I AM STOPPED OR INVESTIGATED BY POLICE REGARDING INVOLVEMENT IN A CRIME. WHAT SHOULD I DO?
If the police suspect you of a crime, it's important to remember that they are not on your side. They may act friendly, but they are not your friend, and their job is to gather information to use against you in court. It's a mistake to think that you can talk your way out of trouble with the police. If you are suspected of a crime, here's what you should do:
1. NEVER give up your right to remain silent. Police are allowed to lie to you, but anything you say to can be used against you in court. This is why it is best to remain completely silent.
2. If questioned, state only that you refuse to answer any questions and demand an attorney. Repeat this and only this as many times necessary.
3. Never consent to a search of your property, your vehicle, or your person. It will only make it easier for the police to make a case against you. Despite your intentions, giving permission to search can only hurt and can never help.
4. If asked to go to the station to answer questions or take a polygraph test, decline.
5. If arrested, go along peacefully and do not speak about your case with ANYONE except your lawyer.
6. Prioritize spending money on a lawyer over a bail bondsman. A bondsman will be able to provide temporary freedom, but a lawyer may be able to get you permanent freedom.
It's also a good idea to watch a lecture about never talking to the police, like this one from Regent Law Professor, James Duane: https://youtu.be/d-7o9xYp7eE
I THINK I MIGHT BE CHARGED WITH A FELONY. WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT WILL HAPPEN TO ME?
If you're charged with a felony in Arkansas, here's what you can expect:
1. You will probably be arrested. This may happen with or without a warrant.
2. You will either be held in jail or released on bond (usually with a bond amount) until your next court appearance. Low level felonies typically require bonds between $2,500.00 and $5,000.00, though these figures may go up or down substantially depending upon the specifics of your case. Arkansas law gives you a right to a bond for any crime except capital murder. However, if you are on parole, you may be held on what is called a "white warrant" and denied bond completely. As mentioned above, at this point it is important to prioritize spending money on securing a lawyer over a bail bondsman, as paying bond will only provide temporary freedom whereas a lawyer may be able to get you permanent freedom.
3. You will go to an arraignment, where you will be formally charged with a crime and given a "felony information" paper with details of the charges against you. At that point, your attorney will enter a plea of not guilty on your behalf.
4. You will be given a date for your next court appearance. Failure to appear in court can land you in prison for up to 10 years and result in fines up to $10,000.00, even if you beat the original charge, so it's important to be present at all court appearances.
5. Before your next court appearance, your lawyer will file a motion for discovery to get all the evidence the state has against you.
6. After your lawyer has the evidence, they will be able to evaluate the strength of the case against you and provide you with legal advice and representation. It's important to note that you should not talk to the police without a lawyer present, and it's best to hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer if you can afford one. A lawyer can help you navigate the legal system and provide you with the best possible outcome for your case. If you can't afford a private lawyer, the court will appoint you a public defender.
I AM THINKING ABOUT HIRING A CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY. WHAT SHOULD I KNOW?
When it comes to hiring a criminal defense attorney, it's important to choose the right one for you. Not all attorneys handle cases the same way, and some may charge more for their services. However, when it comes to high-level or complicated felony cases, you want an attorney who is willing to put in the time and effort to get the best outcome for you.
It's also important to note that no attorney can guarantee a good outcome, and you should be wary of anyone who promises that. What really matters is that you choose an attorney who is willing to take your case to trial, because they will often be able to get prosecutors to reduce charges or even dismiss them entirely.
That's where attorney Klebanoff comes in. He is known for being an attorney who is not afraid to take cases to trial and has a proven track record of winning in a trial setting. Attorney Klebanoff understands the importance of minimizing his client's punishment and does what it takes to achieve the best possible outcome for his clients. Keep in mind that all defense attorneys require payment up front, and he is no exception. So, if you're looking for a criminal defense attorney who will fight for you in court, look no further than Klebanoff Law Firm. (479) 442-7400
CAN I AFFORD YOUR SERVICES?
Don't let financial concerns hold you back from getting the legal representation you need. Klebanoff Law Firm's services are affordable for those with moderate income and we make every effort to make them accessible to all. Consultations with us are always free, so don't hesitate to reach out for a consultation today. Time is of the essence in legal matters, and the sooner you hire an attorney, the better your chances of achieving a favorable outcome.
If you are facing criminal charges and can't afford a private attorney, you may qualify for a public defender. While public defenders may have a bad reputation, many are highly qualified and dedicated lawyers who work hard for their clients. However, they are often overworked and underpaid and may not be able to provide the same level of representation as a private attorney. Don't take chances with your future - hire attorney Klebanoff's experienced and dedicated legal representation today.
Don't Delay - Hire Greg Today! (479) 442-7400
I AM STOPPED FOR SUSPICION OF DRIVING WHILE INTOXICATED. SHOULD I CONSENT TO TAKE A BREATH ALCOHOL TEST?
If you've been pulled over on suspicion of driving while intoxicated (DWI) in Arkansas, you may be wondering whether you should consent to a breath alcohol test. Under Arkansas law, you are considered to have given consent simply by holding a driver's license and driving on the state's roads. Refusing a test can result in a separate charge called "Violation of Implied Consent." However, whether it's in your best interest to take the test or not depends on the circumstances.
If you know you are completely sober, it's best to take the test as there's no reason to face the additional charge of Violation of Implied Consent. Additionally, if the police have enough evidence to charge you with DWI without the breath test, it makes no sense to refuse the test as you could be charged with both DWI and Violation of Implied Consent.
On the other hand, if you think you might be over the legal limit, but you look and act sober and perform well on the field sobriety tests, you might be able to beat the DWI charge by refusing the test. Keep in mind, however, that you will still be charged with Violation of Implied Consent, which is a less serious charge.
It's also important to note that police do not have to prove your breath alcohol content was above the legal limit to get a conviction for DWI. They only have to prove that you were impaired by alcohol or any other drug to the point of being unable to safely operate a motor vehicle.
Additionally, it's worth noting that you can be convicted of DWI for driving while impaired on prescription medication even if you have a valid prescription for it.
In short, whether or not to take a breath alcohol test if you've been pulled over on suspicion of DWI depends on your individual circumstances and the evidence the police have against you. It's best to speak with a lawyer before making any decisions.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A FELONY AND A MISDEMEANOR? WHAT ARE LOW LEVEL FELONIES AS OPPOSED TO HIGH LEVEL FELONIES?
A misdemeanor is a crime punishable by up to one year imprisonment and fines of up to $2,500.00. A felony is a crime punishable by over one year imprisonment. As a general rule, a person convicted of a misdemeanor serves their time in the county jail and a person convicted of a felony serves their time in state prison. Arkansas has six classifications of felonies, according to seriousness. They are as follows:
- Class D Felony: 0 to 6 years imprisonment; and fines up to $10,000.00
- Class C Felony: 3 to 10 years imprisonment; and fines up to $10,000.00
- Class B Felony:5 to 20 years imprisonment; and fines up to $15,000.00
- Class A Felony:6 to 30 years imprisonment; and fines up to $15,000.00
- Class Y Felony:10 to 40 years or life imprisonment;
- Capital Murder:Life-imprisonment without possibility of parole or the death penalty
DO YOU REPRESENT PEOPLE CHARGED WITH FELONIES?
Yes, Klebanoff Law Firm represent clients charged with misdemeanors and felonies, including but not limited to: DWI/DUI, Burglary, Homicide, Drug Crimes, Sex Crimes, and Violent Offenses, just to name a few. Attorney Klebanoff is a highly experienced and respected attorney in all areas of criminal defense.
I THINK I MIGHT BE IN DANGER OF PHYSICAL VIOLENCE FROM A CURRENT OR FORMER BOYFRIEND OR GIRLFRIEND, CURRENT OR FORMER SPOUSE, OR A FAMILY MEMBER; HOW CAN I GET A PROTECTION ORDER?
Protection orders can be obtained through your county circuit courts prosecuting attorneys office. Do not go to the police, the city prosecutors' office, or to the city or district court. Only the county circuit court prosecutors' office can help you here. Orders of protection are available only against family members, someone with whom you have had or are currently having a romantic relationship, or someone with whom you have a child.
To get a protection order you need to prove that the opposing party poses a physical danger to you, to your property, or to your children. The mere fact that the opposing party may call you at all hours of the day, drive by your residence, show up at your job, leave notes on your car, constantly send you text messages, and so forth are generally not enough to justify an order of protection, though they may subject the person to criminal harassment charges. An order of protection requires credible evidence of physical danger.
If you believe you have such evidence, go to the county circuit court. They will have you to write out an affidavit that is, a sworn statement about what the opposing party did to justify the order. Be certain everything in your affidavit is true. Lying may subject you to criminal perjury charges. After you complete the affidavit, a judge will issue a temporary order of protection, which lasts for 30 days and takes effect as soon as a copy is served upon the opposing party by a sheriffs deputy. Within the 30 days the judge will schedule a short hearing to determine whether there exists probable cause to continue the order. Be sure to show up and testify as to any reasons why you believe the opposing party poses a danger to you. You may have witnesses testify on your behalf. You may also be represented by an attorney if you wish. The opposing party can also testify, present witnesses, and have their own attorney as well.
If the judge determines there is probable cause to continue the order, it will remain in effect for a minimum of 90 additional days and up to a maximum of 10 years. While the order is in effect, the opposing party is not allowed to go by your residence, your workplace, or contact you in any way. In addition, what they cannot do themselves, they cannot have others do for them. They cannot give you messages through third parties. They are also prohibited from owning or possessing any firearms.
Violations of the order are Class A Misdemeanors, carrying up to one year in county jail and up to a $2,500.00 fine for the first offense. Second and subsequent offenses are a felony.
I AM THINKING ABOUT GETTING A DIVORCE, WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO THE PROPERTY AND DEBT I HAVE WITH MY SPOUSE?
In Arkansas marital property is generally subject to a 50/50 division. Marital property means (with some important exceptions) any property acquired during a marriage. One, though not the only, such exception is that placing a house owned just by one party before marriage in the name of both parties during the marriage makes the house marital property and subject and to equal division upon divorce.
Property owned before marriage is non marital property and generally goes back to the party who originally owned it. Property acquired during the marriage, however, is marital property and is divided equally between the parties.
The rule of equal division applies regardless of whose name the property is in and regardless of who paid for the property. Moreover, Arkansas courts have ruled that the law providing for equal division of marital property equally does not apply to marital debt. So technically courts can divide marital debt however they want, but in most cases they do so equally, unless it can be shown the debt was incurred only by one party and/or did not confer a net benefit upon the marriage, examples might be a husband who takes out a loan to buy a fishing boat only he uses or a wife who runs up credit card debt solely to pay for romantic rendezvous with other men.
Also understand that courts are not strictly required to divide marital property equally. Rather equal division is a legal presumption that is, while 50/50 division is the norm courts may divide property in some other way if they find that equal division would be unfair in a given case. In addition, courts even have the power to divide non marital property, though this rarely occurs.
Nonetheless, equal division is followed in almost all cases. In addition, marital misconduct, such as mistreating one’s spouse, having extramarital affairs, etc. has zero bearing on division of marital property.
WHAT ARE ARKANSAS MARIJUANA LAWS LIKE?
In a word: dreadful. At a time when most states have either decriminalized marijuana or outright legalized it, here simple possession carries stiff penalties. While Arkansas has legalized medical marijuana, for those without a medical marijuana card (MMC) possession of even a partially smoked roach can land you in jail.
If you have less than four prior possession convictions and are caught with under four ounces, you will probably be charged with a “Class A Misdemeanor.” Technically, this could land you in county jail for up to one year and result in fines as high as $2,500, though most such offenders are fined only a few hundred dollars and avoid jail completely.
Possession of more than four ounces, however, is punished as a felony and can carry prison sentences as high as 30 years, depending on how much pot is involved and the circumstances.
In addition, fourth and subsequent pot offenses are an automatic felony, regardless of the amount.
I AM GETTING DIVORCED, WHAT ARE THE CHANCES OF BEING AWARDED OR ORDERED TO PAY ALIMONY IN ARKANSAS
While alimony is available in Arkansas, it is seldom awarded. The purpose of alimony is to ensure both parties are provided for and that neither becomes a ward of the state. Courts prefer to ensure both parties are provided for by division of marital property. In some cases, however, alimony will be awarded. Alimony is based on a needs and abilities standard. That is, a court will base its decision to award alimony on the needs of the receiving spouse and the abilities of the paying spouse. Alimony can be either temporary or permanent, but temporary alimony is far more common. In addition, under Arkansas law marital fault has no bearing on alimony. A common misconception is that alimony is awarded to punish one of the parties for mistreating the other party, for having extra marital affairs, and so forth. This is not the law in Arkansas.
HOW DOES A COURT DETERMINE CHILD CUSTODY?
Courts determine child custody based solely on the best interests of the child. The interests of the parents are not considered here. The best interests of a child are calculated by looking at the totality of circumstances.
That is, by examining every good and bad aspect of placing a child with each of the parties and weighing each against the other. There is no easy formula for making this decision, but courts look at each parent in terms of such traits as moral fitness, compassion, character, sobriety, the attitude of a newly acquired romantic partner toward the child, emotional stability, work stability, which parent lives closest to a good school, health, a parent's attitude towards the child’s education, the parent’s home situation, whether the child will have his own room, child care arrangements, religious education, and many others.
One thing a parent wanting to win custody of their child should consider is drug and alcohol use. There is nothing wrong with having a little wine over dinner or a beer or two while watching a football game, but no judge wants to put a child with a parent who abuses drugs or alcohol. So important is this principle that if a court orders both parties in a divorce to take a drug test, which often happens, and one party tests positive, the guilty party will almost certainly lose any chance of winning custody on this basis alone!
Moreover, courts do not approve of parents who cohabit with romantic partners outside of marriage while the child is present. In fact, courts do not like parents who get new boyfriends or girlfriends after separation but before divorce. In a courts eyes, such behavior amounts to telling the child that marriage does not mean anything. In short, if you want to win custody in court, stay clean and sober, and do not date again partner until the divorce is finalized. If you simply cannot wait until the judge signs the decree before before rekindling your love life, do not introduce the child to your new partner or allow him or her to spend the night in the child's presence.
A parent wanting to win custody should also do everything they can to show the court they care about and are involved in their child's life. This includes going to parent/teacher conferences at your child's school, contacting his teacher if your child gets a bad grade, helping your child with his homework, getting your child involved in extracurricular activities such as boy scouts, girl scouts, band, little league, and so forth.
Courts also generally (though not always) dislike granting custody to parents who use physical punishment. This is not to say all spanking is child abuse, but other things being equal a parent who wants to win custody should not hit their child. Restricting a child's access to his toys or video games and "time outs" are preferred methods of punishment.
Some people believe courts almost always pick the mother when parents fight over custody, and they usually do. Nonetheless, every case is different and there are many situations where a court will rightly prefer the father.
This very brief discussion does not even scratch the surface of the many factors courts consider in making custody determinations and is intended only to provide the briefest overview of this area of the law. Anyone facing a divorce and wanting to fight for child custody should consult an experienced family practice attorney.
I HAVE BEEN CHARGED WITH DOMESTIC BATTERING, WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW?
Most Arkansas domestic violence cases are charged as Domestic Battering in the Third-Degree.
Generally this means you are accused of purposely or recklessly causing injury to a household or family member, including a current or former girlfriend or boyfriend (even if you do not now--and never have--lived together). Domestic Battering in the Third-Degree is a Class A Misdemeanor, meaning it is punishable by up to one year imprisonment and fines up to $2,500.00. However, misdemeanor domestic battering is more serious than most other misdemeanors. First, a person who is convicted of or who pleads guilty to this offense looses his or her right to own firearms.
Second, domestic battering records cannot be sealed and remain public records forever. Third, if you have a second domestic battering conviction within a five year period or a third conviction within a ten year period, the later conviction is an automatic Class D Felony, punishable by up to 6 years imprisonment and fines up to $10,000.00.
DO YOU ACCEPT PAYMENT PLANS?
While I regard the legal profession primarily as a way of helping people, I too have bills to pay. So while it is important that I receive full payment before a case is over, my general philosophy is that I will work hard for anyone who works hard for me.
I will, however, require at least half of my total fee plus all out of pocket costs up front so I know you are serious about retaining my services.
WHAT ARE YOUR FEES?
This is a difficult question to answer, because every case is different. You should, however, be advised that if you are bargain shopping for a lawyer, look elsewhere and remember that you will most likely get what you pay for. What follows are a few basics.
Criminal Charges: Generally, my minimum fee for low level felonies is $2,500.00 to $3,500.00. High level felonies will cost substantially more. I generally charge a minimum of about $750.00 for misdemeanor cases, such as Driving While Intoxicated, misdemeanor possession of marijuana, shoplifting charges, misdemeanor battery, etc.
Family Law Cases: As a rule, my minimum fee for an uncontested divorce is $600.00 plus "out of pocket costs." These are costs that do not go to me but are paid directly to third-parties. In divorce actions, out of pocket costs include a $165.00 filing fee paid to the court as well as (generally) a $50.00 to $75.00 process fee to serve papers on the opposing party.
If the opposing party agrees to a settlement regarding child custody, child support, division of marital property, marital debt and other relevant matters, frequently no additional costs will be incurred. If the opposing party hires an attorney of their own and decides to contest the divorce on one or more of these matters, the costs may go up substantially depending upon what is at stake and how hard they fight.
Cases regarding changing child custody normally require a minimum of a $2,000.00 retainer plus out of pocket costs. In a change of custody case where child custody has already been awarded to one party, out of pocket costs include a $50.00 fee to the court to reopen the case and (usually) a $50.00 to $75.00 process fee to serve papers on the opposing party. If a case is billed by the hour, my normal rate is $200.00 an hour.
If you have an issue regarding criminal or family law, give Greg Klebanoff a call and set up a free consultation.
It will cost you nothing and may end up saving your family, your freedom, or even your life!