If you’ve been charged for a crime ranging in severity from a misdemeanor to a felony in Salem, Massachusetts, you should elicit guidance from an experienced Salem criminal defense attorney. Most criminal defendants are represented by a lawyer, as jail or a prison sentence is a very real and probable consequence. If you are considering self-representation we kindly urge you to reconsider; while there are no firm statistics on how many individuals elect to represent themselves in criminal cases, estimates range below 1%.
The Importance Of A Criminal Defense Attorney
The average individual does not have an adept understanding of criminal law or the penal system in Salem. Unfortunately, ignorance or failing to understand these formalities is not an adequate defense to avoid being found guilty. While the accused has the right to represent him or herself during criminal trial proceedings, the consequences of having poor legal representation can be severe. Misdemeanors (such as shoplifting) may only carry a fine, community service or brief jail sentence; however felonies (such as murder or armed robbery) are much more serious and can result in long prison terms. The importance of hiring a defense lawyer in Salem ensures the accused will have someone knowledgeable about the law arguing on their behalf, and developing a strategy that will result in determination that the client did not commit the offense. Even if the client is advised to plead guilty or is determined guilty by a jury or judge, a Salem criminal defense lawyer will actively seek to minimize any punishment.
Salem Essex County
The most infamous trials to occur in Salem took place in the colonial period from 1692-1963, when the population of only 500 people became ground zero for witchcraft persecutions. At the time, practicing Christians believed the Devil could harm others through the transfer of powers to witches in exchange for their loyalty. Salem had more than 200 accused witches who were deemed to be active practitioners’ of witchcraft – the Devil’s magic. A court was established to try the cases by formal trial to eradicate the town of evil. 20 people were executed. The colony eventually admitted the trials were unjust, and however the town was able to escape the social and religious turmoil. However, Salem continues to beguile popular imagination more than 300 years later and has become synonymous with a dark legacy of injustice.
Today, the population of over 41,000 is served by three criminal courts: Essex Superior Court, Salem District Court and Essex County Juvenile Court – all of which have been recently consolidated into the Ruane Judicial Center at 56 Federal Street, Salem, MA 01970. The phased-in relocation features eleven courtrooms, modern technology and digital recording capability to handle all misdemeanor, felony and youthful offender cases.
Salem is a medium-sized coastal city, and is the 32nd largest community in Massachusetts. With a stock of pre-war architecture and historical relevancies, the crime rate in Salem is considerably higher than the US national average. At 32 crimes per 1,000 residents, serious criminal acts are being carried out every day. If you’ve been convicted and are facing a criminal charge, it is advisable to seek legal advice – no matter how minor. Attorneys in Salem will be able to explain the defenses available, what plea bargains may be offered to you, and what to do if you are convicted.
You deserve only the best on your side
As a Criminal Defense Attorney, Raquel D. Ruano has an intimate knowledge of the law and what it takes to win! She will leave no stone unturned – challenging the law enforcement investigation, demanding complete discovery disclosure from the Government, developing creative and persuasive pre-trial motions, and skillfully and tirelessly litigating the case through trial or disposition.