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Hiring a Defense Attorney vs. Defending Yourself

In Arizona, a large number of criminal cases are filed each year. While most criminal matters filed in the state are misdemeanors, many people also face felony charges that carry potentially severe penalties. Below you will find detailed information about criminal defense and the process involved in the criminal justice system.

Criminal defense lawyers represent their clients through all stages of criminal cases, including investigations, arrests, filing of charges, pleas, motions hearings, trials, sentencing hearings, and seeking post-conviction relief.

If you are facing criminal charges, you might feel understandably overwhelmed and frightened. The criminal defense attorneys at Colburn Hintze Maletta, are prepared to fight for you. We have decades of extensive experience in handling criminal cases at all levels. Your Phoenix criminal defense attorney can offer guidance while helping to protect your rights and freedom.

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What Does Criminal Defense Entail?

The term criminal defense involves the understanding and application of criminal laws and the rules of criminal procedure. Defense attorneys work to secure the most favorable outcome for people charged with crimes. Criminal defense lawyers complete several years of law school and participate in continuing education sessions to keep current with legal changes.

To prepare a defense case, a criminal defense lawyer might review many different factors. Some of these include the circumstances of what happened, how the police conducted their investigations, stops, seizures, arrests, forensic analyses, relevant statutes, court decisions, etc.

Because of the complexities involved in criminal cases, people charged with crimes are much better off when they hire defense lawyers who understand how to defend against criminal charges within the Arizona court system.

Each criminal case is unique and presents different evidence. An experienced criminal defense lawyer knows how to analyze the evidence to assess the strength of the prosecution’s case and the availability of defenses. A careful review also helps defense attorneys to determine whether the prosecutor has enough evidence to meet his or her burden of proof and any constitutional problems with the state’s case to challenge.

The Duty of a Criminal Defense Attorney

While many different types of criminal cases are filed in Arizona courts each year, some of the most common matters involve thefts, DUIs, drug offenses, and assaults. However, many serious crimes are charged each year, including felonies like murders, homicides, crimes of violence, sex offenses, drug trafficking, etc.

Defending against these types of charges requires an attorney to have in-depth experience and knowledge of both the criminal charge and the legal system.

At Colburn Hintze Maletta, our primary goal is to win a dismissal of all charges filed against each of our clients. View our Case Victories to get an idea of they types of results we obtain.

However, that is not possible in some cases. When it is unlikely for us to secure a dismissal, we work our hardest to resolve our client’s criminal charges by negotiating with the prosecutors to obtain favorable plea agreements to alternative sentences or reduced criminal charges.

In some cases, the prosecutors are unwilling to offer favorable plea agreements. When that happens, our attorneys will fight for our clients through fair bench and jury trials.

All criminal defendants have a constitutional right to have their cases tried and to hold the prosecutor to his or her burden of proving each element beyond a reasonable doubt.

Taking a case to trial can be stressful, making it critical for you to retain a law firm with extensive trial knowledge. The criminal defense lawyers at Colburn Hintze Maletta have years of real courtroom experience and are unafraid to fight for their clients before juries and judges.

Why Hire a Defense Lawyer Before Police File Charges?

You should retain a defense attorney as soon as you learn that you are under investigation for a crime. Some investigations can take months or years before the police reach a charging decision. When you retain a lawyer, as soon as you learn that you are a person of interest, your attorney might help you avoid critical mistakes. He or she might also convince the prosecutor that charges are unwarranted.

If the police ask you to come to the police station for an interview, you should refuse. Whenever an officer wants to question you about a criminal matter, you should tell him or her that you choose to remain silent and to have an attorney represent you. Police officers are not allowed to continue questioning you once you have asserted your rights.

When you first contact the legal team at Colburn Hintze Maletta, we will schedule you for a free initial consultation either by phone, video call, or in person. During this meeting, you will meet with a lawyer. He or she will want to learn as much as possible about your case, your background, and the state’s investigation.

Our free consultation allows you and your attorney to devise an initial plan of action and is a critical step to take. Your consultation allows your attorney to start building your defense to shut down the investigation and prevent you from being charged with a crime.

Do You Need a Criminal Defense Attorney if Arrested or Received a Criminal Summons and Complaint in the Mail?

An arrest or a criminal complaint and summons should always prompt you to hire an attorney. Retaining a lawyer before your first court appearance can provide your attorney with the opportunity to thoroughly review and analyze the evidence and assess the available defenses.

Your attorney will then start investigating your case to find witnesses and potential evidence to support your defense. Your attorney might also look for mitigating or exculpatory evidence to fight against your charges.

Having an attorney with you from the start of your case can help you understand what to do and what to expect to happen next.

If your case later ends up at trial, allowing your attorney to work with you from the beginning might help him or her to find critical evidence before it is lost over time.

Top 3 Reasons to Retain an Attorney at CHM Law vs. Defending Yourself

While some people think that they can defend themselves against criminal charges, this is not a good idea. If you try to represent yourself, the court will expect you to understand the laws and procedural rules to the same degree as the prosecuting attorney.

Most people do not have the knowledge and legal skills required to mount a strong defense successfully. Here are some other reasons why you should retain an attorney instead of trying to defend yourself.

  1. Protecting Your Constitutional Rights.

People charged with crimes have multiple constitutional rights. An experienced criminal defense lawyer understands these rights and how to protect them. If your rights have been violated, your attorney can challenge any evidence that was illegally gathered as a result.

  1. Real Trial Experience and Aggressiveness to Win.

Our attorneys have decades of combined experience, both in trial and by settling out of the courtroom. Achieving this takes the highest level of knowledge and grit. Criminal defense lawyers go through years of grueling law school to become licensed, and continually study the ever-changing Arizona laws and procedural rules to successfully defend their clients. Staying current with these laws can mean the difference between winning and losing. A prosecutor’s goal is to tear down the defenses as much as possible. Without proper knowledge of Arizona laws, you are at risk of losing your freedom by defending yourself.

  1. Obtaining the Most Favorable Outcome.

An effective defense attorney at CHM Law will know the relevant laws and will work hard to prove your innocence or to obtain the best possible verdict. Your attorney will prioritize your case and complete a thorough investigation aimed at achieving the most favorable outcome possible under the facts and circumstances. Criminal defense lawyers may also personally know the prosecutors and judges who handle their clients’ cases and understand the best approaches.

A good criminal defense lawyer might be much likelier to secure a better outcome to your criminal charges than you might be able to on your own. Defense attorneys have legal skills and access to resources that might not be available to most people.

Take the first step and speak with your attorney at Colburn Hintze Maletta.

Speak with Your Attorney at Colburn Hintze Maletta

Regardless of whether you are facing a misdemeanor or felony charge, an experienced criminal defense attorney can fight for you and work to protect your rights throughout your case.

When you hire an attorney at Colburn Hintze Maletta, you will benefit from the guidance and skilled defense representation provided to you.

Contact us today to schedule a confidential consultation by calling us at (602) 825-2500.

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What People Say

Client Testimonials

Arizona attorney Darin Colburn

“The calm in the middle of my storm…”

I, recently, consulted with Darin after my wife filed for divorce. He was referred to me by a friend whom I very much trust. Darin was the antithesis of the first two attorneys I consulted (who were matter-of-fact and had very little empathy about the fact that I was struggling emotionally with what was transpiring). From the first few minutes of speaking with Darin, it was obvious that he was very knowledgeable and skilled with divorce and family matters. While that was most important to me, the thing that made the difference was his calming, logical, and empathetic approach. He took the time to listen and empathize with me. He took the time to understand what I wanted to achieve through this process and laid out my options. After the consultation, I knew he would be my attorney if I had to pull the trigger. I, ultimately, didn’t have to engage Darin’s services due to a reconciliation with my wife. I hope I never have to go through that process again, however, if I do, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt who I will be hiring to represent me…Darin R. Colburn. Darin, thank you for caring and being more than an attorney.

Frank - AVVO Review

Divorce / Reconciliation Client
Attorney David Maletta

“There is NOBODY I would rather have defending me than David”

I hired David Maletta and it was the best decision of my life. His knowledge, genuine interest, overall attitude, and ability to connect with people is incomparable. I could talk about all of this at length. I COULD do all of that, but that wouldn’t do David justice. He first and foremost demonstrates his interest and genuine care for his client. Being in uncharted territory with a criminal charge and nowhere to turn, David’s presence and personality put all nerves at ease. I went through a jury trial with David beside me. The trial ran for 3 days and I spent a significant amount of time with David one-on-one. During this stressful time, he wanted to hear my input and thoughts on everything. David was incredible from the first day I met him. Not only is he a great attorney, but he is also a great person who cares about people and finding justice for his clients. He connects to the human side of people. I can’t put into words how much David cares about the individual in a case. When it comes to the courtroom, there is NOBODY I would rather have defending me than David.

Jacob - AVVO Review

DUI Defense Client
Arizona attorney Darin Colburn

“Because of Darin I got my daughter back”

Before I hired Darin I went through a total of 3 different attorneys in two different states fighting a jurisdiction battle, when my daughter was taken to a different state. It was a very difficult decision to switch attorneys at one of the most difficult, time sensitive and important times in my case, but I’m very glad I did. Upon receiving my file from previous attorneys Darin came very familiar with my case quickly. Like other people have explained he took the time to lay everything out and explain how the process was going to proceed and what to expect and continued to do this as new issues arrived. He is also very quick at responding to emails and phone calls. My case was getting close to trial as told by my previous attorneys, I did not want to go to trial as I know this is very costly (most attorneys will convince you that you need to.) Darin knew my situation, fought for what was right and got the results I wanted while avoiding a costly trial. He is extremely knowledgeable in the Child Support Guidelines as well. Because of Darin I got my daughter back. I would highly recommend him and would hire again for any future issues. Thanks Darin!

Chris - AVVO Review

Child Custody & Support Client
Attorney David Maletta

“I was found NOT GUILTY. Dave won the trial for me.”

Dave stayed with me while he pushed back and forth with Covid-19 and the delays with court. Once cited, the state basically decides that you’re guilty through the automatic suspension of your drivers license. Dave immediately took care of that problem and I never lost the privilege of driving. Dave took notes like crazy and was upfront about our uphill battle. I was also well aware that the plea deal that was given to us, was unacceptable and through Dave’s knowledge and experience I had put my trust in him to guide me to make the right decision on how to proceed. With Dave’s guidance I had decided that we needed to fight for something better than what the prosecutor was offering and Dave was 100 percent behind me on that decision. We knew the risks, be we also knew we had very little to lose based on the prosecutions stance. We decided to go to trial… Watching the prosecution and then watching Dave was night and day!! It was clear to the jury that the prosecution didn’t have their facts straight and were not addressing the facts that they could not address…There was a lot at stake for my personal life and my work life. I was found NOT GUILTY. Dave won the trial for me.

Gregory - AVVO Review

Criminal Defense Client
Arizona Attorney Timothy Hintze

“Tim was absolutely amazing and worked diligently”

I had an incident and was Given the catch-all charge. There wasn’t really anything I could do by myself to get out of it. Tim was absolutely amazing and worked diligently to ensure that I would have the best possible outcome from my case. Which he successfully achieved! As of right now I am on the path to having my case fully dismissed. A couple things that really helped me through this process was that Tim did an amazing job at was answering my questions. He was available almost anytime and would respond promptly when he got my emails. He was also very approachable and comforting to be around while we had in person meetings and especially when I was at the court house. I would trust him and the company he works for with any other cases in the future and as of right now they will be my first choice if I need a lawyer in the future.

Dylan - AVVO Review

Criminal Defense Client
Arizona Attorney Timothy Hintze

“Listens to every request that you make on a case”

I honestly just want to let it be known to any and everyone looking for an attorney on a case. Whether it be DUI, possession, or your every day to day traffic violations where you need representation attorney Tim Hintze is your man. You have to respect a man that listens to every request that you make on a case and he gets in there and gets it done. Tim has my respect as an attorney and being a well-rounded representer. From him being honest on the possibility and options for your case to him being easy to work and communicate with via over the phone or face to face Mr. Hintze is working it out.

Ben - AVVO Review

Criminal Defense Client
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