When I tell people I’m a criminal lawyer, they usually laugh and say “I hope I never have to call you!”  I know what they mean.  You can put criminal attorneys in the same category as air conditioning repairmen, cardiologists, and firefighters.  People come to us only when there’s a serious problem that needs to be fixed right away.  Most folks will never need a criminal defense lawyer, but when they do then they really need one.  If you live in the Memphis area and do not think you’ll ever have to call a criminal attorney, you might want to reconsider, because you just never know what’s going to happen.   You never know.  Bad things happen to good folks everyday.  Here are a few reasons why it’s good to know a Memphis criminal lawyer: 1. If you have a habit of speeding.  Most of us drive all around town all day long, and many of us go faster than the posted speed limit, sometimes much faster.  But be careful.  There has been an increase in Memphis speeding tickets lately.  You’ve probably heard or read it in on the news, and I bet that you’ve seen more people getting pulled over around town lately.  A Memphis speeding ticket lawyer can help you if you’ve been caught with a lead foot.  Your attorney can arrange so you don’t have to go to court and stand in line, and in many cases can work out the ticket where it does not go on your driving record and you do not have to pay court costs.  2. If you have kids, especially teenagers.  Even teens from good families have a knack for getting in trouble.  We now live in a society where the slightest signs of trouble by a young person will lead to a police or school investigation.   Parents, despite your best efforts to raise your children right, they will occasionally stray, and he or she may wind up at juvenile court.  Sometimes it may be for a relatively minor matter such as shoplifting or underage drinking.  But it may be for a serious case such as weapons possession, drug use, or a sex crime.  If you get a call from the police alleging something your son or daughter did, you’ll be glad to know you have a Memphis juvenile crimes attorney to call.  Your attorney can investigate the facts, speak for your child at court, and insure that he or she does not end up with a damaging permanent conviction.  3. If you’re a gun owner.  Gun ownership in the United States is at an all-time high, and with Memphs perenially ranked as one of the most violent cities we have our fair share of legally armed citizens.  If you are forced to use your weapon in defense of your self, your family, or your home, having a criminal defense lawyer on call is crucial.  After the police investigate the shooting, they are going to want you to give a statement.  Even if you were justified in using deadly force, the incident is going to be reviewed afterward by people who were not in your shoes.  Protect yourself by contacting a Memphis criminal lawyer ahead of time, for if and when that day comes. 4. If you’re in an abusive or unstable relationship.  Whether you’ve been subject to harassment or worse by someone you have dated or lived with, or because you were arrested for domestic assault over an incident that got blown out of proportion, a Memphis domestic violence attorney can help.  With domestic cases, the police will arrest first and ask questions later.  It doesn’t matter if the victim does not want to press charges or that the whole situation was a misunderstanding.  The police have determined that you were the primary aggressor, and you’ve now been charged.  Knowing a criminal lawyer in this case can help, as you can begin the process of negotiating with the prosecutor, having bail conditions or no-contact orders lifted, and enrolling in court-ordered anger management or psychological assessment programs. 5. If you’re a first-time offender and want your case handled properly.  For first-time offenders who have been charged with a crime, it’s crucial that he or she does everything possible to avoid a conviction.  Knowing the right Memphis criminal lawyer to call is the first step.  Whether the case is shoplifting, drug possession, assault, or DUI, your lawyer can investigate all legal options for resolving the case favorably.  Additionally, your lawyer will help you navigate a complex court system that you won’t be familiar with.  If you’ve never been in this situation before, you’ll be glad to have someone experienced on your side. Patrick Stegall is a Memphis criminal lawyer.  If you or someone you know has been charged with a crime in the Memphis area, contact Mr. Stegall for a case evaluation.  He may be reached at (901) 205-9894 or pstegall@stegall-law.com.

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