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Criminal Defense

If you or a loved one are facing criminal charges, you need a attorney who will put you first. JCS Law helps people facing misdemeanor and felony charges for DWI, Theft, Larceny, Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Controlled Substances, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Stealing, Driving While Suspended, Driving While Revoked, Traffic Violations, Tickets from Auto Accidents and many more criminal charges.

We focus on getting to know you and your specific situation during a free consultation. You will speak directly to the attorney during this consultation and he can advise you directly on what would be the best option for you or your loved one to fight the charges that are pending. Many people are so concerned with putting the charge behind them, that they simply go to court and plead guilty, leaving them with a lifetime of regret. We help fight charges and work to achieve a favorable outcome that will give you and your loved ones the peace of mind you deserve.

FAQs

No matter what you are thinking now, you need a lawyer from the beginning of your case to protect your rights. Prosecutors generally save the harshest penalties for citizens who don’t have a lawyer or who have a public defender. A lawyer from JCS Law can help you get a lenient sentence, minimize the bad consequences of your charge, or even get your case dismissed.

Do not make any statements to a police officer without first hiring a lawyer. Police Officers generally have one interest- putting you in jail. Police Officers will commonly lie to citizens and promise leniency if you agree to admit to a crime. It is almost always a bad idea to make statements to a police officer without going through your attorney. Even my police officer friends have a policy when they get in trouble- and that is to talk to a lawyer before doing anything else.

Felonies carry a punishment of one or more years in prison. Felonies should be handled by an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Misdemeanors carry a punishment of up to one year in the county jail. Sometimes people think misdemeanors are less serious than they are. Depending on your situation, a misdemeanor may still be extremely serious. Misdemeanors can lead to job loss, jail time, restricted travel and a permanent criminal record. No matter what type of charge you face, it is extremely important that you hire a lawyer to make sure that your rights are protected.

You should plan to appear at your scheduled court date. If your lawyer tells you not to, that’s different. In some situations, your lawyer can appear for you. Felony charges generally require you to appear at each court date.

If you have a warrant for your arrest, the judge in your case will set your bond. If your bond is high, a lawyer from JCS law can argue for a reduced bond. Often the judge will authorize you to post 10% of the bond amount. A professional bondsman can post a “surety bond”. If a surety bond is required, you will need to pay a bondsman to post bond for you. They will then make sure you appear for your court dates with the promise that if you don’t, they will come find you. If you need a surety bond, our lawyers at JCS law have good relationships with many bondsman; we can often get you a deal to pay less than 10% upfront.

In each case we handle at JCS Law, we begin preparing for trial from the moment you hire us. Every step we take is in preparation for trial- whether or not you intend to go to trial. By being prepared for trial early, it makes it more likely that the prosecutor will give you a good plea offer. If you don’t want a plea offer, then we are prepared to take on the prosecution at trial. Some people prefer to have us analyze the evidence in their case before making a decision about trial. Giving you the opportunity to review the evidence in your own case and listen to our recommendations is part of our process.

If filed within 10 days of your arraignment, Missouri Supreme Court Rule 32.07 grants you one change of judge without you needing to justify why. It needs to be filed by your lawyer within that 10 day window. If you are seeking a change of venue as well, the change of venue and change of judge request must be filed as a joint motion.

If you don’t feel you would get a fair trial in a particular county, and it has less than 75,000 inhabitants, you can request a change of venue by right. The judge will be required to grant the change of venue and your trial will be moved to a different county. The reason for a change of venue is typically because you plan on a jury trial and you want to pick the best county to draw a jury from for your case.

There is no rule that allows a change in prosecutor. Some counties have particular prosecutors assigned to particular judges. An experienced St. Louis attorney from JCS Law will be able to make recommendations if a change of judge might lead to being assigned a more favorable prosecutor.

In Missouri, a no contest plea is usually called an Alford plea (named after a famous supreme court case). If you enter an Alford plea, you are stating that you believe the evidence against you would be overwhelming, but you are not admitting guilt. An Alford plea is treated much the same as a guilty plea. If you have a civil suit pending against you, you can use an Alford plea to take the benefit of a plea bargain in criminal court without admitted to wrongdoing that could be used against you in civil court.

Yes. The prosecutor has the authority to amend or change your criminal charge. A felony DWI, for instance, can be amended to a misdemeanor as part of a plea deal. A prosecutor can also dismiss charges as part of a plea deal. If you are charged with 11 counts of felony theft, the prosecutor can amend those 11 felonies and replace them with one misdemeanor if your attorney forces an excellent deal.

Many counties in Missouri, including St. Louis county, have Alternative Treatment Courts for drugs and alcohol. If your criminal charges are the result of a struggle with drug addiction, “Drug Court” can be a good option. Drug Court will help you get and stay sober. There usually is no jail or prison time if you are accepted into Drug Court. Treatment courts can help people with addictions change their lives for the better and avoid prison. Drug Court typically lasts 18-24 months. During that time you are able to keep your job and live at home.

DWI Court is an Alternative Treatment Court program available in many counties throughout Missouri, including St. Louis County. DWI Court is designed to make sure you give up drinking entirely and stay sober. DWI Court involves group and individual counselling sessions, testing and a system of accountability. There usually is no jail or prison time if you are accepted into DWI Court. In St. Louis County, one of the benefits of DWI court may include getting a reduced charge after completing the program. For example, if you are charged with a felony DWI and you successfully complete DWI Court, your charge may be amended to a misdemeanor. DWI court typically lasts 18-24 months. During that time you are able to keep your job and live at home.

 

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