Criminal Defense FAQs
Arizona Criminal Defense Lawyer Provides Answers
After 30 years in law, Phoenix criminal defense attorney Mark S. Williams has handled just about every type of misdemeanor and felony case prosecuted in Arizona municipal and county courts. Here are the answers to questions his clients often ask.
What should I do if arrested by the police?
Be courteous to all law enforcement officials. Even if you believe yourself to be innocent, do not speak to police except to provide basic information such as your name and address. Do not submit to police interrogation until you have a lawyer present. Even though the Miranda decision has been publicized in hundreds of TV shows, people still believe that if they just explain, the police will let them go. This rarely happens. It is your right to remain silent. And it is your right to have an attorney present to protect your rights. Insist on these rights.
What can a lawyer do for me that I can't do for myself?
An experienced attorney such as Mark Williams can protect your rights. It is seldom possible for those accused of crimes to speak for themselves without sharing information that can be used against them in some way. That's why you are advised to remain silent if an attorney is not present. A lawyer can speak to the prosecutor for you, offer alternate views of the crime, and tell your side of the story. Doing so may sometimes even result in charges being dropped or reduced.
A lawyer can find out the extent of the charges and the evidence against you. Based on his experience and knowledge of the law and the courts, Mark Williams can help you understand your alternatives, negotiate a plea bargain, or if he feels the state does not have proper evidence, he can represent you at trial. The most important thing a lawyer can do for you is to help resolve your case by gaining the best possible outcome under the circumstances.
How long will my case take?
Most misdemeanor cases are resolved within 3-5 months from initial charging. Most felony cases are resolved within 4-6 months from initial charging. Occasionally, charging is delayed due to investigation or forensic testing. Cases that proceed to jury trial may take from 6-9 months from charging to verdict. In unusual cases, post-trial litigation, including appeals, could delay final resolution of a criminal case for years.
Will there be a fee for the initial consultation?
Mark Williams offers a free initial office consultation for clients charged with criminal offenses who are looking to pick a defense lawyer. Fees for representation in court can normally not be quoted over the phone, due to the need for a thorough consideration (best done in a face-to-face meeting) of the particulars of a given case and the need to review charging documents or arrest paperwork.