Law Offices
of Ed Laughlin

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CRIMINAL DEFENSE

As a former assistant district attorney for Van Zant County, attorney Ed Laughlin has an intimate understanding of the prosecutorial aspect of the criminal justice system. If you or a family member is facing criminal charges, you can feel confident knowing attorney Ed Laughlin is on your side providing aggressive and experienced criminal defense. At the Law Offices of Ed Laughlin, we provide criminal defense against various charges, including DWI and drug charges. If you or someone you care about is faced with criminal charges, then you need attorney Ed Laughlin for experienced criminal defense. Contact our firm to arrange your free consultation.

We represent clients in various criminal issues. We are vigorous advocates for our clients, striving to obtain the most favorable outcomes for often times confusing and unfavorable conditions.

We assist clients who have been accused of Assault, Theft, Sex Crimes, Murder, Attempted Murder, White Collar Crimes, DWI and Drug Charges.

PROCESS

Once a crime has been committed, reported, investigated, and an arrest has been made, there are several criminal procedures that a defendant will undergo. The following is a list of these procedures.

Booking:
An administrative procedure that records the name, address, telephone number, photographs, and fingerprints of a defendant, as well as what crime they are charged with. This leads to you being arrested, or could happen after you are detained. It is important to note that it is in your best interest not to speak to the police, but to request a conference with a lawyer. You must not give away your rights, and then your eventual outcome. Around this time an offer of a plea deal might arise, again a close consultation with your attorney is in order.

Arraignment:
A procedure involving the appearance of the defendant in court to enter a plea (guilty or not guilty). If the defendant pleas "not guilty" a date for trial is set.

Bail:
Once a date for trial has been set, the defendant is either released on bail or is kept in jail until the trial. Bail will be revoked if the defendant does not show up at the next hearing. Of course you need to make arrangements with a local bail bond company.

Preliminary Hearing:
During this hearing, a judge will determine whether the defendant should be held for trial. The prosecution will need to present enough evidence to convince the judge that the defendant committed the crime.

Trial:
A trial consists of opening statements, presentation of evidence and witnesses, closing statements, giving the jury its instructions, and the verdict.

Sentencing:
Defendants that plead guilty and those who have been found guilty of a crime are subject to sentencing. The sentence refers to the punishment for the crime.

Punishment:
A defendant may be punished in one of three ways: fine, probation, or jail time.

Appeal:
After being convicted of a crime, the defendant has a right to appeal the conviction. One basis used for appealing convictions is that criminal procedure was not followed correctly.

WHITE COLLAR

The phrase "white-collar crime" was coined in 1939 during a speech given by Edwin Sutherland to the American Sociological Society. Sutherland defined the term as "crime committed by a person of respectability and high social status in the course of his occupation." Although there has been some debate as to what qualifies as a white-collar crime, the term today generally encompasses a variety of nonviolent crimes usually committed in commercial situations for financial gain. Many white-collar crimes are especially difficult to prosecute because the perpetrators are sophisticated criminals who have attempted to conceal their activities through a series of complex transactions.

The most common white-collar offenses include: antitrust violations, computer and internet fraud, credit card fraud, phone and telemarketing fraud, bankruptcy fraud, healthcare fraud, environmental law violations, insurance fraud, mail fraud, government fraud, tax evasion, financial fraud, securities fraud, insider trading, bribery, kickbacks, counterfeiting, public corruption, money laundering, embezzlement, economic espionage and trade secret theft. According to the federal bureau of investigation, white-collar crime is estimated to cost the United States more than $300 billion annually.

Although white-collar criminal charges are usually brought against individuals, corporations may also be subject to sanctions for these types of offenses. The penalties for white-collar offenses include fines, home detention, community confinement, costs of prosecution, forfeitures, restitution, supervised release, and imprisonment. However, sanctions can be lessened if the defendant takes responsibility for the crime and assists the authorities in their investigation. Any defenses available to non-white-collar defendants in criminal court are also available to those accused of white-collar crimes.

SEX CRIMES

Allegations of sexual assault can be the most frightening charges an individual can face for many reasons. First, the punishment for sex crimes can be extreme. Punishment for some sex offenses can be as high as life imprisonment and it is not uncommon for convicted sex offenders to receive punishments in excess of twenty years.Not only can the sentences for sex crimes be significantly higher than most other criminal offenses, but conviction often requires a life time requirement of registration as a sex offender.

More frightening, perhaps, is the fact that false and/or mistaken allegations are not unusual. Many studies have found that a significant number of allegations of sexual assault are intentionally false, motivated by personal animosity, or arise as a response to a mistaken identity. A 1996 a Department of Justice Report found that of approximately 10,000 sexual assault cases analyzed with DNA evidence over the previous seven years, 2,000 excluded the primary suspect, and another 2,000 were inconclusive.

In addition, when children are involved, false statements, mistake and manipulation by adults, coupled with the public's understandable urge to protect the young and helpless, can often lead to situations where individuals are wrongly accused and, in many cases, wrongly convicted. These cases can often start with a switch in the "emotional" burden of proof forcing the suspect to prove his or her innocence. And while this is not the true legal burden required in court, it is often the reality that a defendant must face and prepare to counter at ever opportunity.

For the above reasons it is imperative that an individual suspected or charged with a sex offense contact Attorney Ed Laughlin immediately.

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