Criminal Defense Frequently Asked Questions
Being charged with a crime is one of the most stressful things a person can endure. Even a misdemeanor criminal charge can feel overwhelming when you are facing the criminal justice system. It is important to have skilled legal counsel on your side who will help guide you through unfamiliar territory every step of the way.
I am criminal defense attorney Ryan Kolbeck, founder of the Kolbeck Law Office in Sioux Falls. The following are some of the common questions that I get asked by my clients. It is important to bear in mind that everyone’s situation is different and nothing can replace the personalized advice that you can receive from a lawyer in a one-on-one meeting.
Should I talk to the police after my arrest, or to the prosecution before my case has been tried?
No. You have the right to remain silent, and you should exercise that right at all times. You may feel pressured to speak with the police or feel the need to explain your side of things. Resist this temptation. You should only speak to the police or the prosecution with your lawyer present.
The police have asked me to come in for an interview, but I am not under arrest. Should I make sure I have a lawyer present?
Yes. Although you may not be formally under arrest, the police may still consider you to be a suspect and are under no obligation to inform you of their suspicions. Anything you say in an interview setting may be used against you. It is important to have a lawyer present to ensure that your rights remain protected.
I just want to plead guilty and put this behind me. Why do I need a lawyer?
Usually, an attorney can at least get you a better deal, even if you wish to plead guilty. I can point out the weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case, which may enable me to secure lower fines and may help you avoid jail time.
I was offered a plea bargain. Should I take it?
It depends. The circumstances surrounding a plea agreement differ for everyone. I can provide you with the counsel you need to make the most informed decision about your case.
Years ago, I was convicted of a crime. Is it possible to have this removed from my record?
It’s possible. Some criminal convictions are eligible for a pardon, effectively erasing the conviction from your record. I can help explore your options and determine whether this is possible for your situation.
All lawyers are the same. Why should I hire you?
All lawyers are not the same. There are many different areas of the law. It might not be wise to hire a tax attorney to handle your criminal defense. I have extensive trial experience at both the state and federal levels. Criminal defense is my primary practice area and is something that I am passionate about. I helped form the South Dakota Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and also served as president of the South Dakota Trial Lawyers Association. I am dedicated to being a staunch advocate both in and out of court for my clients.