Criminal Defense – Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Do I need a lawyer?

Q: Will any lawyer do?

Q: If I did not do anything wrong, do I need to worry?

Q: Can you guarantee a result?

Q: What will a lawyer do for me?

Q: Can I represent myself?

Do I Need a lawyer?

If you are charged with a crime…

If you are being questioned by the police…

If you are under criminal investigation…

You need a lawyer.

When a citizen is charged with a crime, the State or Federal Government is seeking to take away that citizen’s liberty. If you are convicted of a Federal or State crime you could be fined and/or incarcerated. You could permanently loose certain rights. A criminal conviction will remain on your record for the rest of your life and may mean you are disqualified from certain types of employment or benefits in the future. Prior convictions may be used to increase the sentence for subsequent convictions. Certain minor crimes (misdemeanors) may become felonies for repeat offenses.

If you are charged with a crime or are being questioned by the police or other law enforcement and have a question about whether you need a lawyer, contact Haymaker & Heroux for a free consultation. Your right to counsel is so important that, if Haymaker & Heroux can not help you, we will refer you to other criminal defense resources.

 

Will any lawyer do?

Not all lawyers practice criminal law…

Not all criminal lawyers practice in both State and Federal Courts…

Not all criminal lawyers are part of a team…

No, you need a lawyer who has skill in defending persons charged with the type of crimes alleged against you, and who has experience in appearing in the court in which you will be appearing.

The practice of law is diverse, and there are many lawyers who do a little of everything. If you are charged with a crime, you want a lawyer who has experience and training in handling the type of criminal case charged against you. The area of criminal law is ever changing with new court rulings and statutes affecting the rights of citizens. You should seek a lawyer who is experienced in the court where you will be appearing. Many very good State criminal defense attorneys have never handled a Federal criminal case. Many good civil attorneys have never represented a person charged with a crime. The procedures and rules of evidence in Federal and State courts differ, and lawyers practicing in one court may not be familiar with the practice of law in another court. Federal Criminal Laws and State Criminal Laws are not the same. You need a lawyer who can bring experience to your defense after having spent hundreds of hours handling your type of case.

Haymaker & Heroux, P.C., is a Nashville, Tennessee based criminal defense law firm practicing in both State and Federal Courts. Haymaker and Heroux has a team mentality and we will bring to your defense the resources needed to protect your rights.

 

If I did not do anything wrong, do I need to worry?

Michael Anthony Williams walked out of the Louisiana State Penitentiary having spent 24 years in prison before DNA testing proved that he was not the perpetrator of a brutal rape.

Brandon Moon, convicted by jury of three counts of aggravated sexual assault, spent 16 years in prison before DNA testing proved his innocence. He is the 154th DNA exoneration in the United States.

Ryan Matthews spent 5 years on Louisiana’s death row until DNA testing exonerated him and revealed the identity of the actual perpetrator. Matthews became the 14th death row inmate in the United States proven innocent by DNA testing.

Yes, you do need to worry. Innocence is not a legal defense, it is a conclusion. Innocent people are arrested, convicted and incarcerated.

Our legal system is far from perfect. Persons who are innocent are sometimes convicted. It is not uncommon to hear of citizens being released after having been incarcerated for years. DNA technology has had a profound impact on the criminal justice system and has been use to prove that innocent persons have been convicted of crimes and wrongfully incarcerated. The fact that a person is innocent of the charges alleged against them should never lead to the conclusion that they do not need the very best legal defense they can secure.

Haymaker & Heroux is aware of the urgency to prepare a defense for our clients. Time is of the essence, and by waiting to secure legal representation, valuable advantages can be lost. If you or a loved one is charged with a crime, do not wait to secure legal representation in the hope that the Government will “drop the charges”. The Government will make every effort to secure a conviction; you need a criminal defense attorney.

 

Can you guarantee a result?

Simply stated,… “no way, no how, not now, not ever…”

No, a lawyer can not ethically guarantee a result.

No attorney can ethically guarantee a result. The guarantee of a result implies that your fee is refundable if your lawyer is unsuccessful. Such a fee would then be contingent on the outcome of the case. The ethical rules governing the behavior of lawyers forbid a lawyer from entering into an arrangement for a contingent fee in a criminal case.

If a lawyer guarantees a result, ask them to put it in writing. If they will not reduce it to writing, they lied to you.

You need an attorney that will be straight with you, one who will give you the bad news as well as the good. You need a lawyer who will fight for you and keep you informed of the law and the likely outcome of your case. Your lawyer works for you.

Haymaker & Heroux is dedicated to the legal profession and to providing our clients the very best criminal defense possible. We will provide you the information and advice to allow you the opportunity to make the best choices in your case.

 

What will a lawyer do for me?

Work, Work, Work…

The answer depends on the lawyer.

Most lawyers, whether experienced or not, will work hard for their clients. It is just the way we are made. After a minimum four years of college and three years of law school, a lawyer seldom knows how to relax. However, hard work may not be enough. You need a lawyer with the experience to know where to spend resources and time. An inexperienced lawyer can spend hours pursuing a defense that is destined to fail. Work ethic and experience allows a lawyer to focus efforts on those areas of a case that will do a client the most good.

A good legal defense begins at the basics with a good preliminary hearing, and discovering facts through bond and suppression hearings. In both Federal and State Cases, being prepared is the key.

Haymaker & Heroux is dedicated to providing the best defense for you and your loved ones. Haymaker & Heroux has years of experience defending hundreds of clients charged with crimes in both the Federal and State Courts.

 

Can I represent myself?

Yes but, that would be a Bad…

Very Bad…

Very Very Bad Mistake!

“Why would you want to?”

You have a Constitutional Right to represent yourself. However, given that the prosecuting attorney is a lawyer; and that a lawyer undergoes years of education, practice, and continuing legal education, the average citizens are unable to adequately represent themselves in a criminal case. Further, consider that most attorneys would never represent themselves in their own case. The best response to the question is, “why would you want to?”

We have all heard the saying, “a person who represents himself has a fool for a client.” Well, it’s true.

If you are considering representing yourself in a criminal matter, please contact Haymaker & Heroux, P.C. If we are not able to assist you, we will gladly refer you to other criminal defense resources.

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