Being charged with a crime is a frightening experience, and it can be difficult to know who to turn to for help. When so much depends on the outcome of your case, it’s important that you hire a legal team that has the knowledge, resources, and persistence to provide you with the strong defense you need.
When our founding partner, Andrew Baldwin, set out to establish this practice, he did it with the sole purpose of defending those who cannot protect themselves. The Criminal Defense Team is a collection of accomplished and committed attorneys whose mission is to make sure that justice is delivered fairly.
When you’re in need of a defense team, you need attorneys who are experienced, highly skilled, and above all, have your best interest in mind. That is who we are and what we do. Our Indiana criminal defense attorneys will work together to craft the best possible legal strategy for your circumstances. Our fiercely protective team of Board Certified* attorneys will be there for you every step of the way.
We are here to put our expertise to use to help you get your life back on track. Call us at 317-751-7654 or contact us online anytime day or night. We’re ready to help.
Do I Need a Defense Attorney?
When you’re facing a criminal charge, it can feel like everyone is against you. It’s important to know, however, that your criminal defense attorney is on your side and will fight for your interests from day one. They will make sure that you are heard, help you navigate the confusing and complex legal system, and uphold your rights throughout the process.
Every criminal case is unique and presents different issues. An experienced criminal defense attorney will listen carefully to your story and your needs, and they will leverage their detailed knowledge of criminal law to craft a legal strategy that is tailored to the circumstances of your case and your goals.
A qualified attorney will also be able to negotiate effectively for your case. For example, they may be able to negotiate for a dismissal before charges are even finalized, or they may be able to negotiate effectively for a deal that reduces your charges.
Most importantly, a skilled attorney will leave no stone unturned when building your defense. They will conduct an exhaustive investigation, prepare meticulously for trial, and leverage their resources effectively. It’s not uncommon, for example, for defense attorneys to hire expert witnesses, such as forensic scientists or toxicologists, to gather evidence to support your case.
Having a qualified attorney on your side can make the difference between spending time behind bars and getting a reduced sentence or even a dismissal of charges. It is important that you contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible after you’re charged so that they can start building your case and making sure that you get the legal protection you need.
Why Call The Criminal Defense Team?
There are firms all over the state that do what we do, but few do it as well as we do.
Since our firm was founded, we have worked hard to make sure that justice is served correctly. We are a collection of skilled defense attorneys with a significant amount of experience protecting clients and limiting the damage caused by convictions. We have brought over 1,000 cases to trial and over 400 to jury trials. We are comfortable in a courtroom and have the skills to defend your case vigorously before the judge and jury.
Many of our lawyers are also board-certified as Criminal Trial Specialists by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. Five of the six-board certified attorneys in the state of Indiana call our office home.
Another important skill we bring to the table is knowing how prosecutors think. Three of our esteemed lawyers are former prosecutors themselves. Knowing how prosecutors collect evidence, determine charges, and prepare for trial gives us a significant advantage in serving our clients.
What to Do After Being Arrested?
If you have been arrested, the most important thing for you to do is say nothing until you have a qualified lawyer by your side who can advise you and guide you through your case. If you are pressed to talk, you can inform the arresting officers that any and all communication must involve your lawyer.
From there, you can expect the following steps:
- Arrest: When placed under arrest, law enforcement authorities will follow determined protocols. Throughout the process, it is extremely important that you say nothing without a lawyer present. Following your arrest, you will be read your Miranda rights.
- Booking: The arresting officers will bring you into custody to gather information.
- Appointment of an attorney: You can be awarded a public defender at this point, and the district attorney’s office will begin an investigation to determine charges.
- Charges: Either a law enforcement officer or a private citizen can file a complaint against the defendant.
- Arraignment: In this phase, the defendant enters a plea to the charge, such as no contest, guilty, or not guilty.
- Bail: If the court allows, the defendant may pay bail, or collateral, which is used to insure that the defendant will show up for the criminal proceedings.
- Discovery: Discovery is a formal process that enables both sides to gather and exchange information about evidence and witnesses. Your defense attorney will do their own investigation to gather as much information as they can about your case.
- Pre-trial conference and hearing: Your attorney will meet with the judge and the prosecutor before the trial – this presents your attorney with the opportunity to resolve your case before going to trial.
- Trial: If there is no agreed-upon plea deal, you will go to trial, where your verdict will be determined by a jury of your peers. If you are found to be innocent, you are free to go, but if you are not found innocent, the judge will deliver your sentence.
- Appeals: Defendants who are found guilty may appeal their verdict through the appeals process.
Types of Cases We Handle
Following are just some of the types of cases we handle at The Criminal Defense Team:
- DUI (OVWI)
- Domestic Violence/Domestic Battery
- Drug Crimes
- Sex Crimes
Types of Charges
When someone breaks the law, it is considered a criminal offense. The crime you’re charged with may fall into one of three categories: infraction, misdemeanor, or felony.
Infraction – This is a less serious violation that is typically punishable by a fine rather than jail time.
Misdemeanor – This is a criminal offense that is more serious than an infraction and may carry a sentence of up to one year in prison. Misdemeanors are broken down into either Class A, Class B, or Class C, where Class A carries the highest penalty while Class C carries the lowest.
Examples of misdemeanor crimes include public intoxication, drug possession, or DUI.
Punishments for misdemeanors are broken down as follows:
- Class A Misdemeanors: Pay between $1000-$5,000 in fines and spend between 180 days-one year in prison.
- Class B Misdemeanors: Pay between $500-$1000 and spend between 60-180 days in prison
- Class C Misdemeanors: Pay up to $500 and spend 60 days or less in prison.
Felony – This is an offense that is more serious than a misdemeanor and carries much heavier penalties. Felony offenses generally cause serious harm to a person’s body, emotions, or finances. In the state of Indiana, felonies range anywhere from six months to life in prison, or even the death penalty.
In determining the sentence, murder is classified on its own as the most severe offense, followed by Levels 1-6, with Level 1 being the most serious offense and Level 6 being the least serious.
It is important to note that each felony classification will also have a state advisory sentence, which is a guideline that the court can consider but is not required to use.
Examples of felonies include murder, rape, voluntary/involuntary manslaughter, and battery.
Punishments for felonies are broken down as follows:
- Murder: Spend between 45-65 years with the risk of life in state prison without parole or the death penalty. Pay up to $10,000 in fines.
- Level 1 Felony: Spend between 20-40 years in state prison. Pay up to $10,000 in fines. The state carries an advisory sentence of 30 years.
- Level 2 Felony: Spend between 10-30 years in state prison. Pay up to $10,000 in fines. The state carries an advisory sentence of 17.5 years.
- Level 3 Felony: Spend between 3-16 years in state prison. Pay up to $10,000 in fines. The state carries an advisory sentence of 9 years.
- Level 4 Felony: Spend between 2-12 years in state prison. Pay up to $10,000 in fines. The state carries an advisory sentence of 6 years.
- Level 5 Felony: Spend between 1-6 years in state prison. Pay up to $10,000 in fines. The state carries an advisory sentence of 3 years.
- Level 6 Felony: Spend between 6 months-2.5 years in state prison. Pay up to $10,000. The state carries an advisory sentence of 1 year.
What About Sentences Without Jail Time?
The state of Indiana has set guidelines for sentencing within its penal code. However, judges also have some wiggle room in interpreting each given circumstance, so a sentence does not necessarily need to include jail time. A sentence may alternatively or additionally include the following:
- Probation: Probation is a form of correction that allows you to remain free from prison while receiving supervision from a parole officer that the court will appoint. You will be required to meet with your parole officer at scheduled times and also adhere to determined conditions.
- Alternative sentencing: For misdemeanors, judges can impose sentences ranging from probation without supervision to community service, fines, or other consequences like suspension of a driver’s license. With a felony, if it is a lower-level conviction that did not involve violence, there is a chance that it can become a misdemeanor if certain guidelines are met.
- Community corrections sentences: Another way to serve your sentence outside of prison is by taking part in a work-release program or by serving a house arrest sentence.
Call Us Today
If you are accused of a crime or facing conviction, you need an attorney you can trust who knows how to fight for your freedom and demand justice. Our compassionate, devoted team is standing by and waiting to take your call. Don’t waste another minute. Call us today at 317-751-7654 or visit us online.