Radcliff & Elizabethtown Criminal Defense Attorneys
Asserting and Protecting the Rights of Our Hardin County Clients
When you are accused of a crime, it can be easy to forget you have inalienable rights that protect you from unjust prosecution. However, these rights only matter if you are aware of them and choose to assert them. No matter the crime alleged, it is important to protect yourself immediately after being charged or arrested to improve your odds of a favorable outcome in an ensuing trial.
At Musselwhite Meinhart & Staples, we believe everyone is innocent until proven guilty. Our Radcliff criminal defense lawyers have spent decades fighting for the rights of our clients throughout northern Kentucky, both in and out of the courtroom. We understand the laws involved with numerous crimes people are commonly accused of and know what legal procedures are successful in a defense strategy. Our team can assess the fact of your case and determine how we can help you as your legal representatives.
Types of Criminal Defense Cases We Handle
Our firm has vigorously defended our clients since 1982. In that time, we have participated in criminal defense cases of all sizes and types. We are familiar with many areas of Kentucky and federal law and can advise you how we approach each type of case.
Our Radcliff criminal defense attorneys can represent you in cases involving:
- Driving Under the Influence (DUI), including situations where you refuse a BAC test
- Drug Crimes, including possession, sale, and trafficking
- Assault, including domestic violence
- Sexual Offenses
- Traffic Offenses
Knowing Your Rights When Accused
It can be easy to get caught up in the shock and chaos of an unexpected arrest. No matter what happens, it is critical you remember and exercise your constitutional rights guaranteed to you in the United States.
Your constitutional rights when accused include:
- The right against unreasonable searches and seizures. Never consent to any search of any kind, even if you are confident you are innocent. In some situations, law enforcement will erroneously argue they have the right to search. Always remain polite and avoid any physical resistance but continue to assert that you do not consent to any searches and would like to speak to a lawyer.
- The right to counsel. When you have been charged with a crime, you are guaranteed legal representation. Law enforcement cannot lawfully deny you access to an attorney. If they attempt to do so, continue to demand your constitutional right to speak to your lawyer.
- The right to know whether you can leave. If you are summoned by law enforcement for questioning, you have a right to know if you are being arrested or detained. Avoid making any statements to law enforcement without the presence of an attorney. Should you find yourself in a situation where you are being questioned by officers, repeatedly ask if you are under arrest and if you are free to leave.
- The right to avoid self-incrimination. You are under no circumstances required to make any statement to law enforcement, even if you are detained or arrested. Always wait until your lawyer is present before answering any questions.
- The right to trial by jury and a speedy trial. The United States court system permits you to be judged by a jury of your peers without unnecessary delays.
- The right to confront witnesses against you. If some other individual is making claims that contributed to an accusation, you (and your legal representation) have the right to question them in court.
These rights are vital to the fairness of the United States justice system. If one or more of your rights has violated, there is a good chance it could impact the outcome of your case. We may be able to dismiss charges or suppress any evidence that was obtained illegally.
How the Prosecution Process Works
Every case is unique, and criminal prosecution can work a little differently than some other forms of court cases. Still, most cases follow a similar series of steps.
A criminal prosecution case in Kentucky typically moves through the following phases:
- Investigation. Law enforcement officers will collect evidence and attempt to speak to individuals involved with the case. Do not speak to any officers who approach you without your lawyer present. If you do not already have an attorney and are repeatedly sought for questioning in a criminal matter, it may be time to retain one.
- Arrest. When law enforcement believes they have sufficient evidence, they may arrest you allegedly in commission of a crime or pursuant to an issued warrant. Again, resist the urge to defend yourself, and avoid making any statements until your lawyer is present.
- Arraignment. This initial hearing involves a judge explaining what you have been charged with. If you are in custody, bail will likely be discussed.
- Discovery. Both the state and the defendant’s legal representation will conduct thorough additional investigations into the facts of the case, including conducting interviews with any relevant witnesses. This is the stage in which we will build your case and prepare your defense.
- Negotiation. In an effort to avoid a costly trial, the state may offer a plea bargain. Based on the outlook of the case, we can advise whether taking a plea bargain makes sense and, if so, negotiate the best possible deal. Otherwise, the case proceeds to court.
- Trial. Your case will be argued before a judge and jury of your peers. Both sides will present evidence and question witnesses in open court. If you are found guilty, you will be sentenced; if you are acquitted, the case will conclude, and you will be free to go.
Why Should I Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney?
In criminal defense cases, you have the option to hire a public defender that is appointed by a court, or hire your own attorney. While a public defender may be a good option if you are unable to pay for a private defense attorney, hiring an experienced attorney to handle your case can make a significant difference in the outcome of your charges. Your future is at stake, so make sure you choose your attorney wisely.
Benefits of hiring a criminal defense attorney:
- Your attorney can advocate for you by negotiating a plea bargain for a reduced sentence, or even eliminate the charges altogether.
- Your attorney can advise you on your rights, how the judicial system works, and make sure your rights are not violated.
- Your attorney has access to resources to defend your case, including expert witnesses, investigators, etc.
- Your attorney can navigate the process with you, answering your questions and helping you understand potential outcomes.
If you are being investigated or have been arrested for a crime, do not hesitate to contact our team for immediate help. We're here to protect your rights and help ensure that you are treated fairly throughout the criminal justice process.
Start your free consultation today.
We Will Fight for You
A criminal accusation can quickly upend your life. Not only will you be potentially be held in custody, you will have to participate in what can be a lengthy and arduous trial process. You will likely need the legal support of a qualified attorney to advocate on your behalf and minimize the adverse impacts of the process, including doing whatever it takes to avoid a conviction. Our Radcliff criminal defense lawyers at Musselwhite Meinhart & Staples are empathetic to the difficulty a criminal accusation can pose for you and your family and are prepared to help you through this turbulent time. We have decades of experience fighting for our clients in court and can give your case the attention, knowledge, and integrity it deserves.
Our law firm provides a full range of legal services to help you and your family achieve your goals. We speak your language. We are here to help you understand your legal options, what to expect and what steps we can take to protect you.
Our firm offers over the phone and video consultations for your safety and convenience. All consultations are free.
Our attorneys treat you like family. We care about helping you find the best resolution to your case.
We are accessible to our clients and are available 24/7.
Our attorneys offer honest advice and tailored solutions to your unique goals.
We are friendly and approachable lawyers who listen and understand your needs.
Our attorneys have decades of experience with successfully handling a variety of legal matters.