Being charged with a criminal offense by local, state, or federal authorities can lead to life-changing consequences for both the accused and their families. Aside from the possibility of being imprisoned for months or years, being convicted of a crime could cost you your current job, your standard of living, your reputation, even your marriage and relationships with other family members and friends. And that holds true even if you are charged with and convicted of seemingly “minor” misdemeanors.
The criminal defense attorneys at Betras, Kopp and Harshman have successfully represented area residents charged with crimes ranging from reckless operation to racketeering, to burglary, assault, and murder. We have fought for and secured justice for defendants charged at every level of the system. When we walk into court prosecutors know they will be facing extremely well prepared, exceptionally knowledgeable legal professionals who have the ability, will, and the resources needed to win justice and freedom for our clients.
Why is it so important to hire a law firm with extensive resources to handle your criminal case?
Because law enforcement authorities and prosecutors work for the government which means they have nearly unlimited money and manpower they can use to build a strong case against you—no matter how long it takes or how much it costs.
The Betras, Kopp, and Harshman criminal defense team, which includes investigators who once worked in law enforcement and highly experienced attorneys, helps level the playing field. Our fundamental knowledge of the way in which police and prosecutors build a criminal case enables us to recognize investigatory errors, identify other suspects the police may have missed or ignored, and spot procedural mistakes or constitutional violations that can lead to dismissals and acquittals.
In addition to working with our investigators, the attorneys at Betras, Kopp, and Harshman strive to make every defendant an essential member of the criminal defense team. This combination of outstanding investigators, expert attorneys, and actively involved clients is the formula for success that has enabled us to win case after case, year after year in local, state, and federal court.
If you are under investigation, are about to be charged, or have already been arrested, don’t delay, contact the criminal defense team that has the proven ability to protect your freedom and your rights: Betras, Kopp, and Harshman.
Criminal Defense FAQs
Q: What should I do if I am about to be or have already been arrested?
Q: When are the police required to 'read me my rights?'
Miranda rights include:
- The Constitutional right to remain silent
- You must be advised that anything you say can be held against you in a court of law
- You have the right to legal counsel
- You must be advised that if you cannot afford an attorney one will be appointed for you
- You may have a lawyer present during interrogation
It is important to note that you have the right to remain silent at all times—even if you are not the subject of a custodial interrogation. If you are arrested, or even if police simply suspect you of a crime, say nothing until you have had the opportunity to talk to a criminal defense attorney like the members of the legal team at Betras, Kopp, and Harshman.
Q: If I retain Betras, Kopp, and Harshman as my criminal defense attorneys will I be able to contact my lawyer whenever I need him or her?
Q: Do all criminal cases result in a trial?
Q: What is 'bond' and how does it work?
- Recognizance bond. This is little more than a promise to appear in court. In felony cases, a defendant is often required to sign paperwork as proof of the promise to appear. It is often referred to as a signature bond. It is important to note that prosecutors can file additional criminal charges for failure to appear on a recognizance bond. Courts may add financial conditions to a recognizance bond. For example, a court may impose a $5,000.00 recognizance bond. In this situation, the defendant is not required to post any money in advance. But the court can order payment of $5,000.00 if the defendant does not appear for court proceedings.
- Appearance Bond. This is also referred to as a “ten percent bond.” A defendant is required to post funds with the court under this type of bond. At the end of the case, the court will refund the bond money (less expenses) if the defendant appeared as required. It is called a “ten percent bond” because it generally requires ten percent of the bond amount. For instance, if a court sets a $10,000.00 appearance bond, the defendant must post $1,000.00 (ten percent of $10,000.00) with the court to secure his appearance.
- Cash or Surety Bond. The most costly form of bond is typically a “cash or surety” bond. A cash bond requires full payment of the bond amount to the court in advance. The full amount is then refunded, if appropriate, at the close of the case. A surety bond usually involves a bondsman. Bondsman operate like insurance carriers. They charge of “premium” and then post surety for the entire bond amount with the court. Bondsman typically charge ten percent of the bond amount for the premium.