In 2017, the number of arrests in the United States amounted to 10,554,985. That equates to 3,251.5 arrests per 100,000 inhabitants. Every 20 seconds, someone is arrested for a drug law violation in the U.S. At Schulze Law, our criminal defense team is here for you or anyone you know who has been charged with a crime.

Federal and state criminal laws and criminal ranges are ever changing. Here at Schulze Law, we are ever learning—staying abreast of the very latest in the field so that we can best protect and fight for our clients’ rights. Our experienced attorneys and staff are prepared to handle all manner of criminal cases, from minor traffic violations to the very serious charges of kidnapping and homicide. Many criminal cases never go to trial, and we aggressively stand for our clients’ interests during plea negotiations. But, as criminal representation, we are not afraid of the courtroom. And in trial, we are not intimidated by the prosecution.

With decades of experience and countless cases behind us, we cover the following areas of criminal law:

These types of cases are serious and could result in: prison, probation, criminal records, unnecessary penalties & fines, or worse. No one should have to fight criminal charges alone. With Schulze Law on your side, you won’t have to.

If you have any questions or need a criminal lawyer, we can help. Schulze Law is a crew of tenacious associates guided by expert lead attorney Marc Schulze. We assist and counsel criminal defense clients throughout Massachusetts and beyond, speaking both English and Spanish. Over the past nearly two decades in operation, our firm has worked with many clients while gaining their trust and earning them the compensation and verdicts they deserve.

By the FBI’s standard, 73.5 million people in the United States had a criminal record as of June 30, 2017. The consequences a single arrest can be devastating – negatively impacting not just someone’s freedom but also their job, their home, their health and their family.

As criminal defense lawyers, we want to help answer questions surrounding the criminal justice system and process. We’re answering some common questions around criminal defense.

Q: What rights do I have if I get arrested?

A: First, you have the right to know the crime with which you have been charged. You also have the right to know the name(s) of any policeman/woman you are dealing with. And, you have the right to one phone call within an hour after you have been informed of your right to call a family member, friend, or attorney to arrange bail. Additionally, you have the right to hire an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, you have the right to request a court-appointed lawyer to represent you free of charge.

Q: Do I have to speak to the police after I have been arrested?

A: No, the US constitution, as well as the Federal and State laws, do not require an individual who has been arrested to speak to the authorities, with the exception of providing basic information about one’s identity. It’s often in your best interests to avoid making a statement or signing anything. The decision of whether or not to speak to the police is a very important one and it should be evaluated with your attorney as soon as possible.

Q: Can police arrest me without evidence of my guilt?

A: Only if they have probable cause to believe you’ve committed the crime.

Q: What is probable cause?

A: “Probable cause” refers to the requirement in criminal law that police have adequate reason to arrest someone, conduct a search, or seize property relating to an alleged crime. This requirement comes from the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which states that:

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be searched.”

Q: Where will the police take me after I’ve been arrested?

A: The officer(s) will take you to the police station. At that point, you will be advised of your charges. You may be required to submit to being photographed and fingerprinted or to participate in a lineup. You and/or your attorney can make arrangements for your release at the station. Before your release, you will be advised as to when your arraignment will take place.

Q: What is the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor?

A: A misdemeanor is generally a less serious criminal offense. In Massachusetts it is not punishable by a “state” prison sentence. Under federal law, a misdemeanor is a crime punishable by less than one year in prison.

A felony is a more serious criminal offense. In Massachusetts a felony is punishable by a state prison sentence, even if a state prison sentence is not ordered. Under the federal law a felony is an offense that is punishable by a sentence of a year or more of incarceration.

Q: What is the difference between a State criminal charge and a Federal criminal charge?

A: A “State” criminal charge is a violation of the law of a state that is prosecuted in the state court system. While a “Federal” criminal charge is a violation of Federal law that is prosecuted by the US attorney’s office in the Federal court system.

Q: What happens at an arraignment?

A: Your initial arraignment will be your first appearance in court whether or not you’re in custody. At the arraignment, your attorney will receive the complaint stating the charges that have been filed against you and any police reports on your case. If you’re in custody, your attorney will have the opportunity to argue bail.

Q: What happens at trial?

A: If no disposition is already reached on your case, it will be set for trial. The typical stages of a trial include selecting a jury, presenting evidence, cross-examining witnesses, and making closing statements. After all of this, the jury will deliberate and return a verdict. In some states, a mistrial will be declared if the jury doesn’t reach a unanimous verdict or if the jury is at a standstill.

Q: What are Miranda Rights?

A: The 5th Amendment right against compelled self-incrimination protects people from being a witness against himself or herself. All statements made during custodial interrogations of a government agent or law enforcement cannot be used against the person without Miranda warnings.

Miranda rights of a person must be given immediately upon an arrest or once in custody. The Miranda warnings are:

  • You have the remain silent
  • If you do say anything, what you say can be used against you in a court of law
  • You have a right to an attorney and you have a right to have the attorney present during questioning
  • If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you

Q: What is bail and how does it work?

A: In America, you are innocent until proven guilty. Just because you are charged with a crime doesn’t mean you are convicted. In Massachusetts and most other states, bail/bond is paid to the court that issued the order of detention. Generally an individual may pay the bail (post the bond) in the office of the court during regular business hours. Alternatively, bail or bond may be posted at the detention facility where the detained individual is being held at specific times and hours. Bail or bond may be paid in cash, by pledging a property, by certified bank check, and in some states by purchasing a Surety (an insurance policy from a licensed bond company).

Q: When should I consult an attorney?

A: You should consult an attorney immediately if you are the subject of a criminal investigation. If you have already been arrested, it is critical that you remain silent and ask for your attorney immediately so that your rights and interests can be protected.

If you’ve been accused or charged with a crime, your chances of success may depend on your lawyer’s ability to navigate through the criminal justice system. Our team is prepared to fight for your rights and the freedom you deserve. Don’t take a chance with anyone else to represent you. Call Schulze Law.