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Criminal Defense Attorney

|  Criminal Defense Attorney  |

Most people who need a criminal lawyer never dreamed they would. Choosing the right attorney for a criminal charge could be one of the most important decisions you make at the most difficult time of your life.
An experienced attorney in a criminal case has real courtroom trial experience. Michael K. Banik, a Notre Dame Law School graduate, has been practicing law in criminal cases for 28 years.  For 14 of those years, Attorney Banik was a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, handling cases and trials from simple misdemeanors to the most serious drug dealing crimes.  Whether you have been charged with a misdemeanor offense or a serious felony, your case will be handled by an attorney who is experienced on both sides of the criminal justice system. Put that knowledge to work for you when you need it most.

If you are arrested or held by a law enforcement officer, keep these thoughts in mind:

  • Do not talk to the police. You have the right to remain silent.  Do not try to talk your way out of it. That never works.
  • If you are being arrested, the police officer has the right to search you and the area immediately around you. This is for the officer’s safety in case there is a weapon on you or nearby.  If the officer asks your permission to search your entire  house or car, politely tell them “no”.
  • Even if the officer tells you, “it will look better if you cooperate”, never consent to a search and never give a statement.  Always politely advise the officer that you want to talk with your criminal lawyer before you speak or agree to a search.  
  • Be polite and respectful to the arresting officer.  Even if you believe the arrest is incorrect, do not resist the officer while you are being arrested. They will simply add another charge for resisting arrest.  Get in touch with an experienced criminal defense attorney to assert your rights.
  • You have a right to an attorney in a criminal case.  Even if you cannot afford to hire an attorney, the court will appoint one for you.
  • Talk to a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible after you are charged with a crime.  Do not wait until the week before your trial to talk with an experienced criminal attorney.
  • Record and write down everything about your case as soon as possible. Memories fade and witnesses move. Write down everything you remember as soon as you can.  Small details can sometimes lead to important legal defenses.
  • Do not talk about the details of your criminal charges with friends, co-workers and co-defendants. If you are in jail, do not talk with inmates who offer “jailhouse lawyer” advice.  Consider the source.  Be smart.  Your co-defendant might be the one who just cut a deal and now plans to testify against you.
  • If you or a loved one has been arrested, contact an experienced and understanding criminal attorney.  You need professional and honest legal advice as quickly as possible.  Your rights need to be protected and your freedom may be at stake. Criminal charges require serious legal representation.
Understand the benefits and protections you are entitled to under the law.  KNOWLEDGE IS POWER.

Why choose Banik & Renner?

  • Individualized service, not assembly line representation
  • The lawyer you meet with is the lawyer who represents you
  • We are local attorneys who have practiced in the community since graduation from Notre Dame Law School three decades ago.
  • We attend seminars and remain current in our areas of practice
  • We ask questions and we really listen to your answers to help you
  • We will not “hard sell” you on our representation
  • We explain your options in words you can understand or keep trying until you do.         

What do you need to do before meeting with an Attorney?

  • Gather all paperwork in your possession from the Court and bring it with you to your appointment
  • Write down the names and addresses of any witnesses who may be able to assist your defense
  • Write down a list of prior charges, if any, that have been made against you
  • If your criminal charge is a driving offense, log on to and print out your driver’s license record 

How do I contact Banik & Renner?

Click here to contact us or call 574.293.7170 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Criminal Law Frequently Asked Questions

I already went to court is it too late to hire an attorney?
It is never too late to understand your legal options. Contact Banik & Renner to review your case.

The court appointed a public defender for me but I don’t like her. Can I hire my own attorney?
Yes, you can choose to hire your own attorney.  Do not wait until the last minute.  Be serious about your legal defenses and options.

Can I remove a criminal conviction off my record?
Even if you pled guilty, or went to trial and lost, you may not have to live with a criminal conviction on your record forever.  Whether you have a simple misdemeanor conviction or a high legal felony conviction, you may be eligible to have your criminal record sealed.  The rules and requirements that apply may seem confusing, but an experienced attorney can meet with you and sort out the facts.  See if you are eligible for this one-time opportunity in Indiana.

What is a “speedy trial” and how do I get one?
When the State of Indiana charges you with a crime, they have time limits to bring you to trial. Rule 4 of the Indiana Rules of Criminal Procedure spells out those time limits.  Your right to a speedy trial will depend on whether you are in custody or have bonded out.  Invoking your speedy trial rights may or may not be in your best interests.  Talk to an experienced criminal defense attorney before making any choices that could potentially box you in to a choice you did not understand. 

I refused to take a breath test when the officer pulled me over, am I in trouble?
Indiana operates under an implied consent law.  To hold a valid driver’s license and operate a motor vehicle in this state, you impliedly agreed to take a breath test for alcohol if an officer has probable cause to believe you are intoxicated.  If you refuse the certified breath test at the police station, your driving privileges will be automatically suspended for one year.  The State of Indiana can still pursue criminal charges, depending on the rest of the facts and circumstances:  your car was weaving; you smell of alcohol; your eyes are bloodshot; your speech is slurred; your manual dexterity is poor; and other common set of factors.

The officer did not read me ”my rights”, can you get my case thrown out?
During a custodial interrogation, you have the right to remain silent.  This is guaranteed by the Constitution.  If the police have you in custody and are using your confession to convict you, then reading your rights is an important question.  If 12 eyewitnesses watched you rob a bank, your statements are probably meaningless.
Can’t I just represent myself in a criminal case?
Of course you can, but that depends on how much you like jail cells.  An experienced criminal defense attorney can review your case for potential legal defenses.  An attorney knows the rules of criminal procedure.  Do you know what the Prosecutor might be willing to bargain away and what they will not?  Do you know how to sort through a case for potential weaknesses?  Why put yourself at such a disadvantage by representing yourself?  Your freedom, your money and your good name are too much to risk by representing yourself in a criminal courtroom.

Click here to learn more or call us at 574.293.7170 for a consultation.

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