Criminal Defense

Criminal Defense2020-10-07T18:16:19+00:00

Experienced Criminal Defense Attorneys in Des Moines

If you have been accused of a crime, the wrong move could result in large fines, a criminal record, and even incarceration. Our Des Moines criminal defense lawyers have the knowledge and expertise needed to build a formidable defense on your behalf. At Merrill Law, P.L.C., we’ll work one-on-one with you to gather facts and diligently protect your rights.

After an arrest or accusation of a crime, you need to contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Criminal defense attorneys will help you understand the charges against you and provide possible defenses to those charges. At Merrill Law, P.L.C., we’ll guide you through each step of the process, thoroughly investigate the charges, expose reasonable doubt, and protect your rights.

If you are facing criminal charges in Des Moines, contact our law firm today. Whatever charges you are facing, we have the determination to fight for your best interests.

Areas of Practice

  • OWI
  • Drug Crimes
  • Theft
  • Violent Crimes
  • Weapons Offenses
  • Probation Violation
  • And More

Criminal Defense : F.A.Q.

What happens if I tell my lawyer that I will lie on the stand?2019-06-20T18:41:13+00:00

This is a very bad idea. You could be exposed to a perjury charge if you are caught, and your credibility as a witness will be severely discredited. Your lawyer will do their best to persuade you not to lie on the stand, but they likely will withdraw their representation if you proceed. (However, they will not tell the judge why they are withdrawing their representation.)

When do I need a lawyer for a criminal case?2019-06-20T18:40:55+00:00

A defendant almost always should hire a lawyer to handle a criminal case. When so much is at stake, the knowledge and experience accumulated by a professional can make a huge difference. They may be able to recognize problems with the prosecution’s case or available defenses that an ordinary person could not identify. The prosecution can bring substantial resources to pursuing a case, so retaining an attorney is an important way to level the playing field. Even if you plead guilty, they may be able to negotiate a better plea bargain because the prosecution likely will take your position more seriously if you have a lawyer.

What do I do if I am sure that I am innocent of the charges?2019-06-20T18:40:36+00:00

You probably should hire an attorney as soon as possible to help you present your case to the prosecution. The attorney can call the prosecution’s attention to errors in the police report or other inaccurate or misunderstood facts that support the charges. In some cases, a defense attorney may even contact the police or prosecution before charges are filed, while the case is still being investigated. This can stop the process at the earliest possible phase. Otherwise, they may seek a dismissal from a judge through a pre-trial motion, which might knock out vital evidence that the prosecution needs to prove the case. Sometimes simply doing nothing can solve the problem, since the prosecution may eventually realize the flaws in their case on their own. However, proactively trying to get rid of the charges before trial is usually a better strategy, since the outcome of a trial is never guaranteed.

Do the police always need a warrant to conduct a search?2019-06-20T18:40:18+00:00

No, not always.  There are several exceptions that allow the police to conduct a search without a warrant. These may include valid consent by an occupant of the property, evidence that is in plain view, an emergency that requires prompt action, or searches incident to an arrest.

Do the police need to read the Miranda warnings before talking to a suspect?2019-06-20T18:40:00+00:00

The police must read the Miranda warnings before they interrogate someone who is in custody. Being in custody means that a reasonable person would conclude that they were not free to leave. Statements that are volunteered by someone in custody, without an interrogation, can be used against them even if the police did not provide Miranda warnings. An interrogation can consist of not only direct questioning but also actions by the police that are likely to elicit an incriminating response by the suspect.

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