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Phoenix Criminal Defense FAQ

Phoenix Criminal Defense Attorney

If you’ve been arrested or charged with a crime in Phoenix, AZ, you probably have a lot of questions. Speaking with an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Phoenix is the best way to get the answers you need. 

Craig Orent is certified as a Criminal Law Specialist by the Arizona State Bar. He has more than 34 years of experience representing clients just like you against serious criminal charges like domestic violence, sex crimes, and more. He knows the challenges you face – and understands the most pressing questions you have with your future at stake. That’s why he’s addressed some of the questions he’s asked most often.

Keep reading, and then don’t hesitate to reach out to our Phoenix criminal defense law firm to discuss your legal rights and options further. We offer free consultations to discuss your criminal case.

What Does a Defense Lawyer Do to Investigate a Criminal Case?

The police and prosecution typically investigate your actions before arresting and charging you with a crime. Sometimes, their investigations cut corners when they become greedy for a conviction, especially in felony cases. A strong defense is the only way to challenge their case and safeguard your future.

At Orent Law Offices, our experienced criminal defense attorneys conduct their own investigation into the circumstances of your criminal charges — and we don’t cut corners.

As part of our investigation, our team of attorneys, investigators, and legal staff will work tirelessly to:

  • Gather exculpatory evidence that casts doubt on your guilt, including items seized by the state or federal government.
  • Scrutinize the prosecution’s evidence, such as witness statements, DNA evidence, medical reports, and police reports
  • Use experts when necessary to challenge the state’s evidence against you
  • Identify witnesses whose testimony will support your case, including those who corroborate your alibi

The prosecution will undoubtedly have conducted an extensive investigation related to your charges. You need your own investigation — one that gathers and reviews all evidence concerning your case and strengthens your defense in the process.

Why Should I Hire An Experienced Phoenix Criminal Lawyer in Arizona?

Misdemeanors and felonies come with steep penalties. But if you were charged with a crime, you’ll need a lawyer because the circumstances of your arrest may form the backbone of your defense. Police officers can’t handcuff you for any reason. They must tell you your Miranda rights before and during your arrest.

When you hire a criminal defense attorney at Orent Law, you can count on them to:

  • Provide aggressive representation
  • Thoroughly investigate the circumstances of your criminal charge
  • Gather information that strengthens your defense
  • Have experts poke holes in the prosecution’s case against you
  • Negotiate with the state to dismiss your case or get you the most lenient sentence possible
  • Argue a persuasive and compelling case to the jury if the prosecution won’t play fair

Our founding attorney, Craig Orent was recognized as a Top 100 Trial Attorney by the National Trial Lawyers because he leaves no stone unturned in building your defense. As a former public defender, he saw police officers make unlawful arrests time and time again. That’s why our legal team will work hard to identify any way officers violated your rights during your arrest. If so, we’ll insist that the judge dismisses your case.

What Experts Can Be Used to Help the Defense in a Criminal Case?

Prosecutors will hire experts to testify in court about your mental health, your presence at the scene of a crime, and more. Prosecutors try cases every day, and they know which experts a jury will find most compelling.

You may need your own expert witnesses to challenge the prosecution’s evidence and strengthen your defense. Orent Law Offices has worked with experts to build strong criminal defenses for over three decades. Our Certified Criminal Law Specialists knows the leading experts in Arizona and will consult them to defend your case, when necessary.

To build your case, we might work with experts such as:

  • Forensic and DNA Experts
  • Breathalyzer Test Experts
  • Handwriting Experts
  • Crime Scene Reconstructionist
  • Medical and Mental Health Professionals
  • Ballistics Specialist
  • Computer and Information Technology Experts
  • And more

Experts can help us understand the meaning of certain types of evidence, and they can provide crucial insight into the circumstances surrounding your charges. If there is a specialist who can help us with your criminal case, we will find them.

Will My Criminal Case Go to Trial?

Most criminal cases don’t go to trial; they are resolved well before they reach the courtroom. However, we prepare every case as if it’s going to trial. This strategy ensures we do not leave your defense to chance, and it gives us more leverage with the prosecution.

Phoenix prosecutors know Orent Law Offices. They know we are a Certified Criminal Law Specialist and Top 100 Trial Lawyers. They know they can’t offer an unfair plea deal because we’re prepared to take them before a jury.

Our experience and reputation encourage prosecutors to offer you a fair plea agreement or drop your charges. If they don’t, they know they’ll see our Phoenix criminal defense attorneys at trial.

What Will My Criminal Defense Strategy Look Like?

Your criminal defense strategy will depend on your criminal charges. While no two criminal cases are alike, our philosophy is the same for every charge: defend you like we would want to be defended. We take our cases personally because we know your freedom and reputation are in our hands.

In every case, we hold the prosecution to their standard of proof: beyond a reasonable doubt. Indeed, prosecutors have to prove every element of a crime beyond a reasonable doubt. Sometimes, your defense at trial will consist of showing the jury that the prosecution hasn’t met this high burden for your charge. For example, we may argue you did not have the required intent to commit the crime. In a drug charge, we may assert that you didn’t actually possess the drugs or didn’t have the requisite amount for a given charge.

In other cases, we may offer an affirmative defense to your conduct. For instance, in an assault charge, we may argue your behavior was self-defense.

We will also investigate if the police violated your rights during your arrest or questioning. If police lacked probable cause to search or arrest you or failed to read your Miranda rights, we will insist the court dismiss the prosecution’s tainted evidence.

Although our strategy will change depending on your charge, you can rest assured that we will build the strongest defense possible. Our goal is to protect your best interest. We will pressure the prosecution to reduce or dismiss your charges. If they don’t play fair, we’ll be ready to face them in court.

What’s a Plea Deal? Should I Accept a Plea Agreement?

In a criminal case, a plea bargain is an agreement between a defendant and the district attorney. Whether you should accept an offer depends on the details of your case and the deal that’s on the table. This is a decision that will affect you for the rest of your life – so it’s important that it’s an informed one. Get an experienced attorney to avoid jail time, large fines, or a conviction that will haunt you in the future.

What’s the Difference Between a Misdemeanor and a Felony?

A misdemeanor is a less serious class of crime than a felony. The more seriously a crime is classified, the worse the sentencing penalty will be. A misdemeanor sentence is less than one year. There are multiple classes of felonies in Arizona, with sentences ranging from one year to life in prison.

Should I Ask for a Public Defender or Hire a Private Attorney?

Public defenders are often experienced and passionate lawyers. They are also frequently overworked. Many public defenders’ caseloads far exceed the recommendations of the American Bar Association. A private defense attorney will have the same experience, knowledge, and passion – if not more. When you hire a defense attorney, they also have the time and resources to devote to the details and facts of your case.

Does Arizona Have a “Three Strikes” Law?

Under Arizona’s habitual offender laws, a defendant with prior felony convictions can face enhanced penalties. A person with one prior felony will face harsher penalties than someone who is guilty of the same crime but has no prior convictions. Offenders who have two or more prior felonies will face even harsher penalties for the same crime than offenders who have one or none. Also, the penalties for a crime can be enhanced when serious or violent offenders commit dangerous felonies. An experienced attorney can help you navigate Arizona’s enhanced penalty scheme.

Where Are Jails, Prisons, and Courts Located in Phoenix and Maricopa County?

Don’t go it alone if you’re facing criminal charges in Phoenix, AZ. You need the strongest criminal defense possible to protect your freedom and reputation. Contact Craig Orent to discuss how our elite Phoenix criminal defense attorneys can build your defense.

We serve clients facing misdemeanors and felonies in state and federal courts in Phoenix and Maricopa County. Our office in Phoenix, Arizona, offers free initial consultations to those charged with criminal offenses. Call today to schedule yours.

Local Prisons

Arizona Juvenile Corrections- 2800 W Pinnacle Peak Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85027
Arizona State Prison Complex – 2500 E Van Buren St, Phoenix, AZ 85008
Maricopa County Jail – 225 W Madison St, Phoenix, AZ 85003

Nearby Courts

Maricopa County Northeast Regional Court Center – 18380 N 40th St UNIT 130, Phoenix, AZ 85032
Scottsdale City Court – 3700 N 75th St, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
Superior Court – 175 W Madison St, Phoenix, AZ 85003

*Disclaimer – we do not endorse these companies or profit from having them listed on our website.

Phoenix Office – 11811 N Tatum Blvd UNIT 3031, Phoenix, AZ 85028

Our office is located at 11811 N Tatum Blvd UNIT 3031, Phoenix, AZ 85028. We an be reached 24/7 at (480) 656-7301.

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