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Criminal Law

Criminal Law

Jefferson City Criminal Lawyer

Jefferson City Criminal Defense Attorney

Many people are not familiar with the criminal justice system. Facing any type of criminal allegation can be frightening and potentially life-changing, even if a person has never been in trouble before. Criminal convictions can have consequences that may affect a person both personally and professionally. Selecting an experienced criminal defense lawyer is important because lawyers have different education, training, and experience.

We can assist you whether you are facing federal criminal charges in United States District Court, state criminal charges in Circuit Court, or dealing with a municipal ordinance violation. We are centrally located in Jefferson City, Missouri, and concentrate our practice in the central Missouri area; however, from our location in Jefferson City, we have the ability to represent clients throughout Missouri.

Our Areas of Criminal Law Practice

We represent clients in all aspects of criminal law. Our criminal defense practice includes, but is not limited to, the following areas of criminal law practice:

Experienced Jefferson City Criminal Lawyer. Why You Should Hire Us.

Scott Hamblin has practiced criminal law for over two decades. Scott is a former prosecuting attorney who utilizes his experience for the benefit of his clients. Scott has practiced on both sides of the criminal justice system, the defense and prosecution, and therefore understands what a prosecutor must prove in order to provide a better defense.

He has won jury trials in both state and federal courts throughout central Missouri. Our ability and willingness to try cases often allow us opportunities to negotiate outcomes with a prosecutor more favorable to the client than if the case proceeded to trial.  We utilize a team approach in representing our clients which allows clients better access to information and provides for more efficient representation.

Scott Hamblin has been recognized by U.S. News as one of the best criminal defense lawyers in Missouri. He has been selected by the National Trial Lawyers Association as one of the top 100 lawyers. He has authored the DWI Practice Series, Second Edition, a reference book published by The Missouri Bar for attorneys dealing with the topic of chemical revocation refusals for driving while intoxicated (DWIs) cases where a person refused to submit to a breathalyzer test or blood test and implied consent warnings. Scott has been selected by the Missouri Bar to speak on subjects for continuing legal education courses for lawyers such as Criminal Law Nuts & Bolts and Auto and Traffic Stop issues. Scott has spoken to civic groups, young professional organizations of the Chamber of Commerce, Jaycees, and paralegal associations. Scott is a member of The National Trial Lawyers Association, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Missouri Associations of Criminal Defense Lawyers, The Missouri Bar, and numerous other organizations.

Candid Legal Assessment of Your Case

We begin by meeting with our client. We then begin our investigation of the case to better understand what has occurred and what evidence exists. We apply the law to the evidence to determine a strategy to move forward. We believe a candid approach to legal representation is the only approach. We will then meet with our client to discuss the case and provide a candid assessment. Frequently, clients do not hear what they want but rather learn of the risks and benefits associated with pursuing a particular strategy. Occasionally, a more detailed opinion is necessary. This can include a written legal opinion setting forth how certain laws may affect a client’s particular situation. The next step may involve meeting with the prosecutor to discuss options to obtain the most favorable outcome for the client. This may involve several discussions and meetings. Or, sometimes, we begin preparing for trial by implementing our trial strategy. Regardless, we keep our client informed so that the client is aware of how the case is progressing.

Obtaining the Best Criminal Lawyer to Avoid Jail

As an experienced Jefferson City criminal lawyer, Scott maintains a goal-oriented approach to the representation of his clients facing criminal charges. Most clients want to avoid jail or prison. The client may suggest a shift in strategy from a trial approach to instead focus on how to avoid imprisonment. Clients still want the best possible outcome, realizing that the choices presented may amount to be what is the lesser of the evils. We may focus on evidentiary weaknesses in the case, but ultimately, this is where our professional relationships with prosecutors are important. Prosecutors know that we are experienced and knowledgeable. Our professional relationship with prosecutors allows for open communication and discussion.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Police Are Here. Should I Answer Questions?

The police are here. Should I answer their questions? Generally, the answer is no. Law enforcement officers have the responsibility to protect the public and enforce the laws. Law enforcement is not usually present when an incident occurs so an officer will speak with witnesses to find out what happened. You do not want to speak with an officer without having first hired a lawyer to represent you. Law enforcement can arrest a person if the officer believes that a crime was committed. Any statements made to the police can be used as a basis to make an arrest. Those same statements can later be used by a prosecutor in a criminal case. What a person tells an officer is not confidential. The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution provides each person with certain protection in that each person has the right to remain silent. No person is required to make a statement to law enforcement, regardless of what an officer may say. Law enforcement is only required to read a person their “rights” in connection with an interrogation conducted during an arrest. A police officer is not required to read a person their “rights” until after a person is arrested and questioned. In most situations, a person should avoid making any statement.

There are exceptions. Sometimes a person may be approached or stopped by an officer without having been involved in any criminal activity. Answering some questions may clear up the matter quickly. Sometimes a person may not have done anything wrong and speaking with an officer may resolve the issue. However, these are rare cases.

What if the Police Want to Search My Car or House?

Why does an officer want to search your car or house? It’s usually because the officer believes there may be evidence of criminal activity. In these situations, a person may have certain rights. It’s important not to waive these rights. Generally, law enforcement officers must have a search warrant to search a place where a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy. But officers are not always required to have a search warrant. The law has carved out many exceptions to the search warrant requirement. The easiest way police can search a house or car without a search warrant is simply by obtaining a person’s consent to search. There is no good reason to agree to a search of your house or car. Agreeing to allow a police officer  to search a car or home waives the search warrant requirement and your criminal lawyer now has one less item he can argue on your behalf.

Does it Matter Who I Hire to Represent Me For my Criminal Case?

Does it matter who I hire to represent me in a criminal case? The answer is yes. Not all lawyers have the same education, training and experience. It’s true that all lawyers have a law degree. Few lawyers focus their careers in practicing and researching criminal law. It’s important to hire a lawyer who has the ability and experience to represent you effectively.

How Much Does a Criminal Lawyer Cost?

How much money will it cost me to hire a criminal lawyer? The answer varies depending on a number of different factors, including, but not limited to the following:

The Type of Case: An infraction or misdemeanor is usually less complicated than a felony. The punishment is more severe with a felony and therefore, more work is usually involved.

The Needs of the Client: Each client is unique. Some individuals are more goal oriented and have a “big picture” approach to the case. Other individuals are detail oriented and want to be involved in the process. The needs of the client and the client’s level of involvement can directly affect the cost of the case.

The Work Involved: There are certain criminal cases that require more investigation, research and time than other cases. Investigations can involve speaking with numerous witnesses and conducting depositions. Some cases may involve filing motions to challenge or suppress evidence.

Delays in the Court Process: Courts and judges may prioritize certain cases, such as an individual incarcerated in jail versus an individual on bond. These delays can result in increased costs due to the number of court appearances.

Whether the Case Will Involve Trial: The most significant expense often is whether the case is resolved through a guilty plea or some other disposition, or, instead, whether the case proceeds to trial. All trials are expensive. Jury trials are more expensive than a bench trial or judge-tried case because a jury trial requires more work, including preparing pre-trial motions, drafting jury instructions, identifying and marking exhibits, witness preparation, and the time spent in court at trial.

Contact a Jefferson City Criminal Lawyer

You should speak with an experienced criminal defense lawyer if you have been arrested, if you are the subject of a criminal investigation, or if you have been charged with a crime, Avoid making any statements to the police or prosecuting attorneys before talking to your own lawyer. Speaking with law enforcement usually hurts that case because the statements can then be used against you. Speaking first to a criminal lawyer is important to better understand your rights and to develop a strategy moving forward that is consistent with your desired objectives.

He’s On Your Side

Scott will keep you up to date on all important developments in your case. When you need to get in touch with him, he will be there to answer your call or return it promptly.

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Scott A. Hamblin

Top-Rated Trial Attorney

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For accessible and experienced representation, contact attorney Scott Hamblin today.

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