Criminal Defense Common Questions

I've been arrested—what do I do?

Whether you have been arrested for a felony or misdemeanor offense, the first thing you need to do is retain the services of a criminal defense attorney to protect your rights and defend your record. An experienced defense lawyer like Cullen A. Tonry can help you understand the procedures that take place after a trial. You will need to know what to say and not to say to police and investigators. Having an attorney on your side may help get the charges reduced or even dropped before you need to go to court.

How can I get a loved one out of jail?

An attorney can help friends and family of the person arrested with posting bail. Lawyers in Louisiana can request a personal recognizance release for clients who are guilty of non-violent crimes and promise to return to court when notified, requiring no bail money. If you are unable to afford the entire amount of the bond, a bail bondsman can post the amount for you for a percentage fee.

If there is sufficient equity in any property you own you can also post a property bond. If the defendant cannot pay bail, another person may pledge a personal surety bond that can pay the bond if the defendant fails to appear in court.

What if I have pending charges?

This depends on the type of case you have:

  • Misdemeanor offenses will be handled in Municipal Court. You should receive a summons for the charges against you which will call you to appear in court between one and ten days from the date of the offense where you (and ideally your lawyer) will plead "guilty" or "not guilty."
  • Felony offenses will be handled in Criminal Court. The District Attorney will review your case and determine if charges should be filed. If charges are indeed filed you will need to show up in court for your arraignment between two to six weeks of the offense. You will be required to have a lawyer present for this.
  • DUI/DWI cases are handled in Traffic Court, unless it is a third or fourth DUI/DWI offense, which is a felony and handled in Criminal Court. Within weeks of your arrest you will be summoned to court for an arraignment.

How much do your criminal defense services cost?

At The Tonry Law Firm, the charges are a flat fee, based upon the degree of difficulty or complexity of the case. This allows you to know exactly what to expect in legal fees, as opposed to some firms that will charge by the hour, with skyrocketing costs that you never expected. You can "know before you go."

Do you take payment plans?

The short answer is "yes." Although full payment up front is the preferable form of payment, the firm accepts payment plans on a case-by-case basis. Not all clients will be afforded this opportunity, but the firm will consider your request and in many cases, accepts a payment plan.

What type of criminal defense cases do you handle?

The New Orleans criminal lawyer from the firm handles all types of criminal charges, from traffic offenses, through to major felony charges including DWI, all types of drug crimes, theft offenses and other criminal accusations.

No matter what you have been arrested for, you ought to have a competent and experienced legal defense to try and reduce your charges or have them dropped altogether. Call The Tonry Law Firm to see how he can work to keep your record clean.

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