A criminal conviction may have serious and long-term consequences for your life, including your job and educational prospects and your reputation. If you have been charged with a crime or believe that you are under suspicion, you should consult Columbia criminal defense lawyer Dan Pingelton for guidance and representation. He can zealously advocate for your rights at every step of the way, fighting to minimize the impact of the charges or investigation. At the Pingelton Law Firm, we handle a wide range of criminal matters for Missouri residents, including those involving violent crimes, drug offenses, domestic violence, DUI/DWI, white collar crimes, theft offenses, sex crimes, and juvenile crimes. We are experienced in proceedings in both state and federal courts. Dan Pingelton also can assist you if you need a family law or personal injury attorney to protect your interests.The Importance of Retaining a Criminal Defense Attorney
In all criminal cases, a defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless they are proven guilty. The prosecutor bears the burden of proof to establish that the accused is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. In Missouri, this burden is the most stringent legal standard, requiring that a jury or judge does not have any doubt rooted in logic after carefully considering all of the evidence. Each element of the crime must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt, which usually means that the prosecution must show that the defendant not only committed the alleged acts but also had a certain level of intent in committing them.
In addition to challenging the substantive elements of the charge against you, it may be possible to assert some of the many procedural rights available to criminal defendants. For example, police officers must inform you of your Miranda rights before you are interrogated. These consist of warnings that you have the right to remain silent, anything that you say may be used against you in the proceedings, and you have the right to an attorney. If you incriminate yourself because you were not given your Miranda warnings, you can potentially argue that these statements should be inadmissible in court. Your attorney will need to prove that you were being questioned while in custody.
The collection of drugs, weapons, or other contraband often is pivotal in Missouri criminal cases. If an unlawful police search and seizure led to the charges against you, Dan Pingelton knows how to assert your rights. Both the U.S. Constitution and the Missouri Constitution protect the right of citizens to be secure in their persons, papers, homes, and effects from unreasonable searches and seizures. This means that police are generally prohibited from conducting a search without a warrant based on probable cause, although the rule has a few limited exceptions. Unless the prosecution can prove that an exception applies, evidence found during a warrantless search or seizure likely will be deemed inadmissible in court and excluded from consideration during the proceedings. Thus, asserting a procedural defense may be a key strategy that shapes the outcome of your case.Discuss Your Situation with a Criminal Defense Lawyer in the Columbia Area
If you or a loved one is facing a criminal charge, you can rely on Columbia criminal defense attorney Dan Pingelton to provide the experienced and vigorous representation that you need. With over 30 years of experience, he understands how to protect the rights of his clients at every stage of the criminal justice system. The Pingelton Law Firm also represents people in Jefferson City, Boonville, Fulton, and Moberly, among other Missouri communities. For a free initial consultation about your case, call us at 573-449-5091 or contact us online. We also are available if you need guidance or representation from a personal injury or family law attorney.