If you have been charged with a crime, you may be unsure of the extent of your rights or the course of action that you should take. Even if you are confident about your innocence, you should retain an experienced Omaha criminal defense lawyer to protect your liberties and formulate a plan for your defense. Harry A. Hoch, III has the knowledge and skill to assist defendants facing criminal charges with obtaining favorable results, whether this means a dismissal, an acquittal, or a plea to a reduced charge. The Law Office of Harry A. Hoch, III is conveniently located in downtown Omaha, and we assist people throughout Douglas and Sarpy Counties. Attorney Hoch also helps people bringing a personal injury or workers’ compensation claim after a serious accident.Understanding the Criminal Justice System
You should make sure to avoid making any statements regarding the alleged crime against you until you consult with an attorney, whether or not you have been arrested. If you are arrested, you will have an initial bond hearing, at which the court will determine whether to release you without bail, set bail, or deny bail. You will then be arraigned. At your arraignment, you will be read the charges against you as well as the penalties for the charges, and you will enter a plea. Following your arraignment, the prosecution and your defense attorney will conduct discovery to collect any relevant evidence. After the completion of discovery, pre-trial motions may be presented to narrow the issues and evidence for trial.
Depending on the nature of the charges against you, you may be able to enter a pre-trial diversion program. To be eligible for a diversion program, you must not be charged with a violent crime and must not have a significant criminal history. You are only permitted to take advantage of the diversion program once. If you successfully complete the requirements, the charges against you will be dropped. Harry A. Hoch, III is an experienced criminal defense attorney in the Omaha area who can help you pursue diversion if this is available for you.
If you are not eligible for pre-trial diversion, a criminal defense attorney can help you navigate plea negotiations and present your case at trial if a satisfactory plea agreement is not reached. If you are found not guilty, the case will be dismissed. If you are convicted of the charges against you, you will be sentenced at a later hearing.Procedural and Substantive Defenses
If you are charged with a crime, you are presumed innocent until proven guilty. To prove that you committed the crime with which you are charged, the prosecution must establish each element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. While there is no standard definition of what “beyond a reasonable doubt” means, it is the highest burden of proof.
In many situations, an Omaha criminal defense attorney may be able to raise a defense based on the rights provided by the Constitution. Under the Fourth Amendment, you are protected against unreasonable searches and seizures. In other words, the police cannot search you, your vehicle, or your property without a warrant or probable cause. If a search was conducted in violation of your Fourth Amendment rights, any evidence obtained via the search may be inadmissible to prove the charges against you. People charged with crimes also have a right against self-incrimination under the Fifth Amendment. Even if you committed the acts alleged, the prosecution may not be able to get a conviction if a substantive defense is available to justify your actions. For instance, the use of force against another person is permitted if it is done in self-defense. Self-defense is justified if you had a reasonable belief that you were threatened with death or serious harm. In another example, if you are charged with criminal trespass, it can be a complete defense to the charge if the property was open to the public or if you reasonably believed that you were permitted to enter the property. An experienced attorney will be able to advise you about whether any substantive defense may be available to avert a conviction.Hire an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer in Omaha
Harry A. Hoch, III is skilled in navigating the Nebraska criminal court system and has the knowledge and experience to assist you in obtaining a favorable outcome in your criminal case. He represents people in Omaha, Elkhorn, Bellevue, Gretna, La Vista, Papillon, Lincoln, Fremont, Plattsmouth, Blair, and Wahoo, as well as other areas of Douglas, Sarpy, Lancaster, Dodge, Cass, Washington, and Saunders Counties. To set up a consultation, contact us at (402) 986-7858 or complete our online form.