Criminal defense attorney Sam Dixon represents clients throughout Alabama charged with a crime through all aspects of the criminal process. If you believe you are subject to a criminal investigation, charged with a crime, or need to appeal a criminal guilty verdict in the State of Alabama Mr. Dixon is here to help.
- Under Investigation --- You have a 5th Amendment Right to remain silent and you should not offer any information other than identifying information, such as your name and address if questioned by the police. If you ask for an attorney at any time the police must stop all questioning without an attorney present. This Right, enshrined in our Bill of Rights to the American Constitution, is to prevent false confessions or other misunderstandings regarding your statements that could be used against you under the law. But you must unequivocally ask for legal representation and do not talk again until your attorney arrives. If you start talking again after you ask for an attorney, that information can still be used against you in court. Remember, anything you say or do can be used against you in court. Never, ever talk to the police without counsel present!
The beginnings of an investigation against someone suspected of a crime are often the most important time of a defendant's case for innocence. Many times, we are able to provide information to the investigating agency, the Sheriff's Department, the FBI, Federal Marshalls or local municipal police force. Cases may be won or lost within the first few weeks of an investigation, and you need experienced and qualified legal counsel BEFORE YOU ARE CHARGED!
Clients sometimes will tell us that hiring an attorney at such as early stage may make them appear guilty. If you are being investigated for a crime, there are good chances they already believe you are guilty and have some evidence to support that proposition. They are trying to build a case against you. And your Fifth Amendment protections ensure that your Right to an Attorney will never be abridged. Nor can the police ever use your request for a lawyer against you in court.
Hire a criminal defense attorney before you are charged with a crime if possible. If you are under investigation for any crime, you should always retain an attorney before speaking with the police in any manner. Remember, a cop's job is to place blame for a crime, and it's the District Attorney or Prosecutors job to convict someone of a crime that has been committed. Don't fall into their trap. Contact us before it's too late!
- You've been Charged with a Crime -- At this stage you have no choice. You must hire an attorney immediately. The sooner you hire an attorney the faster your case may be adjudicated and the faster your lawyer can start working on your case, gathering evidence, speaking to witnesses, hiring experts, obtaining discovery from the prosecution, and preparing for your preliminary hearing.
Under our Constitution, every criminal defendant that does not have the means to hire an attorney may petition the court to have a public defender appointed to them by filing an affidavit of hardship with the court. The parameters for granting such a petition are steep and you must truly have no assets or way to pay for an attorney. And even then, at the end of your case, if you are convicted or plea to a lesser charge that avoids jail time, you likely can be required to reimburse the State of Alabama for those charges. The State of Alabama has all the advantages in a criminal prosecution already. Public Defenders also have a high plea rate and are often over-worked for little pay. We suggest that if you have the means, please hire us or another competent criminal defense firm to protect your rights during a trial.
- You've been convicted – God forbid, you've been convicted of a crime in Alabama. But all is not lost. You still have options. You have 30 days from the date of your sentence to file a post-judgment motion such as a motion to alter, amend or vacate, or a motion for new trial. You also have 42 days from the date of sentence to file a notice of appeal to the Court of Criminal Appeals. The filing of a motion for a new trial will toll any time considerations for the notice of appeal.
It is imperative that you contact an experienced appellate lawyer if have been convicted of a crime immediately after conviction. Often defendants wait until the time to file motions in the circuit court, such as a motion for new trial mentioned above, can significantly impact their ability to appeal their conviction. If you have been convicted of a crime in Alabama, and especially if you think your lawyer should have done more for you during the process, or somehow made serious mistakes that could have impacted the trial, it is imperative you contact a new lawyer for the appellate process immediately after a conviction.
If you fit into any of the categories above, please call the Birmingham criminal defense Law Office of Sam Dixon immediately. We will fight diligently for your Rights, protect your freedom and reputation, and provide you the best representation possible under all the circumstances. We will keep you informed of the legal process and work closely with you throughout your case. To learn how we can help you, schedule a free consultation by calling (205) 616-8896.