Wednesday, February 10, 2016

What Does an Oakland County Criminal Defense Attorney Do?

oakland county criminal defense attorney An Oakland County criminal defense attorney represents people who have been charged with crimes in court. The crimes can range in severity from a minor misdemeanor to a felony. The punishment also ranges from a meager fine or community service to years in prison and even the death sentence.
If someone is charged with committing a crime, it is imperative that he or she have representation during criminal proceedings. The U.S Constitution actually entitles all citizens charged with a crime to the right of access to qualified legal representation.

Why Are Criminal Defense Attorneys Necessary?
Criminal law is typically a complicated body of federal and state legislation. Characteristically, the majority of crimes committed are state crimes, with exceptions including inflicting injury on a federal employee or causing damage to federal property.

oakland county criminal defense attorney

Individuals can represent themselves during a criminal trial, but the consequences of having poor legal representation may be severe. Felonies can lead to prison terms, and this is why it’s important to have a knowledgeable professional represent someone.

Oakland County Criminal Defense Attorney Services Pre-Trial
Criminal defense attorneys will assist clients throughout the process and that includes pre-trial. Some people only retain the services of a lawyer during the investigation stage of the crime, before being charged. This tends to happen if the person is a suspect and believes he or she will be charged. In such instances, the criminal defense lawyer will help instruct the person being questioned to make sure incriminating information is not divulged and no rights are infringed upon.

oakland county criminal defense attorney These attorneys can also help to convince a court to drop the charges against a person based on improper procedure or insufficient evidence.

Furthermore, a person arrested for a crime could be detained indefinitely, pending trial. However, under normal circumstances, a bail amount is set, and once the person pays it, he or she is free to leave, as long as they respect certain geographical limitations to movement. Bail is set to ensure the person arrives for their trial. An Oakland County criminal defense attorney will try to persuade the court to reduce the bail or even waive it. However, if a person is deemed to be a flight risk, that is, if he or she has a high likelihood of fleeing to avoid going to trial, a judge will deny bail to ensure the defendant is present at court when needed.

If a guilty verdict is highly probably due to overwhelming evidence or an admission, the defendant may wish to enter into a plea bargain with the prosecuting attorney. The plea bargain is a negotiated agreement that aims to reduce charges to a lesser crime or even reduce sentencing. The criminal defense lawyer can represent the person during plea negotiations to assist with increasing his or her chances of getting a reduced punishment.

oakland county criminal defense attorney

Criminal Defense Attorneys at Trial
Criminal defense attorneys can also assist during the trial. They will analyze a person’s case and identify the strengths and weaknesses therein. From there, the lawyer and person being charged will collaborate to determine a defense strategy.

The attorney will discuss the pros and cons of pleading guilty, particularly when a plea bargain is put on the table.

The attorney will also be able to assist with the standard steps involved in a criminal trial, from selecting the jury to questioning witnesses and providing opening statements. If the trial doesn’t go in favor of the attorney’s client, he or she can also assist with the appeals process.

Conservatorship – When to Call Oakland County Lawyers

oakland county lawyers When an elderly relative, or dependent adult, becomes physically or mentally unable to take care of his or her own needs, it may be an appropriate time for a family member or guardian to establish conservatorship. Oakland County lawyers who deal with elder law can establish conservatorship by preparing the petition and then filing it with the court, along with any other necessary documentation. The dependent person becomes known as the “conservatee” and the person seeking the court’s authority is the “conservator.”

Different Types of Conservatorship
oakland county lawyers According to Oakland County lawyers, there are two types of conservatorship: 

1. Over the person – when the elder can no longer take care of his or her personal needs, including shelter, clothing and food. 

2. Over the “estate” – this is when the elder can no longer make financial decisions, or resist undue influence or fraud. 

The client and lawyer will start by determining whether there are any alternatives so the same goals can be achieved, but without needing formal conservatorship. Two such options include powers of attorney and trusts.

Trusts and Power of Attorney
If the elder has previously established a revocable trust, that trust will name a “successor trustee,” a person who has the authority to manage the elder’s assets when he or she is no longer able to do so. In a similar sense, if the powers of attorney for healthcare and finance decision making are in place, then the elder’s “agent” has the authority to handle those responsibilities. In these instances, there is no need to seek conservatorship since the authority is already in place.

oakland county lawyers There are times, though, when both powers of attorney and trusts are in place, but it’s still necessary to establish a conservatorship. The appointed “agent” under the power of attorney for finances, or the “successor trustee” of the trust could well be stealing money from the elder. This has to be ceased, and Oakland County lawyers can help establish a conservatorship and even an “elder abuse civil litigation” case if one is warranted to recover money or properties that have been wrongfully taken.

Once the conservatorship has been established, the court will monitor the appointed person’s actions. The conservator has to file periodic accountings with the court and inform the judge of everything received and spent. A conservator can petition the court to be reimbursed reasonable fees for his or her work. Fees often include out-of-pocket costs and attorney fees.

Most of the work to seek conservatorship occurs at the beginning of a case and then starts to simmer down once the mechanics are set in place, such as the conservatee’s bills being paid, their medical care sorted out, and any residency issues dealt with.

Once again, alternatives to a conservator should be considered first, but when necessary, it can provide senior citizens with much needed assistance to ensure they maintain as much independence and dignity as is possible.

oakland county lawyers

Talking to Oakland County Lawyers
Making the decision to file for a conservatorship is not an easy one, but anyone considering it as a viable options has a wealth of resources at his or her disposal. Speaking to Oakland County Lawyers before proceeding can provide peace of mind and direction as to the next steps that should be taken for a successful ruling.