Criminal Defense

Being charged with a criminal offense can not only be extremely distressing, but also life altering. It can be detrimental to both your integrity and reputation. Depending on the charges, a conviction could range anywhere from probation to life in prison. Regardless of the charges, it is important that you retain the services of an experienced and dependable criminal defense attorney who can build a solid defense against the charges you are facing.

Steve Lednick is a former Jefferson County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney who has been defending the rights of the accused for 15 Years. He has defended individuals accused of a variety of criminal felony and misdemeanor offenses. Mr. Lednick will work to get your charges dropped or obtain the minimal punishment available for the offense committed.

Armed with the knowledge gained through years of experience, we have the know how to build a comprehensive defense for our clients no matter what charges they face. We meticulously investigate the allegations and evidence brought against our clients and use our understanding of the law to prepare detailed defenses to the charges. When you are accused of a crime, you deserve to be confident that your lawyer has the experience necessary to effectively challenge the allegations.

Make sure that you choose a firm that takes your situation seriously and will work diligently to get your charges reduced or in some cases dismissed. With our experience, you can trust that we will know what to look for in your case and aggressively defend you against your criminal charges. Take control of your future – call us at (636) 638-2150 to discuss your case with a former Jefferson County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney.

At the Lednick Law Firm, we are committed to protecting your rights, guiding and supporting you though what is, undoubtedly, a very difficult time in your life.  Please contact the Lednick Law Firm at 636-638-2150 to schedule a free consultation.

FAQ’S

A misdemeanor is a less serious offense. However, depending on how serious the misdemeanor charged, you could face up to a year in jail, probation and a fine of up to $2,000. While some may view a misdemeanor as minor, it is still a criminal charge that can negatively affect your future. Many employers research the criminal background of prospective employees. If an employer has two equally qualified candidates for a position they are likely to hire the individual without a criminal conviction, regardless of its nature. To avoid the ramifications of a misdemeanor conviction it is in your best interest to speak to an experienced defense attorney to understand your rights and options.

A felony conviction can have long lasting consequences that can affect your life forever. Depending on the seriousness of the felony charged, sentencing penalties can range from a year in the county jail to life in prison. A felony conviction can substantially damage your criminal record, prevent employment opportunities, adversely affect your family, take away many freedoms, and quite possibly even land you in prison for a substantial period. Even though the evidence against you might seem overwhelming, we will undertake a thorough investigation in order to prepare a successful defense to meet the needs of your specific situation. Felony charges require knowledgeable legal counsel who can effectively evaluate the circumstances, thoroughly prepare your case, understand the evidence against you, and skillfully advocate on your behalf.

If you have been arrested and charged with a felony, or if you are currently under investigation, Mr. Lednick will work diligently to minimize the long-term damage. As a former Jefferson County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, Mr. Lednick understands the nuances in felony cases that will often allow you to have your charges and/or sentence significantly reduced.

An arraignment is the court appearance where you go before a judge for the first time. This is when the judge will read the charges against you and you will be asked to enter a plea of not guilty or guilty. If you enter a not guilty plea, which most defendants do at this initial stage, the judge will then set a date for your next court appearance, your bail will be set, and you will have the opportunity to hire an attorney.

If you have been charged with a crime, are under investigation, or subjected to questioning by law enforcement, you need a reputable criminal defense attorney. This it to guarantee that your rights are protected and that you are treated fairly. At the Lednick Law Firm you will have a former Assistant Prosecuting Attorney on your side who can argue on your behalf with prosecutors and judges early on to minimize your charges and their consequences. Alternatively, you certainly have the right to represent yourself, although it is highly inadvisable.

Although the American criminal justice system is the fairest system in the world, it is not perfect. As you are likely aware from news reports, there have been many innocent people over the years who have been found guilty and sentenced to jail. If you have been charged with a crime and didn’t do what you are accused of, it doesn’t matter. If you have been charged that at least means that the prosecuting attorney thinks you are guilty and there is very likely sufficient evidence to support that belief. Do not gamble with your freedom or your future. Contact the Lednick Law Firm and get a former Jefferson County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney on your side.

Your actions after an arrest can have a substantial impact on the ultimate outcome of your case. The most important thing you should do after being arrested is to ask for a lawyer. After requesting a lawyer, you should exercise your Constitutional right to remain silent and not say another word to law enforcement. We often have clients that would otherwise have a great case, but when we review the police report, they allowed the officer to search their vehicle, volunteered information to the officer, or admitted to things that they shouldn’t have. You are not legally obligated to answer any questions that may be asked by law enforcement. If you say the wrong thing it can and almost certainly will be used against you if charges are filed. Never ever agree to speak to law enforcement unless you have an attorney present, or have at least consulted with an attorney. Also, if you are placed under arrest, you should immediately contact a lawyer. Just because you were arrested does not necessarily mean that you are guilty or that there is even sufficient evidence to convict you of the offense.

You are not obligated to consent to a search by law enforcement, and in fact, you should not do this. Except in very rare circumstances, law enforcement must apply for a search warrant in order to legally search your property or home.

You are under no legal obligation to cooperate with law enforcement. Police may use any number of ruses or promises in an attempt to get you to talk, which is completely legal. Some are under the impression that the police will go easier on you if you cooperate. This is almost never true. In reality, all that you are doing by “cooperating” is giving the police additional evidence that can be used to prosecute you. If the police ask to interview you the best course of action is usually to politely say that you choose not to speak to them without an attorney present. At that point they are not allowed to further question you.

If you are the driver of a vehicle you are the person in control of that vehicle. If you know that the vehicle has drugs in it, even if they are someone else’s, you will still likely be considered under the law to be in constructive possession of those drugs. However, this does not mean that you are necessarily guilty. In addition, if you are charged with a drug offense while operating a vehicle, no matter your age, your license is also at risk. When you hire us we will handle the drug charges as well as any underlying issues that arise concerning your license.

A plea bargain is essentially a deal that your attorney makes with the prosecutor in order to get charges against you reduced or amended in return for a guilty plea. Whether negotiating a plea deal is the best course of action will primarily be based on the facts and evidence of your case. Regardless, we will advise you on the best course of action.

The penalties upon conviction of a crime will depend on what you have been charged with, your prior criminal record, and a number of other factors. Penalties can range from fines and probation to significant time in prison. Sometimes the penalty you ultimately receive will depend on the effectiveness of the lawyer you hire to represent you. For more information on this subject visit our page on Missouri Sentences and Fines for Criminal Convictions.

In Missouri sentences and fines are based on how the crime is classified.  Crimes are divided into three general categories; infractions, misdemeanors, and felonies.  In 2017 Missouri added Class E Felonies to the Missouri Criminal Code.

Infractions

Infractions are the least severe of the three classifications of crimes. Punishment is limited to a fine of $400.00. Examples of violations include such things as traffic tickets and trespass 2nd degree.

Misdemeanor Offenses

Misdemeanor criminal charges are classified into three classes: A, B, C and D.

Class A misdemeanors are the most serious, and have a range of punishment of up to one (1) year in the county jail and a fine up to $2,000.00. Examples of Class A misdemeanors are assault 4td degree, domestic assault 4th degree, stealing, possession of between 10 and 35 grams of marijuana.

Class B misdemeanors have a range of punishment of up to six (6) months in the county jail and fines of up to $1,000.00. Examples of Class B misdemeanors include, sexual misconduct 1st degree, property damage 2nd degree, reckless burning or exploding and patronizing prostitution.

Class C misdemeanors have a range of punishment of up to 15 days in the county jail and a fine of up to $750.00. Examples of Class C misdemeanors include, private peace disturbance, refusal to disperse, filing a false affidavit and littering.

Class D misdemeanors have a range of punishment of up to a $500.00. Examples of Class D misdemeanors include, possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, minor in possession and driving while suspended (1st offense).

Felony Offenses

Felony criminal charges are classified into five classes: A, B, C, D and E.

Class A felonies are the most serious, and carry a prison sentence of at least ten (10) years, not to exceed thrity (30) years, or life. Class A felonies typically include violent crimes or crimes that involve danger to another person. Examples of Class A felony offenses include, murder, kidnapping 1st degree, robbery 1st degree, and child molestation 1st degree. trafficking 1st degree.

Class B felonies carry a prison sentence of not less than five (5) years and not to exceed fifteen (15) years. Examples of Class B felony offenses include, voluntary manslaughter, assault 1st degree, domestic assault 1st degree, arson 1st degree, abandonment of a child, 1st degree and burglary 2nd degree.

Class C felonies are punishable by a prison sentence of not less than three (3) years and not to exceed fifteen (15) years and a fine not to exceed $10,000.00. Examples of Class C felony offenses include, involuntary manslaughter 1st degree, possession of a controlled substance, manufacture of a controlled substance and trafficking drugs 1st degree.

Class D felonies are punishable by a prison sentence not to exceed seven (7) years and a fine of not more than $10,000.00. Examples of Class D felony offenses include, assault 2nd degree, domestic assault 2nd degree, kidnapping 2nd degree, rape 2nd degree, and endangering the welfare of a child 1st degree.

Class E felonies are punishable by a prison sentence not to exceed four (4) years. Examples of Class E felony offense include, knowingly burning or exploding, unlawful use of a credit or debit device, making a terrorist threat 2nd degree, and possession of methamphetamine precursors.

The fee charged for your case will mainly depend on what crime or crimes you are charged with. Other factors that are considered in determining a fee are your prior criminal history, the jurisdiction in which you are charged, the seriousness of the circumstances surrounding the offense. Be assured that when you hire us to represent you, you will get much more than just a lawyer who shows up to court on your behalf. You will get an aggressive and experienced former prosecutor who will fight for you. At the Lednick Law Firm we truly care about our clients and will work diligently to obtain a favorable result for you.