Criminal Defense

New Albany Criminal Defense Attorney

When accused of a crime, it is important to remember you are innocent until proven guilty.

The state must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. You need to know your rights and how to protect them. Once you retain a seasoned criminal defense lawyer, it is easier to navigate the criminal system and level the playing field – if not tilt it in your favor. But you must act quickly to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney about your case and avoid the common mistakes many unwary defendants make which can have serious repercussions.

Being accused of a crime – ANY crime – impacts your family, your finances, even your future in so many ways. If you or a family member has been charged with a crime, an experienced attorney on your side helps you fight for your rights and makes sure your voice is heard.

How We Can Help

The attorneys at McNeely Stephenson can assist our clients in many different areas of criminal defense. The following are just a few examples of the types of cases we can assist you with…

A good defense begins as soon as the attorney receives the call from a client, so it is imperative that you contact our legal team immediately if you’ve been charged or suspect that you will be charged with a crime.

In the Face of Criminal Charges, Your Freedom and Good Name Hang in the Balance

Even a conviction for misdemeanor shoplifting can affect you in many ways. That’s because your criminal record is probably the most important indicator of your good name. With a good one, your job, education and life opportunities are limited only by your abilities and desire, while a bad one drags you down day after day, with little hope of a better life.

Some of these “minor” misdemeanor black marks on your criminal record can include:

  • Marijuana Possession – In Kentucky, a first conviction is a class B misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $250 and 45 days in jail, or both. In Indiana, the same conviction comes with a $1,000 fine and up to six months (180 days) in jail.
  • Shoplifting – In Indiana, theft of property valued at less than $750 is a Class A misdemeanor and the penalty is up to a year in jail and a $5,000 max fine. But in Kentucky, the lowest shoplifting conviction results in up to 12 months in jail and a fine of $500 if the value of the goods stolen is less than $500.

Second convictions in both states for all of the above offenses (and/or in the case of thefts of goods higher than the above amounts) could produce a felony charge.

Conviction of a felony means time in state (or federal) prison, supervised probation (if you’re lucky to be released early), fines that take years to pay, and a black mark that makes you un-hireable for most professional jobs.

First-degree sexual abuse in Kentucky is a Class D felony, and conviction brings a prison term of one to three years.  But Firstdegree rape – the most serious of that state’s rape classifications – is a Class B felony.  A 10-20 year prison term awaits the convicted.

In Indiana, Sexual Battery brings incarceration of 6 months to two-and-a-half years and a $10,000 fine. But if a weapon is involved, the prison sentence is a flat two-and-a-half years (plus a $10,000 fine).

Protecting Your Rights

Sometimes, our legal system can fail the innocent. Mistakes, faulty testimony, and coerced confessions can produce wrongful convictions. Sometimes, mistakes lead to a person’s arrest. If the arresting officer had no “probable cause” to search a person or his property, any evidence from that search is constitutionally inadmissible.

Also, many appeals arise out of sentencing errors. Indiana and Kentucky laws have sentencing guidelines for particular offenses, providing maximum or minimum penalties. The judge has discretion in fashioning a sentence for one who is found guilty and considers factors such as the defendant’s character, criminal record, family situation, and other circumstances.

Having an experienced advocate on your side who knows the judges and prosecutors can help ensure that your case is handled fairly, from investigation through sentencing.

Your Personal Record and Good Name

Anyone who has been arrested for – or charged with – a crime encounters many surprises. A DUI conviction means the person’s car insurance premiums skyrocket. And if the convicted has a joint insurance policy with family members, all can be forced to pay higher premiums. A criminal record could also disqualify people from working for some businesses, holding professional licenses, renting a car, or living in nice rental homes or apartments.

Teenagers and young people can often learn these consequences too late. Even a minor drug conviction could endanger one’s ability to receive federal financial aid for college; it could even deny them admission to many top-shelf colleges and universities.

Fortunately, anyone with a criminal record has some recourse. Indiana and Kentucky allow people with arrest or conviction records to have their records expunged, although the terms often vary depending on the degree of the crime committed.

If you or any member of your family has been arrested or charged with any crime, get help today. We’re here 24/7 and all you have to do is either call (812) 725-8224 or click the contact us link. Protect yourself with the seasoned, experienced criminal trial lawyers of your New Albany Legal Team.