Are you thinking about hiring a criminal defense lawyer?
It’s tempting for most people to try to save money and defend themselves in court. Especially when they’re certain of their innocence. Most people don’t know how a lawyer can help them, or how important they are.
Read on for our guide to what a criminal defense lawyer can do for you.
A criminal defense lawyer will get a case either by you appointing them or the court. If they area public defender they get paid by the government. They’ll get their cases handed to them by the courts.
Other criminal defense lawyers work for a private legal firm like FighterLaw.com. A private lawyer likely have less ongoing cases and more resources to dedicate to their clients.
One appointed, any lawyer worth their salt will find out as much about your case as they can. They’ll want to interview you to get your version of events.
There will be specific questions to answer that they’ll ask you and you should give as much detail as you can. By doing this, your lawyer can learn about your case and anticipate what the prosecution will throw at you.
It’ll help them come up with their defense strategy for you. But to get a solid defense strategy, they’ll need to question you. And you’ll need to be 100% honest.
Investigate Your Case
As well as an interview with you, your criminal defense lawyer will investigate the case. This is to see if there is any chance of acquittal.
They’ll question the police about their procedures and how they handled your case. It’ll involve speaking with witnesses too to check out what information they have. And whether it’s reliable or not. They’ll also check any expert witnesses that may testify.
All the information they gather will help build up a strong defense position. Your lawyer has the right to look over the prosecution’s case before they can submit it to the jury. This lets them find any holes or find evidence to refute the prosecution’s case.
Analyze the Evidence
To analyze evidence and make sure it’s accepted (and if there are any holes in it), your lawyer needs to study it hard. They need to put the evidence together with the facts and theories of the case. It may even go for testing at an independent lab.
By studying it, they can also work out any legal theories that could work against your conviction. And with their level of experience, they’ll be better able to understand the evidence than you can.
Your lawyer will assist with jury selection. That can petition to remove a juror if there is any biased or conflict of interest. Or, they can have them removed if they just have a bad gut feeling they’re likely not to view you in the way they want them to.
Keep You Updated
Criminal defense lawyers likely will have seen a case like yours before. This experience puts them in a better position to handle things. But they’ll keep in constant contact to keep you updated.
Your conversations will be confidential and in terms that you’ll understand. They have to keep you updated so you know the stage of your case and what to expect throughout the process. Including the consequences if it comes to that.
Participating in Trial
If you do end up going to trial, your criminal defense lawyer will fight for you. They’ll handle witnesses and cross-examine those brought in by the state.
They’ll also tell your side of the story. Throughout, they’ll be trying to show that the prosecution doesn’t have a case. Or they haven’t got enough evidence to remove reasonable doubt.
A criminal defense lawyer will handle any negotiations with the prosecutor relating to plea bargains.
Plea bargains either reduce your potential sentence or remove some charges against you. But, prosecutors likely won’t negotiate with you if you’re defending yourself. They’ll only entertain a defense lawyer.
So, a lawyer could help you reach a better outcome via a plea deal. Especially if it looks like you’re unlikely to win your case. It could avoid a nasty trial, and let you get on with your life as soon as possible.
Aid with Sentencing
Your lawyer will work out a program of sentencing for your situation. If you do get convicted, they can put this forward and may get to change your sentence. Often, judges are open to sentencing programs that aim to keep you from ending up back in the system.
For example, say you’re convicted of a drug possession charge with a 12-month jail sentence. Instead, your lawyer might suggest 4 months in prison, and 8 in a drug treatment facility. This approach tries to help with the drug problem so you’re less likely to re-offend.
Brings Valuable Experience
Most of all, your criminal defense lawyer brings to the table valuable experience. This could make or break your case. Understanding the workings of a criminal trial isn’t easy, and it’s overwhelming if you do it alone.
Even the simple fact of what you’re actual charges are can be a brain twister if you don’t know what you’re doing. Understanding your charges can make the difference between how to handle your case.
Your lawyer has the experience and skills to find out what you’re charged with. Once they know that, they can put together the best strategy with the highest success chance.
Don’t Skimp on a Criminal Defense Lawyer
So there you have it! Now you know why it’s important to have a criminal defense lawyer on your side if you ever need one.
They’ll bring a wealth of knowledge and understanding to the table, taking some of the stress away. You’ll have an expert on your side, who will fight for the best possible outcome. They also open avenues that you couldn’t by representing yourself.
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