Topeka Criminal Defense Attorneys
Trusted Legal Counsel for the Accused
Being charged with a misdemeanor or felony in Topeka is serious. If you’re found guilty, you could be sentenced to incarceration, ordered to pay a fine and fees, and subject to various other penalties. The consequences of a criminal conviction are also long-lasting, as you will have a mark on your record that others can access and might use to make judgments about you. For example, a potential employer or landlord might deny your application because of your criminal history. However, just because you have been charged with a crime does not mean you are guaranteed to suffer the adverse impacts. In the eyes of the law, you are innocent until proven guilty, and you have the right to fight to protect your freedom and future.
At Ralston, Pope & Diehl, LLC, our Topeka criminal defense lawyers are devoted to seeking just results for our clients. We recognize that this can be a life-changing event for most, which is why we take the time to get the know the people we serve. Backed by more than 130 years of combined experience, our team leverages our talents and skills to develop solid legal strategies for our clients. Whether a case can be resolved outside of the courtroom through a plea deal or must be litigated, we are prepared to zealously advocate for our clients.
To speak with a Topeka criminal defense attorney about your case, please contact us at (785) 200-9465 today.
Types of Criminal Charges in Kansas
In Kansas, a person can face many different types of criminal charges. Most prohibited conduct is specified in the statutes. Generally, the charges can be separated into two categories: felonies and misdemeanors. Felonies are the more serious of the two, and they typically involve prison sentences of more than one year. Conversely, misdemeanors are less serious offenses that usually result in fines or jail sentences of less than one year.
Examples of crimes in Kansas include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Drug crimes: Unlawfully manufacturing, cultivating, distributing, and possessing controlled substances.
- DUI: Operating or attempting to operate a vehicle while blood alcohol concentration is 0.08 or more or when unable to drive safely because of the consumption of alcohol and/or drugs.
- Kidnapping: Taking or confining a person by force or threat with the intent to hold them for ransom or accomplish some other activity, such as interfering with governmental functions.
- Lewd and lascivious behavior: Having sex with someone knowing or believing that another person is watching, or exposing sexual organs to another person to gratify the sexual desires of someone else.
- Murder: Unlawfully killing another person. Kansas separates the offense into capital, first-degree, and second-degree, depending on the act.
- Rape: Engaging in non-consensual sexual conduct with another person when the act is accomplished through force or fear, or the alleged victim is unconscious or unable to resist.
- Theft: Unlawfully taking the property of another without permission or by using deception or threat.
Our criminal defense lawyers in Topeka are ready to take on misdemeanor or felony cases of varying complexity. We are invigorated by a challenge and passionate about identifying innovative ways to defend our clients.
The Kansas Criminal Justice Process
If a person is accused of a crime, they will go through the criminal justice system. The process involves several stages, which can vary depending on the type of offense alleged to have been committed and the defendant’s situation.
Below is an outline of the steps in a criminal prosecution:
- Report of a crime: Usually, the process begins with a victim or witness reporting a crime. In some cases, a police officer might see the offense happen.
- Investigation: Law enforcement officials will investigate the matter to determine whether an offense was committed and identify a suspect.
- Arrest: A police officer will take the suspect into custody.
- Prosecutor review: Officials will send a police report to the prosecutor, who will review it to determine whether sufficient evidence exists to move forward with the case.
- First appearance (felony) or arraignment (misdemeanor): The defendant will appear before a judge and be informed of the charges against them and their rights. The defendant may be asked to enter a plea.
- Preliminary hearing (felonies only): The prosecutor presents evidence to attempt to establish probable cause exists to believe that the defendant committed the alleged offense. If they meet their burden, the defendant will be arraigned, and the case will be set for trial.
- Pre-trial processes: The defense and prosecution exchange information about the case. The court may also hold hearings on any motions filed. The case may be resolved outside the courtroom if the prosecutor and defense reach a favorable plea deal.
- Trial: The case will be presented before a judge or jury. The prosecutor and defense present their arguments, and the trier of fact determines whether the defendant is guilty.
- Sentencing: Upon a guilty plea or verdict, the defendant will be sentenced. Potential penalties include incarceration, fines, and probation. The judge has the discretion to set specific punishments based on the facts of the case.
At Ralston, Pope & Diehl, LLC, we are well-versed in the legal processes. Our criminal defense attorneys in Topeka provide our clients with the guidance they need to proceed confidently through their cases.
What to Do If Charged with a Crime
If you have been charged with a misdemeanor or felony, remain silent and politely decline to provide statements to law enforcement officials. Exercise your right to be represented by counsel and contact an attorney as soon as possible. They can advise you on what to do or say during the process and prevent you from making missteps that could hurt your case.
Schedule a consultation with one of our Topeka criminal defense lawyers by calling (785) 200-9465 or submitting an online contact form today.