Retaining a criminal defense lawyer is imperative when you have been charged with a violent crime, especially when an alleged victim is involved. In cases such as homicide, assault and battery, domestic assault, robbery, and other violent crimes, there are severe consequences if you are convicted.
What To Do When Charged With A Violent Crime
Without question, if you are charged with a serious crime, ask for an attorney immediately. It is absolutely essential that you have a criminal defense lawyer to protect your rights as soon as possible. Regardless of what circumstances led to your arrest and criminal charges, it is important that you treat these charges seriously. Potential jail time and significant fines are real possibilities.
As a rule, when you are arrested, remember the following:
- Do not talk to the police.
- Do not waive your rights.
- Do not consent to any searches.
You should not give in to fear and intimidation, nor allow yourself to be misled by law enforcement’s promises that “answering a few questions is all they need to get things cleared up.” The police will be focused on getting a conviction and they will pull out all the stops. Stay calm, remain civil and polite, but do not give a statement, and insist on speaking to a defense lawyer right away.
Murder, Manslaughter and Homicide
Few other criminal charges are as severe as a murder charge. First-degree murder carries a mandatory sentence of life without probation or parole. Many violent crimes carry mandatory minimum sentences and if convicted, you may not be eligible for probation. If convicted, the charges remain on your permanent record and will have a negative impact on your future.
Both Kansas and Missouri carry life sentences for murder convictions and the death penalty is a possible outcome. In addition, it is not uncommon to have companion charges for unlawful use of a weapon and/or armed criminal action. If you have a prior criminal history, you could also be charged with felony possession of a weapon. An assault and battery charge may also be applied in some situations. There are different degrees of severity to charges for violent crimes and you will need an experienced defense lawyer on your side.
In both states, charges of assault have different degrees, all of which are serious. For instance, a first-degree assault charge in Missouri is described as “knowingly attempting to kill or cause serious physical injury.” In Kansas, an assault is defined as “placing another in imminent apprehension of physical harm.” Battery charges are tacked on when physical contact occurred during the assault. Kansas distinguishes between regular and aggravated battery and also has a domestic battery charge. There are distinguishing factors in both states for assault and battery charges.
Types of assault charges may include:
- Domestic assault
- Sexual assault
- Assault of a law enforcement officer
- Vehicular assault (which can carry a manslaughter conviction)
A conviction for guns and weapons, when combined with other crimes, can result in more jail time. If you have been convicted of a felony and a weapon was involved, charges can include:
- Carrying a concealed weapon
- Possession of a stolen firearm
- Unlawful discharge of a firearm
- Felony possession of a firearm
When a firearm is used in the commission of a crime, it increases the severity of the charges and results in harsher punishment. You need the very best criminal defense lawyer on your side, fighting to protect your rights and keep you out of jail.
The charges for violent crimes can vary. There may be mitigating factors that can alter the charges, depending on the circumstances. For example, if you were acting in self-defense or in the “heat of the moment.”
A defense lawyer goes to work for you immediately, and his first priority is to get you out of jail as soon as possible. Craig Divine, an experienced and competent criminal defense lawyer in Kansas City, has a highly customized approach to preparing a defense. Following discovery and review of all the available evidence, he will consider all viable defense strategies, then begin detailed preparations for representing you at trial.
Craig will present to the court your side of the story. This often involves claiming self-defense or misunderstood personal interaction. He has a proven record of getting weapons charges resolved with minimal disruption to his client’s life. All viable defenses that apply to your case will be explored. Craig does not solely rely on the facts and evidence provided by the prosecution and law enforcement; he will launch a full investigation of his own. He and his team of investigators will pursue all witnesses and thoroughly review the crime scene. Any previously undiscovered exculpatory evidence that may be found will be used for your benefit.
Divine Law has successfully handled many cases involving violent crimes. Whether it is a jury trial or throughout plea negotiations, Craig will work your case aggressively and relentlessly to obtain the best disposition possible. Having Craig Divine, an experienced defense lawyer, actively working on your behalf can make all the difference in the outcome of your case.
At Divine Law in Kansas City, defense lawyer Craig Divine has the level of skill and experience you need to protect yourself against criminal allegations.
Divine Law Office LLC
104 W 9th St., Suite 404
Kansas City, MO 64105
Member Missouri Bar Association and Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association.