Legal Guide

Attorney Paul O’Rourke’s Guide when arrested.

  1. Say “I wish to speak to my Attorney Paul O’Rourke at 636-323-5010. Until then, I will make no verbal or written statements.”
  2. DO NOT explain over the phone at a county jail why the arrest happened. The calls ARE RECORDED.
  3. Do NOT talk to or write about anything until your criminal defense attorney is present.
  4. Know the name of the jail where you are held.
  5. Know the name of the criminal charge. Share NO details over the phone.
  6. Do you have additional outstanding warrants? (YES or NO and where only).
  7. Consider hiring a lawyer before posting bail. A lawyer can file a Bail Bond Reduction Motion or have the bail removed.
  8. Posting bail in Missouri automatically cancels your right to a public defender. You should not have to choose between getting out of jail or hiring a top criminal defense lawyer.

Call Attorney Paul O’Rourke’s O’Fallon Law Office – (636) 323-5010.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I need a lawyer?

The truth is, you don’t need to have a lawyer. An individual can represent themselves in a court proceeding. It is a good idea to hire a lawyer for the following reasons.

  1. When a person represents themself they are held to all the rules of evidence and procedure. The prosecutor knows the rules of evidence and how to best use them to get a conviction.
  2. When a person has been accused of something can appear guilty even when they are innocent. Having a lawyer argue on your behalf takes that out of the equation.
  3. Being charged with a crime feels like an attack on a person’s character. Most people get upset or angry, which is understandable. A person who is upset or angry might not be thinking clearly. A clear and calm behaviour is the best way to get through the situation. A lawyer looks at the situation from a different perspective which helps to achieve the best possible outcome.

What is probation?

There are two types of probation: Suspended Imposition of Sentence (SIS) and Suspended Execution of Sentence (SES).

  1. SIS: A person enters a plea of guilty and the judge does not give a sentence but gives probation for a length of time instead. If the person serves the probation without violating it, the conviction will not show on their record. If the person violates the probation, the judge may hand out the maximum sentence for the conviction.
  2. SES: A person pleads guilty and the Judge gives a sentence but suspends the sentence. That person serves the probation without serving the sentence. If there is a violation of the probation, the court may revoke the probation and have person serve the initially sentence.

Can I plead guilty to a traffic ticket?

Yes you can, but you should know that makes it a conviction. For example, if you plead guilty to a speeding ticket, the police officer will see that conviction the next time you get pulled over for speeding. That will influence whether or not to write you a ticket. Also, a conviction for speeding may end up causing your insurance rate to go up.