Criminal Defense FAQs
Before hiring a Pittsburgh Criminal Defense Lawyer from Sean Logue Law, there are some very important things you need to know:
Before I hire an attorney, should I provide any information to the police?
This is never a good thing. If you speak to the cops in the absence of an attorney, whatever you tell them may be twisted and used against you. If the police begin asking you questions, let them know that you want a lawyer and then politely refuse to give them answers to their questions.
What if cops want to search my car or home?
Police must have a warrant—permission in writing from the court—to legally search your home, vehicle, or person. They must obtain the warrant before they can conduct a search. Sometimes, police officers will make you feel like you have to allow them to search without a warrant, but you do not have to allow it. There are situations that do let them legally search you without a warrant, such as when there is probably cause or if you have allowed them.
What if I’m charged with a minor offense? Do I need a lawyer for that?
It is always a good idea to take one of our Criminal Lawyers at our Pittsburgh firm with you when you go before a judge. Your attorney can explain in detail the charges against you, and can help you get lower fines and less or no jail time. More than likely, you won’t need a lawyer for traffic tickets and other very minor offenses.
Felony vs. misdemeanor
A misdemeanor is not as serious as a felony. Jail time for a misdemeanor is up to five years for the most serious crime in the category, called first-degree misdemeanors. For a felony, you may face up to 20 years in prison.
How much should I tell my attorney?
You must give your Pittsburgh Lawyer every detail. This is crucial to the outcome of your case. By being honest and accurate, you give your lawyer the tools he or she needs to build a solid defense. Everything helps, even small details. If you fail to tell them everything or keep things from them, your attorney will be at a big disadvantage, especially in a plea bargaining or trial situation, should the real facts emerge.
Whatever you disclose to your lawyer will be kept confidential, and be protected. The lawyer representing you is not allowed to disclose this information to anyone, including your family members, without your permission. Most importantly, prosecutors and the police are prohibited from listening to or using any conversations against you that you have had with your attorney. This protection is known as attorney-client privilege. It goes into effect the moment you speak about your case to an attorney at our Pittsburgh firm, whether or not you hire him or her.
How much will my defense cost?
The costs associated with your defense will be contingent on the case’s complexity, and the amount of time your lawyer is required to be in court with and for you, as well as the amount of time required to prepare.
Is jail time a possibility?
Maybe. It depends on your charges, the case facts, the severity of the case, and the defense that your attorney is able to use. The lawyer assigned to you will give his best effort to obtain you the best possible outcome.