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The Top Mistakes to Avoid in a Criminal Defense Case: Tips from an Experienced Defense Attorney
/ 29 March, 2023

Being arrested is a scary and overwhelming situation for most people. While you may think answering the Police’s questions or trying to “talk your way out” of the charge is smart, it can actually be detrimental to your case.

Usually, you will only be arrested if the Police believe they have sufficient evidence to prove you are guilty of the crime they charged you with. As a result, the best thing you can do is exercise your right to remain an attorney (a constitutional right) and contact an attorney.

Here, you can learn more about common mistakes people make when facing criminal charges and how to avoid them if you find yourself in this situation.

Mistake: Believing You Are “Above the Law”

This is a mistake many people make. They believe that since they are a “good person” or that they have not done anything wrong, the law does not apply to them.

Unfortunately, this is not how things work. The law applies to anyone, regardless of your name or who you are.

Another issue is that some people do not know they are doing something illegal. This makes the situation more dangerous because you may not realize you did something wrong.

You need to realize you are not above the law. It applies to everyone, and if you are arrested, you will not be let off with a warning. If you have been arrested, you must comply with the Police and remember that you are facing real criminal charges.

Even if you can allege that you made a mistake due to a mental condition, defenses like insanity or mistake of fact are complex and challenging to prove. If you plan to claim this, you need an attorney who understands the law related to mental health conditions and criminal charges.

It is best to hire a criminal defense attorney when you face criminal charges since the situation can be complex and come with penalties like jail time.

Mistake: Resisting Arrest

If you have not been arrested or are in the process of being arrested, do not resist.

You may feel like you should resist or flee in this situation; however, that is not a good idea. If you do this, it will make a bad situation worse. For example, you will likely face additional criminal charges if you struggle or fight the officer and injure them.

Remain respectful and invoke your right to remain silent. You do not want to say anything that could be used against you in your case.

Mistake: Giving too Much Information to the Police

You should cooperate with the Police (as mentioned above), but only to a certain point. For example, it is smart to comply with requests to “sit down” or “stand there.” However, this does not mean you must offer information that could hurt your defense.

Refusing to answer questions is not considered to resist arrest until you have spoken to your criminal defense attorney.

If you talk to the Police or try to tell your “side” of the story, it may cause you to disclose information that could be incriminating. Police want you to do this as it strengthens their case. Keep this in mind when you are answering questions. You should request to speak to your lawyer before agreeing to answer any questions asked by the Police or investigators.

Mistake: Waiting to Speak to a Criminal Defense Attorney

When it comes to any criminal charge, you must talk to an attorney quickly. You may not realize that the situation is time sensitive. You need to give your attorney as much time as possible to help you build a solid defense against the charges you are facing.

Also, if you do not have the advice of an attorney, you may make mistakes that will weaken your entire case.

Some people do not hire a lawyer because they believe they will be found guilty. However, even in this situation, an attorney may help reduce the charges against you or even negotiate a plea deal. Attorneys are invaluable when it comes to criminal charges.

Mistake: Accepting a Plea Deal to Quickly

If you are facing criminal charges, you may have to decide if you will accept a plea deal. Before deciding about this, talk to an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Facing criminal charges can be a stressful and unnerving situation. You may face prison time, fines, and an ongoing criminal record. Your driving privileges may be revoked, too, depending on the charges.

If you face criminal charges, you may want to deal with the situation quickly and move on. Unfortunately, cases like this are not as easy as they may appear. You need an attorney to help you get the best plea deal possible.

When you are arrested, and criminal charges are filed against you, the prosecution may offer a plea deal. This is when you plead guilty to a reduced charge to avoid going to trial. Your attorney can let you know if the plea deal should be accepted or if you should go to trial. Without this advice, you may accept a plea deal, is not in your best interest.

Mistake: Getting in the Way of Your Defense

You may believe you are innocent. Because of this, you may want to play an active role in your defense.

However, this is something you should avoid. You should not try to handle the defense on your own. In most cases, this will lead to a less-than-desirable outcome for your case.

Mistake: Trying to Hide Evidence or Information from Your Lawyer

You must tell your attorney everything about your case. They need this information to best represent you and to ensure they are not blindsided in court.

The things you tell your attorney will not be exposed in court. You must tell your attorney even if you think something is incriminating or irrelevant. They will know how to use it from a strategic point for your defense.

Let Our Legal Team Help with Your Case

If you are facing criminal charges in Colorado, it is important that you avoid the mistakes here. Making these mistakes can cost you when it comes to defending your case.

Your attorney is your advocate in this situation and can help you build a solid defense. However, you must play your part and avoid the mistakes mentioned here.

Talk to your attorney if you are unsure about something, including what to say or do related to your case.

The first step in building a solid criminal defense is to contact our office to schedule a consultation. We can learn about your situation and develop a strategy to help you achieve the best possible outcome to your situation. We will aggressively fight for your rights and your freedom.

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How to Choose the Right Criminal Defense Attorney for Your Case: Tips and Advice
/ 27 March, 2023

If you are charged with a crime, you may be unsure what to do or where to turn. These situations can be confusing, overwhelming, and scary.

Not only is there the possibility of jail time if you are convicted, but you also must deal with the stress of a trial and the stigma that comes with this.

In these situations, hiring an experienced and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney is in your best interest. Here you can find some tips and information that will help you find a quality and reputable criminal defense attorney.

Consider the Attorney’s Experience

Being charged with a crime is serious. You need to hire an attorney who knows the law and how it applies to your case.

Try to find a lawyer with experience in the local courts since they will likely have relationships with the prosecuting attorneys and judges. This may be beneficial when creating a plea agreement or even reducing the charges against you.

While this is important, consider the attorney’s success rate, too. There is no substitute for experience; however, experience without success does not mean much when you have been charged with a crime.

Quality attorneys will have a track record of success.

What Types of Cases Does the Attorney Have Experience With?

Experience matters, and successes matter. However, you also need to ensure the attorney you hire has represented cases like yours in the past.

While criminal defense lawyers may represent all crimes and charges, some specialize in specific types. For example, if an attorney specializes in defending DUI cases, they may not be ideal if you are facing theft charges.

If you cannot determine the types of cases the attorney is familiar with, ask or look at past client testimonials.

Personality Matters

Quality criminal defense attorneys understand how challenging it can be to deal with the police, investigators, and prosecutors. The lawyer you hire to defend your rights and situations should be ready to go against these individuals on your behalf.

Try to find an attorney with an aggressive defense style. This will help you achieve the best possible outcome for your case.

Even though confidence is important, no attorney should promise or guarantee your case. Instead, they should explain what will happen and how they will build a strong defense to present in court. Searching for legal representation elsewhere is best if the attorney promises a certain outcome.

Avoid Using the Services of a Public Defender (if Possible)

It may seem like a good idea to use the services of a public defender to avoid having to pay for legal representation. However, most public defenders lack courtroom experience and have heavy caseloads.

This means they will not have much time to spend on your case or answer your questions. Public defenders are not motivated to go the extra mile and fight for you, either, like a private attorney is.

Local Connections

When you hire an attorney in the local area (which is recommended), it means they have established relationships and connections that can be beneficial.

A well-connected attorney will better understand the local procedures and have experience with the prosecutors and judges in the area. They will also know who may offer a plea agreement and who will not.

Having an attorney with knowledge of the inner workings of the local criminal courtrooms may help them develop a winning strategy. While there are no guarantees, this can work in your favor.

Board Certification

If you find a board-certified criminal defense attorney, it means you are hiring the “best of the best.” With this legal representation, it means your attorney is proficient in the specific legal field you need representation for.

Schedule an Initial In-Person Consultation

Researching online, reading reviews, and looking at social media can give you a general idea of the attorneys in your area and some information about them. However, you should also schedule an initial consultation with an attorney you are considering.

Some offer these for free, while others charge a small fee. It is worth paying the fee to ensure you have found the right attorney for your needs.

Sometimes, you and the attorney will not “mesh.” This person will defend your freedom, so you need someone you are comfortable with and trust. Be sure to trust your gut. Continuing your search for the right legal representation is best if something does not feel right in the initial meeting.

Available and Accessible

You need to contact an attorney when charges are filed against you. They need as much time as possible to help build a strong defense on your behalf.

The attorney should be available to take your initial call and respond to any questions or inquiries promptly.

Finding an attorney who is available and accessible will be beneficial to you and your case. If they are not available or accessible initially, it is a sign they will not be throughout your case.

Consider the Fees

You may want to try to save money by choosing the criminal defense attorney with the lowest fees. However, this is not a good strategy. The adage “you get what you pay for” applies in the legal industry.

This does not mean you must choose the attorney with the highest fees. Usually, attorneys with less experience charge lower fees. If your freedom is on the line, now is not the time to try to save money. You need the best representation you can afford.

Ask about how the attorney charges upfront so you will not be surprised down the road.

Confidence in the Courtroom

Sometimes, criminal charges do not proceed to trial. However, this is not always the case. You need confidence that the lawyer you hired can handle the situation if your case goes to trial.

Ask about the attorney’s courtroom experience. If they have minimal, hiring them may not be a good idea. You need an attorney who is confident and can confidently argue your case.

While courtroom confidence is important, the attorney should also take cues from you. While they must file motions and handle other legal aspects, it is ultimately your life and your trial. You should have the final word regarding how you plead and other important decisions.

Let Our Criminal Defense Attorneys Help with Your Case

If you are facing criminal charges, our legal team at the Law Firm of Stephen J. Pisani, LLC, is ready to help. We will work to build a solid defense and aggressively protect your rights and freedom.

The first step is to call to schedule an initial meeting with our attorneys. We can learn more about your situation and begin developing a defense strategy. We understand how stressful these situations can be and are ready to help handle the legal aspect of your situation.

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How To Build a Criminal Defense Strategy: Everything You Need to Know
/ 23 March, 2023

Are you facing criminal charges? If so, you must build a strong case and develop an effective defense strategy.

While the situation can be overwhelming and stressful, you should remember the law – you are innocent until proven guilty. The U.S. Constitution also gives you the right to a strong defense.

Regardless of the criminal charges you face, you must take steps to protect your rights and freedom. Some tips to help you build a solid criminal defense strategy can be found here.

How To Build an Effective Criminal Defense Strategy

Building a solid criminal defense strategy is complex. You must know what elements are required to do this. The most important elements of any criminal defense strategy include the following:

  • Strong evidence. Your attorney will collect evidence related to your case and present it in a manner that helps prove your innocence.
  • Effective explanation of what happened. If you have been charged with a crime, it is because the prosecuting attorney believes their evidence can satisfy the burden of proof that you are guilty. Your attorney will work with you to show you could not have committed the crime or provide a reason why your actions were needed or justifiable.
  • Adequate time to prepare. Your attorney will prepare for the case by collecting evidence, witness testimonies, and more. You should hire legal representation as soon as possible after being charged with a crime so they have as much time as possible to build a solid defense on your behalf.

These elements are required when building a solid defense against criminal charges. However, it is also beneficial to know what to do and what to avoid as your attorney creates a viable defense strategy on your behalf.

Common Defense Strategies Your Attorney May Use

A common way that defense attorneys represent their clients is by showing that the prosecution did not show their client (you) were guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Your attorney can do this by raising questions about the credibility of the prosecution’s witnesses. This creates doubt in the juror’s minds, so they acquit you.

Some of the ways that your attorney will work to create doubt include the following:

  • Show weaknesses in testimonies from witnesses that give the impression that they are lying.
  • Highlight police mistakes while they gathered, maintained, and tested physical evidence against you.
  • Suggest that a witness may have received a bribe from the prosecution to give testimony against a defendant to receive a benefit for their pending criminal charges.
  • Make the argument that the testimony is unbelievable because it is not logical.

Tips to Help You Build a Criminal Defense Strategy

Now that you know the elements of an effective criminal defense strategy, learn some tips for creating one, which are highlighted here.

Hire an Experienced and Knowledgeable Criminal Defense Attorney

After being arrested and charged with a crime, you may be unsure what your next step is. This is when it is smart to put in time and effort to find an experienced and reputable criminal defense attorney.

At the Law Offices of Stephen J. Pisani, LLC, our lawyers have decades of experience building solid defense strategies for clients in Colorado. We provide aggressive and knowledgeable defenses that help our clients achieve the best possible outcome for their cases.

We use our experience, expertise, skills, and resources in criminal law and the local area to review your case, provide advice, and represent you in court.

Disclose All Related Information to Your Attorney

Once you find an attorney you trust, you must give them all the details of your criminal charges. Do not lie or withhold information.

Your attorney needs all the facts. This is the only way you can hope for a successful defense strategy. The more your attorney knows about the case, the less likely there will be surprises in the courtroom that cause issues.

Understand the Charges You Are Facing

Building a strong criminal defense strategy requires understanding the charges you are facing. When you know what you are up against, you will better understand the situation.

If you do not understand something about the charges you are facing, your attorney can help explain it to you. They are an excellent source of information and are there to defend your rights and freedom.

Avoid Sharing Information About Your Case with Others

Creating a strong criminal defense strategy is not an easy process. Your attorney must consider the unique factors of your case and how the law applies to your situation and develop a strategy that adheres to the law while working to reduce the likelihood of a conviction.

While your attorney works to defend you in court, you must ensure you are not doing something that may jeopardize your ability to obtain a favorable outcome.

You should not discuss your criminal charges or case with anyone besides your lawyer.

One way to ensure you do this is by exercising your right to remain silent and always have your attorney present when being questioned by authorities (which is a constitutional right).

Never post about your case on social media. If you do this, you may compromise your attorney’s defense strategy.

Gathering Evidence Is Essential

While your attorney needs to know your story and all the details related to the situation, they also need evidence to build a strong defense. The evidence collected can be used to create a solid strategy.

Collecting evidence may not be something you can do, especially if you are being held in jail until your trial. A criminal defense attorney can obtain needed documents, witness testimony, and physical evidence supporting your defense strategy.

Witness Testimony Is Powerful 

Having witness testimony in your case can be beneficial when trying to prove you are innocent. Besides issuing subpoenas to people at the scene when you were arrested, your lawyer can call healthcare, forensics, and psychology experts to provide their insight on the case and character witnesses.

Trial consultants can also help build your defense strategy. Jury consultants can provide information on how jury members will likely react to the evidence presented at your hearing.

Consider All Your Legal Options

Sometimes, your attorney will recommend you go to court to fight the criminal charges against you. However, in other cases, it may be best to work with the prosecution to reduce the charges or reach a plea agreement.

In either case, you must determine the possible sentencing options and how they can impact your overall defense strategy.

After your attorney helps you create a solid defense strategy, you can decide on going to court or seeking reduced charges.

Our Legal Team Can Help with Your Case

If you are facing criminal charges in Colorado, our legal team at the Law Offices of Stephen J. Pisani can help. We can evaluate your situation and help you build a solid defense strategy.

We understand how overwhelming these situations can be and are ready to help you with your case.

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Why You Need a Criminal Defense Attorney: Protecting Your Rights and Building a Strong Case
/ 21 March, 2023

The Colorado Criminal Code outlines all the laws in the state for criminal activities and potential criminal charges. It is a complex and confusing document that most people cannot fully understand.

However, understanding the charge, your rights, and potential penalties are important if you face criminal charges. One of the best ways to ensure you understand your situation is to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney.

At the Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani, LLC, our experienced criminal defense attorneys are ready to help you understand the law and ensure you have the best defense possible for your charges.

Here, you can learn more about the benefits of hiring a criminal defense attorney and how we can help protect your rights while building a strong defense.

Why You Need a Criminal Defense Attorney

Understanding of the Judicial System

The judicial system in Colorado is complex. Unless you have gone to law school, you probably do not understand all the laws thoroughly. This is when an experienced attorney can be beneficial.

Modern laws, codes, and regulations are confusing for the average person. However, when you hire an experienced defense lawyer, you have someone on your side, representing your interests, who understands all the legal factors related to your case.

The attorneys at the Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani, LLC are ready to speak to you about the charges you are facing to help you better understand your situation.

Negotiations Are Complicated and Time Sensitive

After being arrested and charged with a crime, time is not on your side. It is important to act quickly, or the situation may become worse. Prosecutors will be working to collect evidence they can use against you.

The best chance you have of negotiating to reduce or eliminate the charges against you is to start negotiations immediately.

However, you should not attempt to do this on your own. You need representation from an experienced criminal defense attorney. They know what defenses and methods are in place to help negotiate and achieve a more desirable outcome for your situation.

Ensure the Proper Court Procedures Are Followed

When you hire a reputable and experienced criminal defense attorney, they will not compromise when defending you. Part of their representation is filling out and filing the required paperwork. For those attempting to represent themselves, this part alone can be overwhelming. Also, missing an important deadline or omitting crucial information can lead to big issues for your case.

The prosecutor will also use your lack of legal knowledge and court procedures against you if you do not hire a criminal defense attorney (in many cases).

The courts that handle criminal cases have strict deadlines, bottlenecks, and legal requirements that may be impossible to meet without someone who knows the process. An attorney will have the experience to handle these situations and ensure your case is properly represented.

Familiarity with Your Case and Situation

Not all criminal defense lawyers are the same. While all must pass law school and the state bar to practice law in the area, each attorney has a unique specialty.

When you hire an experienced Colorado criminal defense attorney, it means you have someone who has dealt with cases like yours in the past. They know what is needed to increase the likelihood of success in the courtroom.

The right lawyer and law firm will aggressively defend you and fight for your rights in and out of the courtroom.

Professionalism Is Required

If you are facing criminal charges, the potential penalties are likely serious. Because of this (and other reasons), a professional approach is required to deal with the situation head-on.

For example, your attorney may need to mediate between you and the person accusing you of a crime. This requires a professional touch. You should never contact the person accusing you of a crime in this situation, and your attorney will ensure you follow the law while communication needs are handled.

Established Relationships with Prosecutors

Hiring an experienced Colorado criminal defense attorney means you have someone with established relationships with prosecutors. These are built thanks to years of working together in the legal field.

While this may not sound good, attorneys can have positive relationships with attorneys on “the other side.” This relationship may be beneficial and useful for your case and situation.

For example, the relationship may help the two parties negotiate and achieve a plea deal or more affordable bond. Remember, the defense attorney you hire is your “spokesperson.” They know how to handle the negotiations and discussions with everyone involved in your case – including the prosecuting attorney.

Many attorneys who have worked in the local area for years also have relationships with the judges. This may be beneficial for your case, as well.

They Will Work to Protect Your Future

A criminal defense attorney will work on your behalf and fight for your future. The attorney may be able to have your criminal charges reduced, or the penalties lessened. Sometimes, it may even be possible to have the charges dismissed. This is done by showing the police made mistakes and illegally obtained evidence against you.

If your charges are reduced, you can avoid having a felony on our record, which would likely hurt your current and future career prospects.

Your attorney may be able to reduce the penalties you face, too, including keeping you from spending time in jail or losing your job. If your case is dismissed, you can avoid any negative impact criminal convictions would have on your life.

Avoid Saying the Wrong Thing to Authorities

If the police, investigators, or prosecuting attorneys want to ask you questions about the criminal case you are facing charges for, you should never answer until your lawyer is present. They can provide advice regarding how (and if) you should answer.

Trying to answer questions without your lawyer present can harm your case. You may say the wrong thing and then give the police evidence to use against you. Remember, the people questioning you are trained to get you to say what they want to hear.

You have the legal right to have your attorney present when questioned. Also, requesting your attorney is not an admission of guilt. It is you exercising your legal rights.

Better Evidence Examination

The prosecution has experts who will review the evidence against you. You need the same level of legal expertise on your side.

A competent and experienced criminal defense lawyer knows how to evaluate the evidence against you and determine if it was obtained in a manner that violates your constitutional rights.

Your attorney will also know how to deal with witnesses who may exaggerate the truth when asked about what happened. They can find weaknesses in the witness stories and help use these to discredit their testimony against you.

You need an attorney to examine all the evidence against you and question the witnesses the prosecution is using to prove their case.

Hiring an attorney that belongs to a larger law firm means you have the support of an entire defense team. This means you can access resources and connections to help you with your case.

Help You Save Money

It may seem counterintuitive that paying for legal services from a criminal defense attorney would save you money. However, spending money on legal representation is almost always worth the investment.

An attorney will help you receive the best possible outcome for your case. They may be able to help you keep your job and avoid losing a professional license. Think about this – how much money would you lose if you were fired tomorrow? What would you lose if your professional license was revoked?

Even if you are not fired, missing work because you are in jail can lead to financial hardship you probably want to avoid.

Emotional Support for the Legal Process

Having an experienced attorney is important because they can provide legal knowledge and emotional support during your case.

You will likely face a lot of pressure and stress when you are charged with a crime. Your defense attorney will stand between you and the harsh penalties of the criminal justice system.

Our Criminal Defense Attorneys Can Help with Your Case

Hiring a defense attorney from the Law Offices of Stephen J. Pisani, LLC is recommended if you face criminal charges in Colorado. Our legal team has years of experience providing strong defenses for individuals like you.

We can evaluate your case and create a plan to help you achieve the best possible outcome. The first step is to call our legal team to help with your case. We can schedule an initial consultation to discuss your situation.

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