Man in handcuffsThis is the second post in our series on how Arkansas residents should go about choosing a lawyer for high level felony charges. Our last post provided an overview of topics we will be discussing and stressed the need to make the best possible choice when choosing an attorney. In this article we will be discussing the steps an attorney must take when defending higher-level felonies as opposed to misdemeanors and why these steps may impact your choice of an attorney.

Arkansas felony cases are heard before a jury and often require a criminal defense lawyer to file various pre-trial motions

There are several differences between felony matters and misdemeanor cases. One major difference is that the former is typically decided by a jury rather than a Judge. Another difference is the fact that higher level cases often require the filing of various pre-trial motions. We will discuss each of these differences in turn.

Arkansas criminal matters are decided by either a Judge or a Jury. If the Judge is the one to consider the evidence, and issue a verdict, then the matter is referred to as a “bench trial.” If a Jury considers the evidence and issues a verdict then the matter is referred to as a “jury trial.” Misdemeanor cases are typically the former and felony matters are typically the latter. In a jury trial the jurors will be selected from a pool of Arkansas citizens. During this selection process, the defense lawyer will have the opportunity to ask potential jurors questions about their background, their views, etc. This helps counsel to understand potential biases of a juror, whether that person should or should not serve on the jury, and who may be a desirable. Hiring a defense lawyer, who is experienced in questioning potential jurors, can be crucial to the outcome of a case in Little Rock or elsewhere in our state.

Another difference between misdemeanor and felony cases is that the latter typically require a higher number of pre-trial Motions. A Motion is how one makes a request to the Court. Pre-trial Motions can include requests that certain evidence not be admitted at trial (perhaps due to search and seizure issues), that certain witnesses not be permitted to testify, as well as other requests from the Defendant. Felony cases typically include a higher number of charges, as well as additional legal issues, when compared to a misdemeanor. This means that felony matters often require a higher number of pre-trial Motions. This requirements means that 1) your attorney must be able to recognize possible legal issues and file the Motions necessary for such issues, and 2) that the law firm you retain have the manpower/resources necessary to ensure that no stone goes unturned in preparing your defense.

Our Little Rock criminal defense lawyers handle high-level felony charges throughout the state of Arkansas

The Little Rock criminal defense lawyers of Benca and Benca have extensive experience handling high-level felony charges in the state of Arkansas. Attorney Patrick Benca has been death-penalty certified since 1999 and aggressively protects the rights of the accused. We take a team-based and collaborative approach to problem solving and work diligently to ensure that no stone goes unturned in developing one’s defense. Contact us online or by telephone today to schedule an initial consultation.