Indianapolis Criminal Defense
As a city, Indianapolis boasts outstanding job opportunities for both young and old. Its robust and diverse economy makes it one of the better cities for for college graduates to find a job. While the city might be a great place for job seeking, a criminal charge can easily ruin your career plans.
Usually when you are arrested for OWI, you will find yourself facing additional charges, above and beyond the OWI. These additional charges could be closely related to your OWI, such as illegal possession of a controlled substance, or something completely coincidental, like a federal gun violation. Additional criminal charges are just as serious as the OWI charge and need to be handled correctly as well. If you are being charged with a crime, contact the attorneys at Suhre & Associates as quickly as possible.
Keys to Successful Criminal Defense
There are two elements to any criminal case: the facts and the law. In order to convict you, prosecutors must provide sufficient evidence to prove that certain elements of the crime did occur. They must then convince the court that the events as they occurred constitute a violation of the law. A successful criminal defense will be focused on attacking one or both of these elements.
To prepare your defense, we will review the facts and the evidence produced by the prosecution. This could include statements you have made or statements made by the police officers regarding the arrest. We will then conduct our own thorough investigation to obtain all the evidence related to your case, not just what the prosecutor hands over. We will identify flaws in the evidence and look for opportunities to have evidence deemed inadmissible. We will also examine the laws around your case, such as statutes, procedural requirements, and legal precedent, and identify laws which protect you and favor your case.
The Criminal Justice System Process
It may look intimidating but we can guide you through the criminal justice process and help you prepare for each step. They are as follows:
Your first court appearance is called the Initial Hearing. It can occur the day after you were charged or even weeks later. All the charges against you are presented at this appearance in either Superior or Circuit Court, depending on the jurisdiction. It is at this time you are given the choice to plead guilty or not guilty.
The next issue that is presented at your Initial Hearing is how you can secure your release from jail. The judge will decide whether you will be released on your own recognizance, meaning you are free to go without having to put any money, or whether a bond will be posted. There are several different types of bonds that could be ordered. The three most common types of bonds are the Cash, Surety, and Percent bonds. A Cash bond can be posted by anyone by posting the entire amount of the bond, which is returned to the person who originally posted the bond. A Surety bond must be posted by a licensed bail agent by posting 10% of the total amount of the bond. Unfortunately, Surety bonds are not refundable. A Percent bond can be posted by anyone by posting 10% of the total bond, and is refunded to person who posted the bond.
*Except release on your own recognizance, failure to appear will cause you to forfeit your bond.
If you plead not guilty, the court will schedule your next court appearance, which is typically your Initial Pre-Trial Conference.
Pre-trial Conferences give your attorneys a chance to work toward several goals. They present the best opportunity to negotiate a plea agreement. This plea agreement could include unlimited options including:
- Random Drug Testing
- Probated Jail Time
- Court Costs
- Drug & Alcohol Evaluation/Treatment
- Active Jail Time
- No Contact with person or premises
- 3rd Party Mediation
- License Suspension
Pre-trial Conferences are also the time when your attorney works with the prosecutor to review the evidence against you and evaluate how they plan to present the evidence in trial. This is also where the prosecution confirms they have given your attorneys copies of the evidence against you.
Pre-trial Conferences are also a time when motions from either side can be heard by the court regarding venues and restrictions on evidence and other relevant topics to the type of trial and restrictions on the defendant.
In Indiana, for most criminal matters, you are have the right to a trial by jury. You can also waive that right and have your case decided in a bench trial, where the judge will act as the jury and decide the case. Your attorney will know the best option depending on your charge and the facts of your case.
In a jury trial, there are several steps needed to prepare and educate the jury. They are instructed on the questions they need to answer and the consideration they must have for the evidence. The jury will answer whether you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
The steps of a trial include selecting a jury and opening statements by each side. The prosecution then presents evidence and then the defense. Closing arguments from each side precedes the judge’s instructions to the jury. The jury then deliberates and presents the judge with their decision.
In a bench trial, fewer steps are required to obtain a final verdict. The prosecution presents its evidence first in a bench trial followed by the defense. Additional arguments may be made on each side to the judge before he or she renders a decision.
At this point, you have either been found guilty or not guilty. However, there is more to be done. This may include motions for a reconsideration of judgment, appeals, and requests for expungement.
If you are innocent or guilty, expungement requests may still be needed. Your charge will still be shown in court records even though you were found not guilty.
If the expungement is granted, all case records can be sealed.
Our Experience Will Make The Difference
When you are facing criminal charges, it may feel like you are being attacked from all sides. We take that feeling away since we have experience in all types of criminal cases. As our client, we will handle it all for you.
Our practice focuses on OWI but we also have extensive experience defending all manner of criminal charges. Whether your case involves an OWI and a companion criminal charge or just criminal charges – the attorneys at Suhre & Associates, LLC can help. Call us today to schedule a no obligation no cost consultation.