Frequently Asked Questions

Attorney Kurtz has a successful track record of case results, has an Avvo Rating of 10.0 Superb, and is BV® Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®. His accomplishments are impressive accolades that have helped earn him recognition as Top DUI Attorney in Knoxville by Cityview Magazine.

Knoxville Criminal Defense Attorney, Robert R. Kurtz personally handles every case that comes through his firm's doors and would be happy to answer any questions or concerns that you have about your case. Feel free to read through some frequently asked questions about criminal defense, which could shed more light on your circumstances.

Knoxville Criminal Defense Lawyer Provides Answers

Should I call a lawyer or a family member after an arrest?
It is best to consult an attorney immediately after an arrest. You can either contact a family member who can then contact a criminal defense lawyer on your behalf or you can directly speak to a criminal defense attorney. Whatever your personal preference may be, it will be critical to the success of your case to hire a lawyer who can begin investigating the claims against you immediately. Many times, a criminal defense attorney can work hard to resolve the legal matter before the prosecutor chooses to press criminal charges. Robert R. Kurtz, Attorney at Law is available when needed, not just during business hours.

If I was arrested, will my case go to trial?
No, not necessarily. A proper answer to this question will depend on the type of offense you were arrested for, how serious the offense was, and your choice in legal representation. A skilled criminal defense lawyer could work to prevent charges from being filed or potentially find evidence to have charges reduced or dismissed. In some circumstances, your attorney could help you avoid a trial by proving to a judge through a pre-trial motion that your charges were filed on illegal grounds, resulting in the dismissal of the case.

What are Miranda warnings (Miranda rights)?
Your Miranda warnings (also known as Miranda rights) are the explanation of your constitutional right to remain silent and to retain legal counsel after an arrest and before any custodial interrogation. Both of these rights stem from your Fifth Amendment right to protect yourself from self-incrimination. Once you assert your Miranda rights, officers must stop any interrogation immediately and obtain a warrant or waiver before resuming.

Law enforcement officers are required to advise you of your Miranda rights during an arrest or when you are placed in custody with the purpose of interrogation. If you have responded to an officer's questions or have been interrogated when under arrest without being read the Miranda warnings, a criminal defense lawyer can file a motion to suppress those statements in court. This means that any evidence gathered against you after an officer's failure to inform you of your Miranda rights could also be dismissed in court.

Do I really need an attorney to represent me?
Absolutely. The sooner that you retain a lawyer, the better chances you will have of reaching a positive resolution after an alleged federal crime, driving under the influence, or another misdemeanor or felony crime. Early intervention in a criminal defense case by a skilled attorney can benefit you and help protect your rights after an arrest. If you have been arrested and feel as though the evidence against you is overwhelming, only a skilled criminal defense lawyer can determine the strengths and weaknesses of your case and explain your options for presenting a defense and taking legal action.

Hiring an attorney immediately after an arrest could make a substantial difference in your criminal defense case. Only a lawyer can help you avoid a trial, determine crucial aspects of your case, conduct thorough research, gather evidence quickly, protect your constitutional rights during an interrogation or investigation, and draft a proactive defense strategy to fight the allegations made against you.

Can my criminal record ever be sealed?
Both felony and misdemeanor convictions will stay on your criminal record for life. No matter how old a prior felony conviction may be, any previous charges could be used against you to enhance your punishment for any future criminal charges. In certain cases in which the charges against you are dismissed, an arrest can potentially be erased from your record. If you are convicted of the crime, however, your criminal charge will remain on your record for life. Even if the charges against you are reduced to a lesser conviction, your criminal record will still indicate a criminal charge. Your criminal record will include the original charge and will also indicate that the charge was reduced.

Eligibility for a criminal record sealing does not necessarily mean that expungement of your record is guaranteed. In order to successfully seal a criminal record, you must follow several strict procedural steps. Failure to follow the criminal record sealing process will prohibit you from sealing your criminal record. To ensure that your forms are properly filed with the court, you should consult an experienced criminal defense lawyer first.

Information from a Knoxville Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer

What is a federal crime?
Some crimes can be prosecuted at a local or state level. In some circumstances, however, crimes can escalate and must be prosecuted at a federal level. These types of crimes are referred to as federal crimes or federal offenses. Crimes that involve federal property, violate federal laws, or cross state lines can be prosecuted under harsher federal laws. The resulting conviction on a federal charge can be much more severe than a conviction for a state-level misdemeanor or felony.

How is the federal criminal process different from the state criminal process?
The federal criminal process differs slightly from the state criminal process. At first glance, it is obvious that federal crimes warrant higher penalties and more consequences. In either case, you will need legal representation at every step of the process. The federal criminal process includes:

  • Investigation
  • Indictment
  • Arrest / bail process
  • Arraignment
  • Trial
  • Sentencing
  • Appeals process, if needed
  • Release

What are bail bonds?
Bail -- or bail bonds -- simply refers to an amount of money or property that is required by the court to release a person from jail. Bonds are used to guarantee that a person will return for all court dates. If a person fails to return to court on a mandatory date, his or her bail bond will be forfeited and a bench arrest warrant will be issued for his or her arrest. Bail can take the form of cash, property, or bail bond posting from a bail bond company.

What happens if a police officer fails to inform me of the Miranda warnings (constitutional rights)?
Miranda rights are an explanation of your Fifth Amendment right to protect yourself from self-incrimination. If a law enforcement officer fails to inform you of your Miranda warnings, several things can happen. Law enforcement officers are required to advise you of your Miranda rights during an arrest or when placed in custody with the purpose of interrogation. If you have asserted your constitutional rights to remain silent and retain legal counsel, then an officer is required by law to stop questioning you until you have spoken with your Knoxville federal criminal defense lawyer.

If you have responded to an officer's questions or have been interrogated when under arrest without being read your Miranda rights, a federal criminal defense lawyer can file a motion to suppress the evidence in court. This means that any evidence gathered against you after an officer's failure to inform you of your Miranda rights could be suppressed in court. This is an important element of a defense case, so consult a lawyer to ensure that your constitutional rights have not been violated.

If I am under investigation, but have not yet been arrested, do I still need a lawyer?
Yes. The sooner that you contact a federal criminal defense attorney, the more your legal representative can help you through the process. You have important rights during an investigation process that must be protected. Failure to be informed of your rights could lead to unfortunate implications of guilt or self-incrimination. How you proceed through an investigation -- and how your legal representative guides you through the process -- can have a major impact on the final outcome of your case.

Answers to Your Concerns Are Just a Phone Call Away

If you have been accused of a criminal offense in Knoxville or fear a federal investigation, you will need comprehensive and immediate answers to your pressing concerns. Contact the Knoxville criminal defense attorney from Robert R. Kurtz, Attorney at Law as soon as possible. Attorney Kurtz can review your case during a case evaluation and determine the best course of action that could yield the strongest and most effective defense for your charges.

Phone lines are open, so call today.