Thank you for your interest in the website for the Andersen Law Office. Stephen M. Andersen practices criminal defense. Mr. Andersen defends those accused of a wide array of misdemeanors and felonies including DUI’s, illegal drug possession and paraphernalia, assault, theft, burglary, sex offenses, embezzlement, arson, domestic violence, traffic offenses, securities fraud, and fish and game violations.
As a sole practitioner, Mr. Andersen devotes full attention to his clients to ensure they understand the nature of the charges they are facing. Clients receive a free, initial consultation. Legal fees are payable before representation begins, but Mr. Andersen incorporates some flexibility into his fee plan to assist those in need. Fees are reasonable and competitive and we accept major credit cards.
Mr. Andersen’s law practice emphasizes criminal defense or, in other words,defending those individuals who are accused by the government of committing a crime or several crimes at once. As a former law enforcement officer, Mr. Andersen knows the criminal justice system from the ground up. He understands the struggles faced by the accused as they confront a system that has all the advantages. As an attorney, Mr. Andersen brings a unique perspective to the field of criminal defense where the client always benefits.
Guarantee: Clients receive the attention they deserve to help them manage the stress inherent in any criminal case. Phone calls are returned and clients are encouraged to call with any questions throughout their case. Please continue to review our website for more information on the law practice of Stephen M. Andersen, P.C. Attorney at Law.
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While some chronic violators of the law have extensive experience with the criminal justice system, most people do not. The system can be confusing to those who find themselves facing criminal charges for the first time. The criminal process usually begins with a vehicular stop or arrest. If stopped by the police, you must comply with the officer’s request for license, registration, or other identification. You do not have to answer questions, but you should remain calm, polite and cooperative. The officer must have a particular suspicion of wrongdoing on your part to stop you…that is, suspicion that you were driving under the influence of alcohol for example. He must meet a higher standard of suspicion to arrest you, namely probable cause.
If you are arrested and questioned directly about the charge, the officer must inform you of your constitutional rights…the right to remain silent, right to an attorney…and the right to know the specific charges against you. You are entitled to contact someone to let them know you have been arrested. Within a fairly short time, you should be charged with a crime or released. If charged, you will be booked, finger-printed, and your possessions temporarily seized. You may be released and ordered to appear in court on your own recognizance (OR). Usually a cash bail ($) or a surety bond (posted by a bail bondsman) is required to guarantee you will appear in court.
If the charge is more serious, you may be held with a high bond as a condition of your release, or no bond at all. A misdemeanor is a lesser crime generally punishable by up to one year in jail and a $500 or $1000 fine, or even more in some cases. A felony is a more serious crime punishable by one year or more in prison and fines ranging into the thousands of dollars. Eventually you may enter a plea of either guilty, not guilty, or no contest in court. A trial date will be set if you plead not guilty.
Trials can be before a jury of 6 or 12 people, or before a judge often called a bench trial. Before your trial date arrives, your attorney may be offered a plea proposal by the prosecutor. A plea proposal becomes a plea agreement if you decide to accept it upon advice of your attorney. Over 95% of all cases end in a plea agreement. If you accept the proposal, you waive your right to a trial and agree to plead guilty to the charges in the plea agreement. If you do not accept the terms of the proposal, then you may still go to trial.
Criminal defense attorneys provide numerous benefits for the accused. We negotiate deals with prosecutors, help defendants cope with anxiety and stress, offer knowledge and insight into the criminal process, uncover legal issues or problems that may help the defendant, help structure sentencing tailored to the defendant’s needs, proceed to trial if necessary, and bring an objective view to the case at hand.
Stephen M. Andersen is licensed to practice law in the following jurisdictions:
- Montana City and Municipal Courts
- Montana Justice Courts
- Montana District Courts
- Montana Supreme Court
- United States District Court
- Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
- United States Supreme Court
Mr. Andersen is a member in good standing of the:
- Montana Bar Association
- American Bar Association
- Montana Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
- National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys
Ms. Jeanne Koehne is office manager for the Andersen Law Office. Ms. Koehne holds a BS in Human Services and an M.Ed. in Education.
Get in touch with us
STEPHEN M. ANDERSEN, P.C.
ATTORNEY AT LAW
11 Friendship Lane, Suite 306
MONTANA CITY, MONTANA 59634
TEL: (406) 442-9700
FAX: (406) 442-9709