Criminal Defense

Providing Legal Assistance for Criminal Defense Cases

When it comes to criminal defense cases, it pays to have a lawyer who has a strong background in handling matters inside and outside the court. Rustam A. Barbee, Attorney at Law has extensive specialized training and experience in the criminal law field.

For more than five years, he was a prosecuting attorney for the Wisconsin attorney general’s office. He handled white-collar offenses such as security and Medicaid fraud as well as embezzlement and racketeering. Rustam has also dealt with violent crime offenses including murder.

For more than eight years, Rustam served as an assistant federal public defender for the districts of Hawaii and Guam. During this time, he handled a wide variety of defense case involving DUIs and other traffic matters. He also provided legal representation for drug, conspiracy, murder, and white-collar cases.

Since 1994, Rustam has taught course at Chaminade University and Honolulu Community College on Constitutional law, Juvenile justice, Criminal procedure, Evidence and Criminal law.

Full-Service Criminal Law Representation

Since 1997, Rustam A. Barbee has provided privately retained criminal defense to thousands of people and companies in Hawaii. He has handled cases such as:

  • State and Federal Drug Crimes
    • Possession of Controlled Substances
    • Distribution of Controlled Substances
  • White-Collar Crimes
    • Fraud
    • Embezzlement
  • Traffic Violations
    • Excessive Speeding

Rustam has appeared in different courts including the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Federal District, Federal Magistrate’s, and First Circuit and District Courts in:

  • Honolulu
  • Ewa
  • Kaneohe
  • Waianae
  • Wahiawa

Attorney Barbee has handled cases that were investigated by various organizations. Some of these are:

  • Honolulu Police Department (HPD)
  • Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
  • Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF)
  • United States Secret Service
  • U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)
  • U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command (CID)
  • United States Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS)


What Happens If I Am Arrested?

It is very important for people who are involved in legal proceedings to get accurate information regarding the process. Rustam A. Barbee recently assisted the Hawaii State Bar Association (HSBA) in revising a pamphlet about the rights of arrested individuals.

Readers of this pamphlet will be reminded that each case is different and dependent on facts. They will also be advised to obtain competent legal advice about their specific case.

If you are interested in acquiring a copy of this pamphlet or other informative materials, get in touch with HSBA. You may call them at (808) 537-1868.

The Legal Process

The police can arrest a person if they have probable cause or a warrant. Probable cause is present if the facts and circumstance would lead someone to believe that a crime has been or is being committed.

An arrest occurs if the police significantly deprive an individual of his or her liberty. After an arrest, the authorities must inform the suspect of their constitutional rights if they want to interrogate or question him or her. These rights include the following:

  • The right not to answer questions
  • The right to have an attorney’s advice and assistance
  • The right to stop the questioning

The police may determine the suspect’s identity and address without first informing the suspect about these rights. If they obtain a confession from an arrested individual but fail to read them their rights beforehand, the judge may later rule the confession to be inadmissible at trial.

Generally, police need permission or a search warrant before searching a person, their car, or their property. If the authorities have a reasonable suspicion that a person is armed, they may frisk the individual’s outer clothing for weapons. The police may also search the arrested person and the immediate area after making an arrest.

If the police make an arrest, the suspect must either be released or charged with an offense and brought before a judge within 48 hours. When a suspect first appears before a judge, the accused is informed of the charges. The individual may also be released on bail or other surety to appear for later court proceedings. This will still depend on the person’s criminal record and the charges against him or her.

Hiring a Lawyer

As with all proceedings, being arrested and charged with a crime is a serious matter. This is why getting help from an experienced lawyer is important. A lawyer must have extensive training and specialized skills so that he or she can assist the client in making crucial decisions. Lawyers can provide advice about when to permit searches, give statements, or invoke constitutional rights if they are consulted with as soon as possible.

When choosing the right lawyer to work with, one should seek an attorney with experience and competence in his or her field. Many attorneys are willing to schedule an initial consultation at reduced rates or sometimes no cost at all. If an individual cannot afford to hire a lawyer, he or she should reach out to his or her local public defender to see if he or she qualifies for legal advice and representation.