Criminal Defense Attorney Services in Missouri [FAQs]

criminal defense Springfield, MO

The services a criminal defense attorney in Missouri will differ depending not only on the criminal defendant but also on the criminal charges and the defense attorney’s experience and practice themselves. As a result, think about these basic questions when facing criminal charges to ensure you are preparing the best defense possible.  

Q: How am I being charged? 

A: Like in other states, criminal charges can be either state or federal.  If charged with a crime at the state level, it is because the state of Missouri is alleging a violation of a state statute.  In contrast, a federal charge alleges a violation of a federal statute.  As a result, local county prosecutors file state charges while the United States’ Attorney’s Office files cases in either the Eastern or Western federal district court. This court is located in St. Louis and Kansas City, respectively (though other field offices are also possible).  Keep in mind that one act can violate both state and federal statutes, making an already unfortunate situation exponentially worse.  

Q: After being charged with a crime, what do I do? 

A: It depends, though the safest answer is to consult and hire a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.  Criminal law is an incredibly tricky subject area filed with complex procedural requirements. Hiring an experienced attorney provides advantages ranging from advice on plea deals, applicable defenses, identifying due process violations, and the list goes on and on.  Though 

Q: I’m innocent, should I still hire an attorney?

A: Yes. Regardless of actual innocence, being charged with a crime results in a law enforcement investigation requiring the assistance of legal counsel. Think about it this way – a court that rules not guilty does not necessarily speak to whether the person committed a crime.  A ruling of not guilty evidences the quantity and quality of evidence to lead a reasonable fact finder to find a criminal defendant committed the crime. As a result, even if innocent, a lot of evidence could exist, indicating to a reasonable fact finder that you committed the crime. Unfortunately, the criminal justice system is far from perfect. Why else are there so many television shows and movies committed to this area of the law?  

Q: How long will my criminal case last?

A: It depends on the crime and the factual circumstances within the case. As a result, it is impossible to provide an exact estimate of how long the case will last. 

Q: How long will I be held in police custody? 

A: For most people arrested on suspicion of committing a crime without a warrant for violating a Missouri statute, the person can only be held for one day before Missouri must file a charge, and a Missouri criminal court must issue a warrant.  If no charges are filed within 24 hours, the person arrested must be released from police custody.  However, once a Missouri criminal court issues a warrant, a person can be held until satisfying the conditions of bond or even until a criminal trial occurs. 

Call (417) 865-2181 to schedule a consultation with Dean Price Law in our Springfield office.

NOTE: This blog is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice

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