Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Criminal Law

Q. What should I look for in a criminal defense lawyer?

A. While any member of the Minnesota Bar Association is technically qualified to represent you, I advise looking for these qualities in a criminal defense attorney:

  • Years of experience: Do not pay a lawyer to learn about the law on your case.
  • A record of success in cases similar to yours: Some lawyers focus on defending clients against specific types of charges. An attorney who mainly represents clients with traffic citations is probably not the best choice for someone charged with a violent crime like burglary, assault or murder.
  • Experience at trial: Don’t settle for a lawyer who always settles outside of court. Your lawyer should be willing and able to take your case in front of a judge and jury if necessary.
  • Dedication to client service: Look for a lawyer who will treat you as a valued client, not as a criminal or a case file.

Q. When should I call a criminal defense lawyer?

A. If you are wondering whether you should talk to a lawyer, you probably should call one today. You don’t have to wait until you are arrested. A criminal defense lawyer can help if you suspect that you are a target or a person of interest in a criminal investigation. Do not talk to the police without a lawyer present. Innocent people can find themselves charged with a crime after trying to be helpful to police.

Q. Can you keep me out of jail or prison?

A. Each case is unique. The potential consequences depend on the specific charges against you and your prior criminal record. I cannot promise a specific result, but I can promise you that I will work diligently to achieve a successful resolution to your case. In some instances, that may mean getting the charges against you dismissed, a “not guilty” verdict at trial or the charges significantly reduced.

If you are seeking an experienced criminal defense attorney who will fight to protect your rights, please contact me, Justin Schiks. I defend people accused of misdemeanor and felony offenses in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area and throughout Minnesota.

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“I hired Justin halfway through my case and from day one he's been a great lawyer to work with. Over the last several months, he's worked hard to get me the best deal possible. I'm grateful for his knowledge, patience and understanding. I would highly recommend him.”