm overview page.