Criminal Defense

Our Jefferson County criminal defense lawyers understand the embarrassment and anxiety that comes with an arrest. We put clients at ease and deftly handle every stage of your defense without passing judgment.

Our mission is to provide you with high quality legal defense.  We do this armed with a thorough knowledge of case law and the court system. We aim to reduce or eliminate bail requirements so you can remain free while we prepare your case. Our attorneys spend substantial time on cases and gather information from witnesses, and, when necessary, hire investigators and experts. We are up front about the risks of trial and explain the pros and cons of any offered plea bargain. In the event of a conviction, we work to reduce sentences.

Above all, our Jefferson county criminal defense lawyers keep you informed of the status of your case and all available options. We regularly meet one-on-one with you—not just for a few seconds in the court hallway prior to your hearing. You will not have unanswered questions before you go to court.

When your future and your freedom are at stake, you need a team of EXPERIENCED Jefferson County criminal defense lawyers who put you first. Our firm principal, Michael Lowry, is a former assistant prosecutor and Judge, and he knows how to protect your rights.  With a thorough knowledge of the criminal justice system, how prosecutors operate, and how best to defend each case, he has guided the firm’s criminal defense team in obtaining solid results for clients in thousands of state, county, and municipal cases throughout eastern Missouri.

Our firm handles all criminal defense matters, whether they are felonies, misdemeanors, or traffic matters. Some of the charges include:

  • Arson
  • Assaults—1st, 2nd, and 3rd degree, domestic assault, and vehicular assault
  • Burglary and Robbery
  • Drug crimes—possession, manufacturing, trafficking, or distribution of methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, marijuana, prescription drugs, or any other illegal drug, and possession of drug paraphernalia
  • Sex crimes—statutory rape, forcible rape, sexual assault, sodomy, child molestation, indecent exposure
  • White-collar crime–fraud, stealing, forgery
  • Alcohol Crimes—DWI, and minor in possession of alcohol
  • Traffic violations—driving while suspended or revoked, leaving the scene of an accident, speeding tickets, and other traffic tickets
  • Weapons offenses
  • Property crimes–stealing, property damage, and trespassing
  • Bond hearings
  • Probation violations

Commonly Asked Questions & Answers:

What is the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor?

A misdemeanor is a crime that is punishable by up to one (1) year in the county jail and a fine up to a $1,000, or any combination thereof. Felonies are more serious crimes which are punishable by more than one (1) year in the Missouri Department of Corrections. Prison sentences on felonies range anywhere from one year all the way up to life, depending on the classification of the felony.

An infraction is punishable by a fine only, not to exceed $200 and is not considered a crime. Even with an infraction, however, hiring an attorney is advised.

What is the "presumption of innocence"?

All people accused of a crime are legally presumed to be innocent unless and until they are proven guilty, either by a trial or as a result of a plea of guilty. This presumption means not only that the prosecutor must convince the judge or jury of the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, but also that the defendant need not say or do anything in his own defense, if they choose not to. The presumption of innocence, coupled with the fact that the prosecutor must prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, makes it difficult, but not impossible, for the government to put innocent people behind bars.

If I am charged with a crime, will I have a trial by a jury?

The U.S. Constitution gives a person accused of a crime punishable by a sentence longer than six months the right to be tried by a jury.

If I am innocent, can I testify in my own defense?

The 5th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution gives every criminal defendant in a criminal proceeding the right not to testify, and jurors will be told that they cannot assume anything negative if the defendant decides to exercise his or her right to remain silent. A criminal defendant can testify if they choose to do so subject to certain ethical considerations.

An accused may want to remain silent at trial depending on his or her prior criminal history because a prosecutor may be able to bring this information to light on cross-examination. Jurors may harshly judge a defendant with a poor demeanor or may not believe one who is being truthful.

Should I contact an attorney if I am under investigation but have not been charged?

Absolutely. Representation at an early stage in a case can increase the odds of no charges being filed or increase chances of charges being reduced. An attorney can also protect your rights during the investigation and offer keen insight into issues such as making a verbal or written statement to the police or other law enforcement, submitting to a lie detector test, etc.

What is an arraignment and do I need a lawyer at my arraignment?

The arraignment is where you first appear before a judge and the judge reads the formal charges to you. Once the formal charges are read to you the judge will ask you to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty to the offense(s) charged. If you are represented by counsel, your attorney may attend your arraignment for you. If you are not represented by counsel, you must personally attend your arraignment or a warrant may issue for your arrest. Being represented by counsel should assist with protecting your rights, as well as answering any questions one may have concerning substantive or procedural matters.

What types of criminal cases do you handle?

We handle all types of criminal charges, both felony and misdemeanor, at the state, county, and municipal level. We do not handle federal criminal charges.

Why should I choose your firm to represent me in a criminal case?

When you contact our firm regarding the defense of criminal charges, an attorney, not a paralegal, legal assistant, or secretary, will discuss all aspects of your case with you, including the sentence for the charges(s) and the potential defenses. There is no charge for the initial consultation, which can take place either in the privacy of one of our offices or over the telephone.

We have significant criminal defense experience and work to protect the rights of our clients. We conduct a thorough investigation, present an honest assessment of your case and provide aggressive and intuitive legal representation.