Why are criminal defense lawyers important?
Have you recently been arrested or charged with a crime? If so, chances are you’re in need of immediate assistance from a criminal defense lawyer. A criminal defense lawyer will be able to help you explain your rights through all stages of the criminal process and can be the determining factor between a dismissal and a jail sentence or reduced plea bargain.
Before you decide on a Criminal Defense Lawyer, here are some things to consider:
The Importance of Having A Criminal Defense Lawyer
Being charged with a crime is a serious matter and puts you at risks of possible jail time, having a criminal record, and jeopardize your chances for future job opportunities. Thus, it is important to have a criminal defense attorney who can protect your rights and help you secure the best possible outcome for your case.
A criminal defense attorney can help you understand:
- The nature of your case and what you can expect
- Possible plea bargains available
- What to expected after trial or conviction
What to Look for When Hiring a Criminal Defense Lawyer
When looking for a criminal defense lawyer, it is important to find the best one for your case, whether if its a felonies, drug charges, white collar crimes, or misdemeanors. Thus, it is important to consider the lawyer’s expertise, skill level, and knowledge in relation to your case. Make sure the attorney also has experience in state and local rule of courts
A good criminal defense lawyer can help:
- Eliminate or reduce jail time
- Reduce the severity of the punishment
- Develop a defense strategy in a court of law.
Below are just a few examples of the importance of criminal lawyers.
When a person is arrested, they can request an attorney come see them at the police station. In this situation, it may be best to have an attorney present when discussing things with the police. A criminal lawyer will be able to help a client understand their rights after being detained by law enforcement. They will also know how to arrange for a clients bail, so they can get out of prison.
A Criminal Defense Attorney can represent their client during all criminal court proceedings. They are able to explain the procedures involved with the criminal justice system. A criminal defense attorney will provide the best possible representation based on the facts of a case. A person should never consider representing themselves.
During a trial, the experience and knowledge of a criminal defense lawyer enables them to successfully negotiate with the court, as well as the prosecuting attorney. They may be able get the charges reduced before a trial begins. It may even be possible to have them dropped. What evidence can or cannot be used during trial can also be negotiated. They can even negotiate the best possible plea deal for their client when necessary.
A criminal lawyer will be know how to protect their clients civil rights. This could include everything from unconstitutional searches, to police misconduct and more. They will know how to ensure their client receives a fair trial. A criminal defense attorney will also know when it’s proper to file a civil rights violation claim.
When a person is charged with any crime, the possible punishment could be very severe. Even if their client is guilty of a crime, the criminal lawyer can work to get the very least amount of punishment. They can also work to have have any fines associated with the case reduced or dismissed. A criminal attorney will know how to present the facts and evidence of a case, to justify a reduction in punishment and fines. When a person is innocent, these lawyers can work to get the charges dismissed.
A criminal lawyer knows how to investigate a case. Vital pieces of evidence could have been overlooked at a crime scene. These could be things that can prove their client’s innocence. A criminal defense attorney will be knowledgeable about a variety of resources available to get what is needed for their client’s defense. A criminal lawyer will get statements from key witnesses about the incident that resulted in their client being arrested. They will know how to obtain all the important evidence for their client’s case.
How to Qualify a Criminal Defense Lawyer
Before selecting a criminal defense lawyer, make sure you feel comfortable working with them and make sure they are experienced enough for your case. Consider asking the following?
- What are your experiences handling cases similar to mine?
- How much of my criminal case will you actually handle?
- What are the chances that you can work out plea agreements or reduce the charge for this case?
The Defense Lawyer as the First Line of Defense for Defendant When Facing the State
It is important for a defendant to obtain the help of a defense lawyer as early as possible. There are many actions a defense lawyer can take to protect and aid a defendant in the early stages that may not be possible as the case progresses.
- The defense lawyer can inform the defendant of his rights at the outset (such as the right to remain silent) so that the defendant is aware of them and can benefit from them.
- The defense lawyer can seek the temporary release of the defendant through bail, allowing the defendant to better assist in the preparation of a defense.
- The defense lawyer can negotiate with the prosecutor to have charges reduced or even dropped.
In addition, the defense lawyer is able to counsel the defendant on different strategies and arguments that can be used in the case as well as the benefits and drawbacks for each one.
- The defense lawyer works with the defendant and other witnesses to understand the defendant’s version of events and to determine an appropriate defense (e.g., alibi, self-defense, misidentification).
- The defense lawyer can provide advice on what plea to enter, whether to accept a plea agreement, whether to waive a jury trial, and whether the defendant should testify on his own behalf.
- The defense lawyer can determine which witnesses to call and how they should be examined.
- The defense lawyer can determine which potential jurors might be biased against the defendant and seek to remove them from the jury panel.
Role of a Criminal Defense Attorney
Defense attorneys serve many purposes and can often greatly improve the outcome of a case. They work to ensure that courts do not wrongfully convict defendants or impose excessive sentences for convictions. However, an attorney does a lot before the case ends.
A defense attorney will work to protect your rights throughout a case by:
- Being present during police interviews and interrogations
- Arguing in court to reduce your bail to a fair amount
- Advising you about your options of how to plead and the implications of a guilty plea
- Interviewing witnesses and gathering evidence regarding the allegations
- Closely examining the circumstances of any searches by police and of your arrest to identify any Fourth Amendment violations
- Examining the results of any chemical tests (common in DUI and drug-related cases) and ensuring the police or forensic lab technicians did not make any errors
- Determining which legal defenses may apply in your case
- Representing you at all scheduled court hearings
- Discussing the possibility of a plea bargain with the prosecutor, which may involve agreeing to plead guilty to lesser charges or to receive a lesser sentence
- Helping you decide whether to plead guilty or take your case to trial
- Representing you at a jury trial
- If you are convicted, representing you at sentencing and arguing for a fair sentence