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Frequently Asked Questions

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FAQ: Criminal Defense

What is the difference between a felony & misdemeanor?

A misdemeanor is a petty offense punished by less than a year of confinement. A felony is a more serious crime, like arson or murder, and carries harsher penalties such a long prison sentences. A felony will remain on your record and may affect your future job prospects and can be held against you should you be charged with a crime in the future

If I'm pulled over or arrested, what are my rights?

If you get pulled over, you have the right to ask why you were stopped. The police may pat down your clothing to check for concealed weapons, but you have the right to refuse other searches if the police do not have a warrant. Upon arrest, an officer must inform you of your Miranda rights, otherwise, your case might not be valid and could be dismissed.

If I am asked to take a breath test, do I have to take it?

Yes, you must take a breathalyzer test if police request it. Failure to take the test may result in additional criminal charges.

If my BAC was over 0.08, should I even have a lawyer?

Even if your BAC was over the legal limit, a criminal defense attorney can still be very helpful in having your charges reduced or dismissed, and can at least make sure you don’t face unnecessarily harsh penalties if convicted. Having a lawyer to argue on your behalf and defend your rights will always be beneficial.

Police didn't read me my rights. Will my case be dismissed?

Failure to advise you of your Miranda rights does not automatically result in dismissal of the case against you. It is possible to get your statements thrown out in certain circumstances, but you should discuss the facts of your case fully with a knowledgeable and experienced criminal law attorney at Hopper, Hopper & Mulligan, PLLC.

What is a criminal traffic offense?

A criminal traffic offense such as drunken driving, fleeing a police officer, or leaving the scene of an accident, requires a court appearance; it carries with it criminal penalties that may include a fine, court costs, and/or the possibility of jail.

What is a civil traffic infraction offense?

A civil traffic infraction is a non-criminal charge that can be disposed of by payment of a civil penalty, requesting a court hearing, or election of a defensive driving course. A court appearance is not required, except in cases where the violation involves serious bodily injury or death of another person.

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