The criminal law process in Missouri can be extremely complicated, and the consequences of a conviction can be serious regardless of whether this is a first offense or you have a previous criminal record. Our firm is here to assist you every step of the way in the criminal law process.
Before a person is arrested for a crime in Missouri, the criminal law process may begin with an investigation. Federal crimes, in particular, can involve extensive investigations before an arrest is ever made.
Once law enforcement officials and prosecutors believe they have enough evidence against a person, the next step in the criminal law process is to seek an arrest warrant that will result in an arrest. Warrantless arrests are also lawful in many circumstances where law enforcement officials have probable cause to believe a crime has been committed.
If you have any reason to believe you are under investigation, it is time to hire a criminal defense lawyer to begin working on your defense. When you are facing any kind of criminal charges in Missouri, it is essential to have an experienced Missouri criminal defense attorney who can represent you and help you to build a strong defense for your case.
There may be many possible defense strategies that will be applicable to your case, from an unlawful search to entrapment. You should know that you have a right to an attorney, and you have the right to remain silent under U.S. law.
After a person is arrested, the judge will determine if they can be released until the charges are resolved, and what requirements must be met. This process is known as setting bail. If the person is not a threat to others, and the court believes they are likely to show up for future proceedings, they may be released on “personal recognizance” with few or no conditions. For many criminal charges and situations, a surety bond must be paid, and the judge will set the amount of bond.
Some criminal cases in Missouri—felonies in particular—will next go to a preliminary hearing. Depending upon the case, the defendant may be able to waive a preliminary hearing, yet it is critical to avoid making any decisions or appearing before a judge without a lawyer. A grand jury might replace a preliminary hearing in some cases. In a grand jury, a panel of citizens hears evidence and decides whether there is enough reason for the case to move forward to trial.
Next, if a case moves forward from a preliminary hearing or grand jury, a defendant will be arraigned. At this stage, you must enter a plea of not guilty, not guilty by reason of insanity, or guilty. Our Missouri defense attorneys can discuss the best option for your case to help you beat the charges.
The process of finding and sharing information about the case is known as discovery. Each side must find and evaluate the evidence and witnesses that will be used at trial and follow careful guidelines about sharing that information with the other party when required.
As more details are revealed about the case, defendants may be offered a plea agreement or suggest one to the prosecutor, in which the state agrees to reduce the charges or penalties in exchange for a guilty plea. This is referred to as plea bargaining, and it can occur before or even during a trial. A skilled criminal defense attorney can help you work toward a more favorable plea agreement and help explain your options if an agreement is offered.
The pretrial conference, also known as a pretrial hearing, is the final opportunity to reach an agreement on the charges or plea before the case goes to trial. It also gives both sides a chance to ask the judge for more time to gather evidence or prepare if needed. If a defendant changes their plea at the pretrial conference, sentencing may also happen immediately, but not always. If the case is proceeding to trial, a trial date will be set.
Trials involve many different elements, but this is the stage at which the prosecution will present its case and your lawyer will present your defense. Evidence can be entered and witnesses can testify and be cross-examined. Many criminal law cases involve a jury. For a conviction, the jury must be unanimous.
Sentencing occurs when a person has been convicted of an offense. Sentences can vary greatly depending upon the specific criminal conviction and your previous criminal record, as well as mitigating or aggravating factors.
After a conviction and sentencing, it may be possible to appeal with assistance from a criminal defense lawyer in Missouri.
If you are at any stage of the criminal law process in Missouri, from being under investigation to facing a trial or seeking an appeal, one of our experienced Missouri criminal defense attorneys can speak with you today about your case. Contact Scott A. Hamblin to learn more.
A Jefferson City man faced DUI charges following a field sobriety test. Charges against the defendant were dropped after Scott successfully maintained the client’s claims that the test results were inaccurate. While the client initially appeared to be in a difficult situation, Scott was able to push investigators to determine the sobriety test results as invalid, so the charges were dismissed.
A mother was seeking sole custody of her children following a divorce. The father refused to cooperate, leaving the client in a difficult situation as she felt as though her children didn’t have a voice. Scott recognized her need for an advocate and carefully listened to the children’s wishes, which conclusively helped the client achieve sole custody of her children and protected their best interests.
A client from Fulton was accused of drug possession as a result of a home search. While drug charges may potentially be filed as a Class C felony involving severe consequences, Scott was able to help the client receive a reduced sentence. Ultimately, the client faced significantly smaller penalties compared to the initial charges.
Scott assisted a defendant in a particularly challenging divorce case in which the other spouse was not cooperating. Scott was able to help the client avoid court through an aggressive legal approach to resolve all outstanding disagreements while maintaining the client’s long-term needs.
One client sought legal assistance after an altercation with another individual in Jefferson City. The client was arrested on assault charges despite allegedly not starting the fight. Since an arrest can lead to life-altering penalties such as being terminated from employment and serving jail time, Scott was able to build a solid legal defense in the client’s favor and argued in favor of the client’s innocence.
A grandparent sought visitation rights to his grandchild after the parent tried to block him. Scott takes grandparents’ rights very seriously, and so he devised a strategy to help the grandparent set a visitation schedule. Scott developed a strategy to show that the child’s best interests were fulfilled through the grandparent’s ability to visit the child, helping push the case towards a resolution in the client’s favor.
Scott assisted a client who was injured in a car accident due to another driver’s negligence. The defendant claimed that the opposing party using their phone at the time of the crash, and Scott emphasized this claim to show that the other driver was at fault for the client’s injuries. The case concluded with the client receiving the necessary compensation for medical bills following a long hospital stay due to injuries.
Scott is the best attorney, hands down! My husband had a fairly difficult case, he had little hope that he’d be able to receive anything he was asking for and Scott helped him achieve everything, very quickly. He’s very professional, compassionate and understanding and works hard to help you achieve the best possible outcome. We…
Scott came highly recommended by an attorney friend of mine after I received an unfavorable outcome working with a different lawyer in the area. Scott was smart, pleasant to work with, and achieved the best possible outcome for me. I only wish I would have used him sooner.
We had a very unique case. It was confusing and complicated. Scott stepped in, helped and guided us on our journey. He was knowledgeable, professional and very honest with us. I highly recommend him if you are put in a circumstance where you need an attorney. His integrity is amazing. The entire firm was wonderful…
Scott Hamblin is reliable, trustworthy, very professional, and hardworking. I highly recommend him for any of your lawyer needs.
I have been working with Mr. Hamblin for almost one and a half years and consider him to be one of the finest Lawyers I have ever done business with. Mr. Hamblin’s understanding of Missouri law is to say the least encyclopedic. His areas of expertise are broad and far-reaching. While working with Mr. Hamblin…
Scott was efficient and knew his stuff. Very thorough and committed to our family. He had worked on two different cases for us and did an excellent job. No regrets!
I called Mr. Hamblin to represent my family member. When we went in to have a meeting, Mr. Hamblin was very honest said he felt that he could represent him and help with the matter that he had been charged with. I was so glad that I had contacted Mr. Hamblin on this matter, because…
Very upfront and honest about the potential outcomes of my case.
Scott Hamblin represented my son in a high-profile case. Scott was highly professional throughout the course of the proceedings, prompt and thorough in answering all of our questions and, most importantly, was very prepared when he represented my son in the courtroom, which resulted in a very favorable outcome. Our family cannot thank Scott enough…
Mr. Hamblin succeeded in winning a child custody modification case for me that most lawyers I spoke with wouldn't even take on. Many told me that modifying a child custody agreement was nearly impossible. Due to the changes at my children's Father's house and the toll it was taking on their mental health, my children…
I am so grateful that I hired him, he gave me hope to overcome my fear and anxiety. Now my case was dismissed because of his hard work. Thank you so much Attorney Scott. May God bless you, and keep continuing to save people's lives!!!
There are no words to express how grateful I am for the opportunity to be represented by Mr. Hamblin. I have enjoyed working with him and his assistant, especially through some of the most challenging moments of my life. Selecting someone to handle your case can be a very difficult decision to make, but even…
I got stuck between a rock and a hard place in my situation as was in need of help. Scott was appointed to be via public defender for a federal case and I could not have wished for a better lawyer and overall individual. He would show up for me while I was incarcerated on…
Scott is a very compassionate but honest man. I have known Scott for 10+ years. I met him while fostering children with Cole County Children's Division. When he became the adoption lawyer for Cole County Children's Division in 2007 my husband and I were one of the first to use him to become adoptive parents…
Scott is a great lawyer, will do what he says! He will work his tail off for you. It was a long 2 year divorce, but I am so glad he was representing me. Very fair and doesn't overcharge for his services. I can now say he is my friend, not only my attorney.
Scott did an excellent job. He was available as needed and always listened. He responded quickly to e-mails or phone calls. He didn't just "tell me what to do." Instead, he listened to my input and helped me make informed decisions. I always felt as though he had time for me as a client.
Scott did a great job handling our custody case. He fought for us every step of the way and got things done quickly. He even refunded over half of our retainer because he got the case handled quicker than expected. I would recommend him to anyone.
Scott and his team go above and beyond to make your most challenging times easier on you. Calls and emails are always answered promptly and they truly go out of their way to help their clients. If you are searching for the BEST of the BEST, you've found it with Scott and his team!
I had received some felony charges and Scott fought it every single step of the way (and then some) to a jury trial and did so well, I was found not guilty on all counts! It wouldn’t have been possible without him. I’ve had several lawyers in the past and he is no comparison to…
Scott Hamblin is a great lawyer. He has assisted me in my divorce and custody issues over the past three years. He is easy to work with and has always kept me informed/involved in my cases, as they progress.
Mr. Hamblin is an excellent attorney. He is very friendly and works hard to do what is in the best interest of his clients. I have had only positive experiences when hiring Mr. Hamblin for my legal needs. He responses quickly any time I need assistance and he keeps you very well informed on the…
He did a great job on my federal case
Very intelligent and helpful
Exceptional to work with, easy to talk to and extremely efficient. We have used Scott on two major issues now and have walked away both times more than satisfied. If someone has a significant legal issue pressing, Scott Hamblin, without question is who they need representing them.
If I ever again need any legal advice, I will ask Scott Hamblin every time. Scott was my divorce/child custody attorney. I was extremely happy with him. He cares about his clients and always called in person. He made the almost impossible come true for me! That's how great of an attorney he is. Thank…
For accessible and experienced representation, contact attorney Scott Hamblin today.