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Should You Plead Guilty to Avoid a Trial?

If you are facing criminal charges and a jail sentence, then you are likely concerned about your legal options and whether you can lower your sentence.  A plea is a criminal defendant’s formal response to the court to the charge they are accused of committing. By entering a plea of guilty, you are telling the court they do not contest a criminal charge. On the other hand, by answering not guilty, you completely deny guilt for the crime, and you agree to a trial.  The plea bargaining process often allows criminal defendants to reduce their sentences and avoid going to trial by...

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The Crucial Role of Criminal Defense Attorneys

Criminal defense attorneys play a crucial role in U.S. criminal justice system by ensuring their clients facing criminal charges have their legal rights protected. In fact, criminal defense attorneys owe a legal duty to their clients to advocate on their behalf in an effective and zealous manner. The American Bar Association provides that this ethical duty extends in all cases where a criminal prosecution may reasonably result. For example, this duty applies if a person is under investigation or being prosecuted for an alleged criminal act or simply needing legal advice regarding a potential, current or previous criminal matter or...

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What Will the Courts Look Like As We Begin to Reopen?

St. Louis City and St. Louis County have both announced plans to ease restrictions on their stay at home order beginning on May 18. Some non-essential businesses will begin to reopen, while others are choosing to remain closed. But what about the courts?   What Has the Court Ordered? On May 4, the Court ordered a new Operational Directive for “Easing Covid-19 Restrictions on In-Person Proceedings,” which supersedes their order from April 17. Currently, all courts will remain mostly closed to the public except for essential matters. However, on May 16, the Courts will begin opening in phases, beginning at Operating Phase Zero. Phase...

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