Video Series by Kansas Criminal Defense Lawyer
Vincent Rivera

With the criminal case generally have two options: You can fight the case. or You can try and settle the case.

There are four kinds of interactions that we have with police.

I like to think of them on a spectrum.

And we'll start with the lowest which would be a (1) voluntary encounter.


If you have a police encounter it's important to remember three things.

(1) First when you ask for an attorney all questioning must stop now.


A vast majority of cases end up pleaing out.

When I receive a plea offer I always ask myself two questions:

  1. What are we getting?

Are they dismissing charges?

Are they agreeing to a below guideline sentence?


Everybody's familiar with Miranda warnings but legally it's only necessary under certain circumstances.

A way to remember that is Miranda equals custody plus interrogation.


I can't tell you how many times I've answered the phone and the first words out of someone's mouth are "how much would you charge me to do this?"

I always say the same thing to them say you're asking the wrong question you need to be asking me what I can do for you.


You can break your defenses down into two categories legal defenses and factual defenses.

A factual defense 

A legal defense 


The rule on a traffic stop is that you can only be pulled over and stopped for as long as it takes the officer to write the ticket.

Now that's also assuming that they don't develop any probable cause during the situation.


The majority of cases plea out which means we're going to end up at sentencing sooner or later.

Many jurisdictions including federal court utilize a sentencing grid.

On the sentencing grid now for criminal history along the top axis and the level of the offense on the side axis.


when a case settles it's either going to get settled through a plea agreement or through diversion

what diversion is diversion is designed for first-time offenders and it helps keep them the conviction off of your record

so what the difference between diversion and probation is is that probation is after conviction

in other words a judge finds you guilty then he sentences you to probation as opposed to diversion