Opelika Criminal Defense Lawyer
When you’ve been arrested and you’re facing criminal charges, the stakes are incredibly high. Perhaps you know that and you’re panicking, or maybe you haven’t yet realized how serious your situation is. Whether you are facing misdemeanor or felony charges, a conviction could change your life forever.
The criminal justice system doesn’t always respect the rights of suspects and detained individuals. That’s why you need an aggressive and committed criminal defense attorney in Opelika. The team at Haygood, Cleveland, Pierce, Thompson & Short will support you through this process, explain your legal options at every step, and provide the guidance you need. Call us at 334-560-1936 to schedule a consultation now.
Criminal Offenses We Handle
With decades of experience in various areas of law, the attorneys at Haygood, Cleveland, Pierce, Thompson & Short have the experience needed to take on your most pressing criminal defense needs. We take on a wide range of claims, including but not limited to:
- Alcohol-related offenses: Alcohol-related arrests are incredibly common in Alabama and the United States as a whole, making up a significant portion of arrests every single year. Public intoxication refers to appearing in public while under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or any other substance to the point that they are endangering others or being offensive. Of course, this category also includes DUI arrests in Alabama. While a first-time offense is a misdemeanor, the severity increases quickly with each subsequent arrest.
- Drug offenses: Alabama takes a strict stance on drug possession, usage, trafficking, and manufacturing. Alabama is one of many states that has not decriminalized the use of marijuana, so many arrests are related to the sale or possession of this drug. Other potential charges include trafficking-controlled substances, manufacturing controlled substances, and distributing controlled substances.
- Crimes of violence: Prosecutors often take an aggressive approach to violent crimes. If you’ve been accused of domestic violence, assault, or another violent crime, you must speak to a criminal defense lawyer immediately. Consider the consequences—a wrongful domestic violence arrest could devastate your case if you end up in family court, and charges of kidnapping, stalking, manslaughter, or murder could impact every single aspect of your life.
- Property crimes: While property crimes are less serious than many others on this list, they can still severely hinder your freedom, career options, and reputation. Related charges include theft of property, theft of services, breaking and entering, and robbery.
- Sex crimes: Among the most serious charges you can face, sex crimes include sodomy, sexual misconduct, sexual torture, rape, and sexual abuse. A sex crime conviction could land you on the state sex offender registry, limit where you can live, keep you from interacting with family members, and leave you shunned by loved ones. Many of these crimes are felonies.
- White-collar crime: White-collar crime often involves financial fraud or fraudulent behavior for financial gain, such as mail fraud, immigration fraud, bribery, Ponzi schemes, insider trading, embezzlement, and racketeering. These charges often involve crimes that go over state lines and involve multiple federal agencies, which means that serious prison time and financial penalties are possible.
- Federal charges: Federal charges are serious enough to land you in prison for the rest of your life or leave you financially destitute. Depending on your charges, you may be under investigation by the United States Postal Service, the IRS, or other federal agencies that do not give slaps on the wrist.
Do You Need a Criminal Defense Attorney?
If you have been arrested, you absolutely need to talk to a criminal defense lawyer before you do anything else. You may think the charges are minor or the evidence flimsy—this is what leads many people to take a DIY approach to their own defense. This is one of the worst things you can do, as it essentially hands the prosecutor an easy win.
They know the system far better than you do, and whatever defense you may have, they have likely already thought of a way to decimate it. Do not take chances with your future—talk to a criminal defense lawyer now.
The same advice stands if your child is facing criminal charges. When a teenager is arrested for shoplifting or underage drinking, too many parents decide to take a hands-off approach. They hope that a brush with the criminal defense system will scare their kids straight and ensure that the same behavior never repeats itself. Criminal charges can destroy your child’s future, robbing them of job opportunities, college scholarships, and their good reputation.
Should your child end up in juvenile detention, they will be spending time with far more experienced criminals who may be a danger to them or entice your child into more criminal activity. The best way to protect your child’s future is to get an attorney immediately.
Potential Penalties and Consequences
When most people think of criminal penalties in Opelika, they think of the big two: incarceration and fines. These, of course, are life-changing. The wide variety of court fees and penalties you’ll be forced to pay could push you into crushing debt, and even a short period of incarceration could leave you without a job or place to live when you get out.
But the consequences are much more far-reaching than that. A criminal conviction could force you out of the career you’ve worked so hard to build, close off connections with friends and family members, and ruin your reputation within your community. You must take a proactive approach to your criminal charges.
Choose Haygood, Cleveland, Pierce, Thompson & Short for Your Criminal Defense Needs
When you need an experienced criminal defense attorney, you need Haygood, Cleveland, Pierce, Thompson & Short. Let’s sit down and talk about your charges and what your legal options are. Just call us at 334-560-1936 or reach out online to get started.