Being arrested and charged with committing a crime can be difficult, confusing, and life changing. Most citizens of the Commonwealth lack the familiarity with the courts, criminal procedures, and civil procedures to know their rights and how to assert them to their benefit. Apollo Law wants you to understand and know your rights and how to best assert them. The most important right you have is the right to be represented by an attorney. Here are some of the questions we hear from our clients most frequently.
Should I plead guilty or not guilty if I can not get a lawyer before I go to court?
You are innocent until proven guilty. Often times prosecutors, especially in district court, may make an offer seeking to resolve your legal matter in a timely manner at arraignment to deal with their often heavy case docket. Apollo Law advises if you are brought before a judge before you have had a chance to talk to your lawyer, tell the judge that you want a lawyer before entering any plea. The important thing is that you know all of your options before entering a plea. Often times, there are less obvious collateral consequences that individuals are not aware of when they enter a guilty plea. If you do not have the funds to hire an attorney you should fill out an affidavit of indigency form, more specifically called a Financial Statement, Affidavits Of Indigency, Request For Counsel And Order (Criminal Cases) Administrative Office of the Court form 350, to seek the appointment of a public defender from the local Kentucky Department of Public Advocacy Trial Office. If there is a conflct in your case determined by the local DPA Trial Office, your case may still be assigned to Apollo Law as our attorney has historically assisted with representing indigent clients on DPA conflict contracts. If you tell the judge you are going to attempt to hire your own attorney or if the judge finds that you have enough income to hire an attorney you should call Apollo Law for a consultation to discuss your case. Please also see our blog post Picking Your Attorney regarding selecting an attorney to assist with your legal matter. Request that the judge enter a not guilty plea on your behalf and set your case for a return date, a pretrial date, return to court date, or a preliminary hearing date as your case may require. Schedule a counsultation with Apollo Law as soon as possible so that we can begin working on your case to your benefit. In person consultation is prefered, but phone consultations can be scheduled as well. Bring the information regarding your next court date and any paperwork or other information that may be necessary in better understanding your case to your consultation.
Do I have to pay to talk to a/an lawyer/attorney before deciding to hire him or her?
The first thing a competent lawyer should do when contacted by a potential client is determine whether the lawyer can handle the case competently and without a conflict of interest. In some cases apparent conflicts of interest may be waivable or Apollo Law can refer a co-defendant to another respectable lawyer or law firm for legal services. The important thing is to contact an attorney a soon as an arrest or questioning about a crime occurs.
I have an active bench warrant, what should I do?
There are times when life happens and people miss court for various reasons. Often times, clients have been indicted in Circuit Court on felony charges and found out either through word of mouth or social media (for exampe the Franklin County Sheriff's Office Facebook Page historically posts The Sheriff's Most Wanted that they have an active bench warrant for their arrest. Apollo Law advises individuals whom believe they have a bench warrant to contact our office as soon as possible. It is as a rule generally better to either have our atttorney schedule your case for the next available court date to lift your bench warrant or to turn yourself in with our attorney present at the local police station prior to an arraignment docket when pretrial services are likely to meet with you and discuss setting a reasonable bond. Apollo Law is experienced with lifting bench warrants for our clients. At times warrants can be lifted by written agreement of the prosecutor and the trial judge in certain circumstances. If our attorney files a motion to lift your active bench warrant you will have to appear for court to get the bench warrant lifted. If the court has to send law enforcement to compel your appearance by service of a bench warrant your chances of being released on bond are exponentially decreased. Additionally, challenging criminal charges from the local jail may also decrease the likelyhood of a favorable outcome in your case. It is much easier for a court to probate an individual whom is doing well on bond as opposed to someone whom is being held on bond at the local jail. Please do not hesitate to deal with your active bench warrant. Call and schedule a consultation with Apollo Law immediately to discuss addressing any active bench warrants.
Do I have to appear for court if I hire an attorney?
As a general rule, Apollo Law believes that it is in your best interest to appear for all critical stages in your case before the court. Certain traffic matters and routine hearings may not require your appearance, however. Apollo Law has represented numerous out of state clients and has resolved their traffic matters by entering a signed affidavit by the client giving our attorney the authority to resolve their case to a described outcome. However, for most misdemeanor and all felony charges it is generally in your best interest to appear before the court in your case and not risk the judge issuing a bench warrant in your case. Additionally, your input and cooperation in your own defense may be essential to a positive outcome in your case. Please never miss a court appearance without discussing it in advance with your attorney first.
How soon can an attorney get to see my loved one who is in jail?
Apollo Law, if provided enough information in advance, can see an individual at a local jail within 24 to 48 hours. Our attorney drafts a retainer agreement prior to seeing possible clients in jail for the initial consultation. Our attorney is regularly visiting individuals in courts and jails in Franklin and the surrounding counties. After our initial meeting, we visit clients in jail routinely and regularly until our client is released from custody or until their case is resolved. As soon as retained, Apollo Law makes arrangements to see our clients in jail.
What are my options for paying my attorney fees?
Apollo Law understands that when you are arrested it may take some time to get your financial resources together to make bail and retain an attorney. If you are posting bail or have posted bail we may be able to file a bond assignment for the attorney fee in your case. In criminal cases an initial retainer is required in every case. The retainer may be a flat fee retainer (which would cover the case through possible trial) or may be a retainer based on an initial amount to be billed at an hourly rate should your case take longer to resolve. There are benefits and draw backs to both either flat fee or hourly rate options. Discuss with our attorney which option is best for your case. We accept checks, credit cards, debit cards, and U.S. currency. In some instances we can agree to payment plans. Apollo Law additionally accepts payments at the office and over the phone.
Where can I get help for drug abuse?
Looking for assistance with drug abuse? See the link for the help.org drug abuse hotline. https://www.help.org/drug-abuse-hotline. For specific issues regarding prescription drugs see https://www.help.org/prescription-drug-addiction-and-abuse; for fentanyl see https://www.help.org/fentanyl-addiction; for methamphetamine see https://www.help.org/methamphetamine-addiction