Southaven Criminal Defense Lawyer Patrick Stegall answers some of your frequently asked questions
I’ve just gotten out of jail after being arrested. What should I do next?
Talk to a Mississippi Criminal Defense Lawyer as soon as you can. The sooner you can get legal representation, the better the chance you give yourself of a successful outcome. Your attorney can begin gathering evidence, talking to witnesses, and negotiating on your behalf. The court process is overwhelming and confusing—don’t go through it alone.
Will I have to serve jail time or get a permanent conviction because of this charge?
It depends on the type of charge, the strength of the evidence against you, and what you ultimately want to do on the case. Generally, in less serious misdemeanor charges, clients with little or no prior criminal background have a good chance of keeping it off their record through supervised probation and non-adjudication. More serious charges, though, like violent crimes, sex crimes and large-scale drug possession with intent, may result in jail time if convicted. Your best option in these cases may be to have a trial.
I wasn’t read my rights when arrested. Will this get my charge thrown out?
Probably not. Contrary to what you see in movies and television, police rarely read rights to the accused and really only do so if they want to extract a confession. They are not required to advise you of your rights when arrested, only later if they want you to talk.
How long will my case last until it’s resolved?
Totally depends on the type of charge. Minor charges can sometimes be resolved on the first court date (but usually longer, at least a few months), felonies can go on for years especially if there is going to be trial.
What is your fee to take my case?
Again it all depends on what you’re charged with. For a misdemeanor that can be resolved early on in the municipal court through an agreement with the prosecutor, maybe $1,000-$2,500. For a felony, that much or more initially, then much more if it’s going to trial.