'What Can I Expect In My Criminal Case?' — A Critical Question That Deserves Straightforward Answers

The first thing to know, if Vogel Law, PLLC, represents you in a criminal matter, is that you will not travel this difficult path alone — and you will not be left clueless. I am Joseph Vogel, Des Moines defense lawyer and sole proprietor of this law firm. I personally see to it that my clients know what is happening and what to expect.

Clear communication and plain-language explanations are keys to successful attorney-client collaboration through all the phases of a criminal matter, including:

After the arrest: Once the police took you into custody and booked you in jail or released you on bail, you are on your way to the other side of this difficult journey through the criminal justice system.

The sooner you get an honest, aggressive defense attorney on your side, the more options you will have. If I represent you from the very beginning, I will fight to ensure that your bail is not excessive. My goal from this point on is to protect your constitutional rights while you and I work closely together in pursuit of the most favorable outcome.

I will carefully review the facts of your case to determine whether a police officer searched illegally for evidence used against you or if you were falsely arrested without justification.

Arraignment: This stage of your criminal case comes after you have been booked into jail or released on bail. A judge will clarify the charges against you, ask how you plead, decide whether to adjust your bail arrangements, and inform you of the next steps.

If I am your advocate during this stage, I will help you decide how to plead in your own best interests. I will keep you informed of your rights at every juncture, including the right to remain silent and the right to refrain from self-incrimination. I will protest any inappropriate questions from the judge and otherwise defend you with my years of experience and depth of knowledge working in your favor.

Plea bargain negotiations: Your defense before a prosecutor is an art as well as a science. Taking into account the unique facts of your case, I, as your zealous advocate, will advise you while at the same time arguing your case before the prosecution.

If your case should be dismissed, I will fight for that outcome. If, on the other hand, I determine that your best next move is to request lesser charges with probation or a diversionary resolution. For example, if you face OWI/DUI/DWI or drug charges, you may pledge to take part in substance abuse education or treatment in exchange for lighter charges.

Preliminary hearing, pretrial motions and trial: If the prosecutor does not agree to a reasonable outcome, I can take your case before a judge. I will keep you well-informed and well-prepared for each step.

Sentencing and appeals: Ideally, your case will be dismissed or your charges reduced. In case of a conviction, however, I can continue to fight for your rights during sentencing and/or by filing an appeal.

For individualized answers and guidance as you face a criminal matter in Iowa, ask a defense attorney, "What can I expect in my criminal case?" in person. Call 515-243-1978 or send an email inquiry to schedule a consultation.