Criminal Law in Delaware
A qualified Delaware criminal defense attorney will skillfully evaluate your criminal case, create effective legal strategies, and vigorously defend you in court. If you feel overwhelmed and uncertain of the next step, this article was written for you.
Because jail time may be possible and your future is at stake, we'll discuss:
- Delaware criminal laws;
- What you need to know about criminal defense in Delaware; and
- How to work with your Delaware criminal defense attorney.
Delaware Criminal Laws
Delaware criminal laws are found in Title 11 of the Delaware Code. The Delaware Code includes all state crimes, including falsifying evidence, money laundering, bigamy, incest, abduction, theft, disorderly conduct, drunk driving, criminal mischief, and child abuse.
Statute of Limitations
Criminal charges must be brought within a certain period of time or be forever barred. One of the first things your defense lawyer will consider is the statute of limitations for your case.
In Delaware, the statute of limitations for:
- Robbery is 5 years (11 Del. Code В§ 205(b)(1)).
- Disorderly Conduct is 2 years (11 Del. Code В§ 205(b)(3)).
While Delaware judges have discretion, they must dole out criminal punishment based upon Delaware sentencing guidelines, which seek uniformity in criminal punishment.
What You Need to Know About Criminal Defense
This is what you need to do before you hire a defense attorney:
Ask to be represented by an attorney, even if you're just being questioned.
Asking for an attorney doesn't indicate that you've done anything wrong.
Regardless of whether you're innocent or guilty - or somewhere in between - you need to be represented by a Delaware defense lawyer.
- Do not speak with the police, except to provide your name and ask for an attorney.
How to Work with a Delaware Criminal Defense Lawyer
Everything your lawyer asks of you, suggests to you, and any other actions he or she takes is to represent you and put forth the best defenses. Always keep this in mind when you choose how to act or react.
In addition, you need to be a team player and take an active role in your own defense. This is what you need to do:
- Follow your lawyer's advice.
- Explain what happened- include the details you'd rather forget, including those that incriminate you.
- Return all law firm phone calls immediately.
- Provide all requested information promptly.
- If your phone number or address changes, update your attorney immediately.
- Understand that it's okay for your attorney to question you, even challenge you.
- Keep in mind that it's professional and appropriate for your attorney to be polite and cooperative with police officers, investigators, and the district attorney (or other prosecutor).
Bottom Line: Your next step is to call a criminal defense attorney now. To find a Delaware criminal defense attorney, search our site, www.attorneys.org, or ask the bar association or friends for a referral.