Fort Collins Criminal Defense AttorneyRequest Free Consultation
Being investigated, charged, or found guilty of a crime in Fort Collins or the surrounding Colorado areas can shake the foundation of your whole life. Even if it’s just an investigation, the Fort Collins community will look at you differently. If you’re charged, you need the right criminal defense lawyers on your side to help protect your freedom and your reputation. The Fort Collins criminal defense attorneys of Martin & Reed, LLC, are ready to hear from you. Schedule your free consultation now by calling (970) 573-5187 or by completing our contact form.
How Soon Should I Contact a Defense Attorney?
The prosecution begins building its case against you the moment you’re brought in for questioning. The sooner you have a defense attorney on your side, the better. As soon as you have an attorney, he or she will begin investigating your case, advising you of your rights, and protecting you from overreach on the part of the prosecutors. By hiring an attorney before your arraignment, your legal team can begin strategizing the best defense for your case early in the process. A lawyer may be able to secure your release from jail or argue for a lowered bond. In many cases, by hiring a defense attorney as soon as possible once you’re under investigation you can save time and money and minimize penalties or argue for dropped charges.
It’s best to resist speaking to law enforcement officers or the prosecutor alone no matter how they try to persuade you. An attorney’s job is to protect your constitutional rights throughout the process.
Whether you plan a plea of guilty, or innocent, it’s never too soon to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney.
Why Is It Important to Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney in Fort Collins?
Even if you’re only being investigated, as we mentioned, if your community knows about it then it is likely that they will treat you differently. Although there may be some who support you, the community as a whole may rally against you. If you’re charged, regardless of a conviction, your community won’t look at you the same way. You may lose friends. It could be harder to find a job in your area simply because of what people think they know.
And if you’re convicted of a felony? Depending on the crime, there are many consequences that you could face immediately, not to mention in the future. Of course, the immediate criminal penalties can include incarceration, fines, probation, and more. You could also lose valuable rights such as your right to own a firearm, custody of your children, or even the ability to visit with your children. Finding adequate work or housing can be next to impossible once you’ve paid your debt to society.
Yet, hiring an experienced Fort Collins criminal defense attorney can make a huge difference from the beginning. Our criminal defense lawyers assist citizens of Fort Collins and the surrounding areas in Colorado who are convicted of:
- Drug crimes
- Juvenile crimes
- Criminal traffic offenses
- Weapons crimes
- White collar crimes
- Sex crimes
- Domestic violence
If you are dealing with criminal charges, we can help you throughout the investigation, deal with the prosecution, and help you get the best possible outcome for your potential case. If you’ve already been charged, we can help you with your case, too. Schedule your free consultation with a Fort Collins criminal defense lawyer from Martin & Reed, LLC, now.
Do I Need a Criminal Defense Attorney if I Plan to Plead Guilty?
Our criminal justice system operates on the belief that everyone deserves a fair trial, which necessarily means everyone deserves a criminal defense attorney, not just those who are innocent of the charges against them. A criminal defense lawyer’s job is to represent not only the innocent in court but also those who are guilty of the crimes they’ve been charged with. Even when you plan a guilty plea, it’s important to understand the difference a good defense attorney can make to the outcome of your case. For instance, depending on the circumstances of your crime, a defense attorney could potentially do the following:
- Find holes in the prosecution’s case during the initial evaluation
- Ask for a dismissal if there’s a legal basis
- Seek a way to reduce the charges
- Find errors made by law enforcement during your case that can help during plea bargain negotiations or during your sentencing
Remember, the prosecutor must be able to prove your guilt beyond a shadow of a doubt and before a conviction, you are presumed innocent. A good defense attorney can explain your options, including seeking a dismissal, entering a plea bargain, or going to court.
Collateral Effects of a Criminal Conviction
Before deciding whether to plead guilty or innocent, it’s important to understand that the impacts of a criminal conviction range far beyond the initial penalties of jail or prison time. Any criminal conviction comes with collateral effects which serve as forms of legally-imposed disabilities and social barriers such as the following:
- Barriers to employment as potential employers often perform background checks
- Significantly lower pay
- A ban from public housing and difficulty in securing rental properties due to background checks
- Bans on public assistance availability resulting from certain convictions, such as felony drug convictions
- Bans on gun ownership for convicted felons
- Revocation of certain business licenses after a felony conviction
- Drivers license revocation or restrictions
These and other collateral damage, such as the negative impact on your reputation and community trust are important to consider before deciding how to plead. A skilled criminal defense attorney can help you to understand all the impacts of a conviction in your case.
Have You Been “Pre-Charged” in Fort Collins? Call Martin & Reed, LLC
If you’re arrested, questioned, and released by law enforcement, or if you’re contacted by law enforcement about alleged criminal conduct, this means you are “pre-charged.” This is also known as the investigation stage. As someone who is under investigation for an alleged criminal offense (or someone who is under arrest for a criminal offense), you have the right to not talk with law enforcement without an attorney present. Exercise this right because the aggressive defense attorneys at Martin & Reed, LLC, can contact the law enforcement officers or investigators involved on your behalf.
Martin & Reed, LLC: Free Criminal Defense Consultation
Don’t talk to law enforcement or the prosecutor on your own. Both will tell you that if you have nothing to hide then you don’t need to hide anything. They’ll ask you tricky questions in an effort to trip you up and charge you or to show that you are the person that committed the crime. You could even give them information they may not already know. Don’t risk your future. Your first call should be to the Fort Collins office of Martin & Reed, LLC. The first consultation is free. Schedule your consultation now by calling (970) 573-5187 or by completing our contact form.