An arrest or a criminal investigation can cause an array of strong emotions, including anxiety and uncertainty. There are many steps between being charged with a crime and being convicted, however, and criminal defendants are presumed innocent unless proven otherwise. The Savannah criminal defense lawyers at Hagenbrok & Hagenbrok PLLC can set forth compelling arguments on your behalf to help you fight to retain your liberties. We are admitted to practice law in the state and federal courts of Tennessee, Arkansas, and Mississippi. We are aware that many criminal defendants are concerned over the cost of mounting a defense, and we offer reasonable fees for representation in criminal cases.The State’s Burden of Proof
In any criminal case, the State bears the burden of proving that a defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. While the exact meaning of “beyond a reasonable doubt” is not defined by any criminal statute, it has been interpreted to mean that the fact finder is able to come to a certainty regarding a defendant’s guilt after weighing the evidence presented. In other words, the judge or jury deciding the case must find that there is no reasonable conclusion other than the defendant's guilt to render a guilty verdict.
In proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, the State must prove each element of the crime with which a defendant is charged, often including the mental state required to commit the crime. Thus, a criminal defense attorney in the Savannah area sometimes can defeat a charge by showing that the prosecution does not have enough evidence to prove one or more elements. In contrast, criminal defendants have no burden of proof and are not required to produce evidence of their innocence to avoid a conviction. If a criminal defendant does set forth evidence to support an affirmative defense, however, the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defense does not apply.Rights of Criminal Defendants
Criminal defendants are afforded numerous rights under state and federal laws. For example, anyone charged with a crime has a right against self-incrimination, which means that a person cannot be compelled to make any statements that may be incriminating. The right against self-incrimination extends from the initial investigation throughout the length of the trial. Criminal defendants also have a right to a speedy trial, which means that the prosecution cannot unjustly delay the resolution of a case. Additionally, criminal defendants generally can be prosecuted only once for a criminal act, under the prohibition against Double Jeopardy. Our Savannah criminal defense attorneys can help you make sure to understand and exercise your rights.Common Defenses to Criminal Charges
Even if the State is able to prove that a defendant committed the acts out of which criminal charges arose, there are numerous defenses that a defendant can set forth to avoid a conviction. For example, if some of the evidence against the defendant was obtained through a warrantless search, the defendant may be able to argue that the search violated his or her Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable searches and seizures. If the search is deemed unconstitutional, any evidence obtained via the search should be suppressed.
For another example, if a defendant is charged with a violent crime, he or she may be able to argue that the alleged acts were taken in self-defense. If the crime charged requires specific intent or knowledge, a defendant may be able to avoid a conviction by showing that he or she lacked the mental state necessary to commit the crime. Your attorney can advise you on the specific defenses that you may be able to set forth.Retain a Capable Criminal Defense Lawyer in the Savannah Area
If you are charged with a crime, it is critical to retain a zealous criminal defense attorney who will work tirelessly to protect your rights. At Hagenbrok & Hagenbrok PLLC, we can develop persuasive arguments on your behalf. Our attorneys regularly defend people in criminal cases in Savannah, Crump, Adamsville, Milledgeville, Saltillo, Olivet, Walnut Grove, Shiloh, and other communities in Hardin County. You can reach us via our online form or at (731) 438-8071 to set up a confidential consultation to discuss your charges.