Criminal Defense

No matter what criminal charge you or your entity face, you need a hardworking, aggressive, and experienced attorney who will put your needs first. Rather than use a one-size-fits-all approach to handle your case, Ivie McNeill Wyatt Purcell & Diggs takes the time to get to know you, evaluate how your case affects all areas of your life — including your job, family and dreams for the future. Our attorneys listen to your concerns and commit to working with you closely to achieve the best results for you.

Over the 30-year history of our Criminal Defense practice, we’ve achieved favorable results for thousands of clients, and have developed excellent relationships with prosecutors across multiple jurisdictions. Having participated in numerous high-profile criminal trials, Ivie McNeill Wyatt Purcell & Diggs enjoys a stellar reputation for excellence, competence and success. Our presence in the courtroom garners instant respect by Judges and prosecutors alike.

Ivie McNeill Wyatt Purcell & Diggs will aggressively defend you, whether you’ve been accused of:

  • Violent crime
  • Marijuana or drug-related crime
  • White-collar crime
  • Embezzlement
  • Fraud or extortion
  • Drunk driving
  • Domestic violence
  • Petty theft.

Despite what some attorneys might say, no case is too challenging to resolve favorably. Our attorneys do not give up and stop at nothing to protect our clients’ interests.

Rather than settle for a less-than-ideal plea bargain, our attorneys will marshal every available resource to fight for you, whether it’s in negotiations or in the court room. At trial, we identify holes in the prosecution’s argument, find the right witnesses and arrange for expert testimony to ensure that we’ve done everything possible to achieve the best outcome for you.

How Criminal Cases Work

In any criminal case (other than most infractions), a defendant has the right to be represented by an attorney. Criminal proceedings are complicated, and the consequences can be severe, extending beyond incarceration (jail or prison time).

Some convictions can prevent you from obtaining or maintaining certain types of jobs, deportation for non-citizens, prevent a legal resident alien from becoming a citizen or the dissolution of your company.

Criminal charges are filed against you by the state. A person or private agency cannot charge you with a criminal violation. In criminal court, you are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. In these proceedings, the District Attorney’s Office represents the state. Each county has its own District Attorney’s Office. In some cities, certain offenses are prosecuted by the City Attorney instead of the District Attorney. Our experienced criminal defense attorneys know the criminal justice system — how it works, which options are available to a defendant, and the likely outcomes. We will develop an aggressive defense strategy to achieve the best outcome for you.

Types of Criminal Cases


An infraction is a minor violation. Many traffic violations are infractions. The punishment for an infraction is usually a fine, and there is no jail time unless the defendant fails to pay the fine. Click HERE for information on traffic cases.


A misdemeanor is a minor criminal offense that is less serious than a felony and punishable by a fine or short jail time.

Examples of misdemeanors are:

  • Petty theft
  • Vandalism
  • Driving Under the Influence

Misdemeanors are punishable by a maximum of:

  • Either 6 months or 1 year in a county jail, and/or
  • A $1,000 fine (for most misdemeanors).


A felony is the most serious kind of crime. If found guilty, the defendant can be sent to jail or prison for a year or more, pay thousands of dollars in fines, and even receive the death penalty for the most severe crimes. Defendants convicted of felonies are usually sent to state prison for sentences of 16 months or more.

Examples of felonies are:

  • Robbery
  • Murder
  • Rape
  • Possession of illegal drugs (called “controlled substances”) for sale

Resolving a Criminal Case

Ivie, McNeill & Wyatt has a long track record of success when it comes to obtaining favorable resolutions in criminal cases. Every criminal case is unique. No matter what crime you have been charged with, we will safeguard your rights and diligently fight to ensure your side of the story is heard. Our attorneys will carefully exploit any flaw in a criminal case and methodically formulate a powerful defense strategy to achieve the best possible results for you.