The Cox Law Firm

Criminal Defense FAQ

At The Cox Law Firm, we understand that if you or a loved one are facing criminal charges you have a plethora of questions about your case. We have handled thousands of cases and we know how stressful this time can be. We ensure that you obtain the answers you deserve, as well as the assistance and representation you need to ensure a successful case. Below are a list of commonly asked questions about criminal charges, but it is important to note that no amount of advertisement or website research should replace the consulting with and hiring of an attorney.

If I plan to plead guilty, do I still need to hire a lawyer?

Even if you plan to plead guilty, it is very important that you hire a criminal defense attorney to protect your rights. Representing yourself in court is never a good idea, as the prosecution seeks to find the harshest penalties possible in criminal cases. The Cox Law Firm can help you achieve a lighter sentence, or minimize/eliminate your criminal charges, if possible.

When I am arrested, should I speak with a police officer?

After you have been arrested, it is generally advised that you do not speak with any police officer prior to speaking with your criminal defense attorney. Many people do not realize that they are not required to give a statement or confession to a police officer. You have the right to remain silent, and the right to an attorney. You should invoke your rights as soon as possible to ensure the best possible outcome to your case. Police officers can and will use anything you say against you in court.

What is the difference between an expungement and a dismissal?

An expungement is when the court erases your case. The court records revolving around your case are destroyed, and will not affect future job and loan applications that might consider a past criminal charge.
A dismissal happens when a prosecutor drops your case. This happens after the assistant district attorney reviews your case and decides the evidence isn’t strong enough to prosecute you. In some circumstances, community service or special class attendance are issued in lieu of fines and jailtime.

Will I have to go to trial?

Trial appearance depends entirely upon your case and the attorney that you hire. When charges are filed against you and a verdict cannot be reached, you must go to court. Your attorney may be able to convince the prosecution that your case is not worth prosecuting, or may be able to prove your charges were not filed on legal grounds. Assuming this, your case could be dismissed or even expunged.

Can I represent myself in court?

While yes, you technically can represent yourself in court, it is almost never a good idea. Prosecutors know the law and know the tactics that are most often successful in obtaining a conviction. These professionals know the law very well, and to take them on by yourself is taking a huge risk with your future. You need a legal advocate who understands the law, your rights, the rules of evidence, and who has the capacity to prepare a persuasive case to a jury.

I qualify for a public defender, is that a good idea?

Many public defenders are dedicated attorneys who do their best for their clients with the resources available. Unfortunately, public defenders can be overloaded with cases and simply unable to devote much time to any one defendant. In a federal criminal case, considering what is at stake, it is in your best interest to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to represent you.


The Cox Law Firm is licensed and experienced in representing clients in the following areas:

Jackson County, MO
Platte County, MO
Clay County, MO
Cass County, MO
Johnson County, KS
Wyandotte County, KS