The common misconception often held by many is that only guilty individuals require the services of a criminal defense lawyer. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. 

Being innocent does not automatically eliminate the legal complexities associated with criminal charges. The following are some of the reasons it’s crucial to hire a criminal defense attorney, even if you’re innocent:

Uphold the Presumption of Innocence

Criminal defense lawyers play a fundamental role in upholding the legal principle that you’re presumed innocent until proven guilty. 

Even an ounce of doubt about your guilt can tip the scales in your favor, and it’s their job to instill this doubt through careful reasoning and presentation of evidence.

The law has conferred upon everyone certain basic rights. However, these could potentially be violated without a strong understanding of how to apply them during the legal process. This includes the right to remain silent during interrogation and the right not to incriminate yourself. 

Your lawyer will also ensure that your constitutional rights to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures aren’t violated. If the police did anything to skirt these protections, your attorney can file a motion to suppress certain evidence and have it excluded from the case. 

Negotiate With Prosecutors

A significant part of a criminal defense attorney’s role involves negotiation. This takes place during pre-trial stages when they discuss potential plea agreements with the prosecutor.

Your lawyer not only thoroughly understands legal language and court procedures but also typically has professional relationships with the local prosecutors. This makes negotiating favorable terms, such as a reduction in charges or penalties, possible — an arrangement you could miss out on if you attempted to represent yourself.

For example, your attorney may be able to get felony charges reduced to a misdemeanor charge.

Build a Strong Criminal Defense

It’s important to remember that asserting your innocence alone is not sufficient. A strong defense strategy needs to be built. Your attorney’s job includes gathering and analyzing evidence, collaborating with expert witnesses, and taking any steps necessary to poke holes in the prosecutor’s case. 

Some of the most common legal defenses a criminal defense lawyer can raise include the following:

  • Self-Defense: This is where you admit to an act – like assault – but assert it was only done as a means of protecting yourself from imminent danger.
  • Alibi: An alibi defense involves providing proof that you couldn’t have been at the location where a crime occurred, thereby making it impossible for you to have committed said crime.
  • Entrapment: You may also argue that you committed crimes only as a result of governing authorities inducing you – unlawfully – into carrying out such acts, which you wouldn’t have otherwise engaged in voluntarily.

The specific defense and how it will be used will depend on the charges you are faced with.

Provide Emotional Support

Facing criminal charges can be an emotionally draining experience, even if you’re innocent. The fear of conviction, the stigma associated with being involved in the legal system, and the stress of court proceedings can understandably cause anxiety.

A good defense lawyer provides emotional support during this tough time. While they are not therapists, their reassurances about legal aspects and possible outcomes might provide comfort when dealing with this stressful situation.

Expose Motives for False Accusations

Another potential function of a defense attorney is to challenge the motives behind accusations brought against you. This could be anything from an estranged spouse trying to gain an advantage in custodial disputes or someone bearing malice wanting to tarnish your reputation.

Represent You in Court Proceedings

Your defense attorney is your representative in court at all hearings. If your case proceeds to trial, they will serve as your spokesperson, advocating for you before a judge or jury. 

In this capacity, they:  

  • Present opening and closing arguments
  • Cross-examine prosecution witnesses to challenge the reliability of their testimonies
  • Defend against contentious objections posed by opposing counsel
  • Submit motions
  • Take any other action in court that will help defend you

If you’ve been arrested and need help with a criminal charge, contact a Louisville criminal defense attorney for a free consultation.

Contact the Louisville Criminal Defense Attorneys at Suhre & Associates DUI and Criminal Defense Lawyers For Help Today

For more information, contact the criminal defense attorneys at Suhre & Associates DUI and Criminal Defense Lawyers give us a call today at (502) 371-7000 or visit us at our Louisville law office.

Suhre & Associates DUI and Criminal Defense Lawyers
214 S Clay St A
Louisville, KY 40202

(502) 371-7000