The cases I handle fall mainly into three categories, state court criminal cases, federal court criminal cases, and juvenile cases. I rarely handle traffic tickets because it takes as much time to handle a case in municipal court as it does in the higher courts, making it too costly most of the time. The maximum risk to a defendant in municipal court is usually a $500 fine with no jail time in the event he is found guilty, and most fines are less than that. However, if you are charged with theft (which can adversely affect future employment), minor in possession (which results in a suspension of the driver’s license), if you are an alien who faces possible adverse immigration consequences, or if there are other unusual circumstances, you may want to consider hiring me. The only civil matters I handle at this time are occupational driver’s licenses (a limited license for someone whose driver’s license is suspended).
I do not sue people or handle office practice matters such as bankruptcy, divorce, and will preparation. All those things are important but there are plenty of other lawyers who want to handle them. I have experience in some of those areas, but nowadays I stick to what I like the best, which is criminal law!
The following links provide additional information about cases I handle:
If you have a federal case, you are in a lot of trouble. Many lawyers who practice criminal law do not handle federal criminal cases, because they are much more difficult. Learn why.
If you read the information about federal cases before you got this far, you can relax a little. Juvenile cases are usually easier to handle than adult cases either in state court or federal court. The exception would be for juveniles who are being certified as adults, a rare process now that juvenile courts can hand out determinate sentences that are served initially in a juvenile facility and later in an adult facility after the child becomes an adult (assuming they still have time left to do on the sentence). Juvenile cases often take more time than adult cases, but that is because of the way that the courts handle their dockets, not because of the inherent difficulty of the cases.
In state court there are two broad classifications, felonies and misdemeanors. Felonies fall into one of five categories: capital murder, punishable by death or life imprisonment; first degree, punishable by five to 99 years in the state penitentiary; second degree, punishable by two to 20 years; third degree, punishable by two to 10 years; and state jail felonies, punishable by six months to two years. Felonies also carry an optional fine up to $10,000. Class A misdemeanors are punishable by up to one year in county jail and a $4,000 fine, Class B misdemeanors by six months and $2,000. Class C misdemeanors are prosecuted usually in municipal court or J.P. court, and carry a fine only of up to $500. Repeat and habitual offenses, plus certain drug dealing offenses, may entail "enhanced" sentencing ranges where the offense is "bumped" to a higher class or degree, or the minimum sentence for that class or degree is increased.