Frequently Asked Questions

Criminal Defense FAQs

If the police are attempting to pull you over, signal and pull over safely and as soon as possible. Stop and turn off your vehicle and open your window halfway. Always keep your hands in plain view of the police officer, such as on the steering wheel. You and any passengers should remain respectful.

When asked, show the officer your driver’s license, vehicle registration, and proof of insurance. Comply with these requests. Do not admit anything or try to talk your way out of a ticket or arrest. It’s always best to say as little as possible and remember you can exercise your constitutional right to remain silent. Do not consent to a search without a warrant or agree to be recorded in any way.

Do not ever consent to a search. Let the police know they need a warrant. They may search anyway on the basis of probable cause, in which case be polite and wait. Immediately call a good criminal defense attorney immediately.

Do not offer to voluntarily speak to the police in any way. Whether they question you on the scene or invite you to the station, DO NOT SPEAK THE DETECTIVES OR OFFICERS. Even if the officers seem friendly, but they are not asking you questions because they want your side of the story. Their job is to gather evidence to build their case against you. Consult a criminal defense attorney before answering any questions.

We often step in to help clients in what we call a ‘pre-file case’. Meaning, the officers or detectives are still determining if they can charge you with a crime. Our attorneys can get involved early in the case so no arrest or charges can be filed.

AZ Public defenders are licensed Arizona attorneys, but the difference is they are obligated to defend a certain amount and type of cases under the terms of their contract, for defendants who are unable to afford a private attorney. In our experience public defenders simply do not have enough time to give defendants the time and attention their case needs.

A defendant must qualify for public defense, and it is not always free. If eligible, based on a lack of financial resources, the court will appoint a defense attorney. Keep in mind that in some cases the defendant or client may still be required to pay a portion of the public defender’s or contract attorney’s fees.

In Maricopa County, the public defenders carry very heavy caseloads. At least 50,000 cases each year are handled by a handful of attorneys. They generally do not have a choice on the number of cases they are assigned to handle. This and budget restraints often result in heavy workloads, understaffing of attorneys or administrative assistance, and a reduction of time a defense attorney can spend working each case. This ultimately can have an adverse impact on the outcome of your case.

Yes. Arizona has some of the toughest criminal and DUI laws in the country. It is crucial that you consult a qualified Arizona Criminal Defense Attorney as soon as possible to discuss what happened, the charges against you and the need for a defense.

If you want to have the best future possible, whether that be in your career, where you are living, or anything else, you will want to reduce and dismiss criminal charges as much as possible. As, criminal arrests, charges, and convictions can greatly impact your future.

The attorney you hire should be someone who defends these cases regularly; a regular practitioner of criminal defense law understands the most current law; and is familiar with judges, prosecutors, protocols, and the most pertinent defense strategies.

Think of an attorney being an investment in your future. Here at JacksonWhite we have helped thousands of clients get a fresh start by getting charges reduced and even dismissed.

Within 24 hours after your arrest you will appear before a Judge It is imperative that during those 24 hours, you or a loved one must contact an Arizona criminal defense attorney. If you retain JacksonWhite, we make sure your constitutional rights have not been violated, handle your arraignment, entering a “not–guilty” plea, filing notice of defenses and notice of his representation of you as counsel.

The judge will issue a warrant if appropriate and set a bond for appearance in court. If you cannot post bond, you may be incarcerated while you wait for your appearance. If you qualify and are able to post a bond for release, you will be free pending your arraignment, which is a formal hearing before a judge during which you are advised of your rights and possible penalties. You will enter a plea at the arraignment. You will want an experienced attorney by your side at the arraignment.

Usually the judge will inform the defendant of the charges. They will have the option to plead not guilty and set release conditions/bond. They will also inform them of their right of counsel. The next court date is usually set for a month from that date.

It depends on how complex the case is and how long they usually take to come to a resolution. Our firm charges a flat fee. This will cover the entire case from start to finish, even if it takes a couple years.

Yes, unless you do something about it. There may be options to expunge, seal, or set aside a criminal charge, arrest, and conviction.

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