Anyone who is charged with a crime or is being questioned by the police can benefit from the advice and counsel of a criminal defense attorney. A criminal defense lawyer assists clients throughout the investigation and represents them during court hearings and trials. Do not risk your future and freedom by attempting to navigate the criminal justice system without a legal advocate on your side.
What is a Criminal Defense Attorney?
A criminal defense attorney represents clients in matters related to criminal law. The person might be charged with a crime or be a witness in a criminal case. The attorney might represent individuals who are suspects or subjects of an investigation.
Four characteristics of a criminal defense attorney include:
Knowledge of Criminal Law
A criminal defense lawyer has studied and researched statutes and case law related to criminal matters. They understand the criminal justice system, rules of court, and court procedures. It is their job to defend you against criminal charges.
Your lawyer knows the people involved in a criminal case and their roles in the case. Local criminal defense lawyers are familiar with the police, prosecutors, court personnel, and judges. They also understand local rules that might apply in certain courtrooms or jurisdictions.
Strong Investigative Skills
A criminal defense lawyer aggressively investigates the charges against his client. For example, if you are charged with driving under the influence, your lawyer investigates all matters related to your DUI charge, including the traffic stop, field sobriety tests, breathalyzer, and the chemical BAC tests. The lawyer searches for errors or other evidence that can support a DUI defense.
Likewise, if you are charged with a drug crime, your attorney investigates whether the police officers violated your civil rights. If so, some or all of the evidence against you could be inadmissible in court.
In cases involving sex crimes, the attorney investigates the alleged victim, as well as the circumstances leading up to your arrest. The attorney searches for evidence that could lead to a dismissal of the charges, reasonable doubt at a trial, or a reduction of charges.
Exceptional Negotiation Skills
If the evidence against you is overwhelming, the best criminal defense may be able to negotiate a plea deal. A criminal defense lawyer needs exceptional negotiation skills to convince a prosecutor that his client should not face the harshest penalties for the criminal charges.
Experienced criminal defense lawyers utilize creative strategies to get the best plea deal for their clients. They also understand how to present a compelling argument to the judge to support the terms of the plea deal.
Aggressive Trial Lawyer
Criminal defense attorneys need to know how to handle themselves during a trial. In many cases, a substantial portion of the case is theater. The attorney needs to know what to say, when to interrupt, and how to raise reasonable doubt in the jurors’ minds.
Some of the success of a trial lawyer is due to natural abilities. However, a good portion of a trial attorney’s success is based on experience representing clients in trials. Therefore, you always want to hire a criminal defense lawyer who has a reputation for negotiating fair plea deals and has extensive experience arguing and winning cases in court.
What Can a Criminal Defense Lawyer Do for You?
There are many benefits of hiring a criminal defense attorney. Some of the benefits include:
Help You Navigate the Legal Process
A criminal defense lawyer guides you through the legal process, which can be confusing, frustrating, and frightening. Having an attorney can help you avoid errors that could result in a much worse outcome in your case than was necessary.
Search for Evidence and Loopholes
Your lawyer searches for inconsistencies or loopholes in the system that can benefit you. The attorney gathers evidence that could prove your innocence or create reasonable doubt. If you want to avoid a conviction, you need to fight back, which requires help from a seasoned legal advocate.
Protect You From Zealous Prosecutors
The goal of a prosecutor is to obtain a guilty verdict. Some prosecutors are willing to use unethical tactics and aggressive acts to frighten a defendant into pleading guilty. Regardless of what a prosecutor tells you, the prosecutor is not on your side and will not help you.
A criminal defense lawyer stands between you and the prosecutor. Your lawyer recognizes aggressive tactics and fights back with aggressive tactics of his own. Criminal defense lawyers also know which prosecutors are willing to enter favorable plea agreements
Provide Resources to Fight the Charges
Your lawyer has an experienced legal team that assists in your defense. By working as a team, your attorney and the staff members handle your case efficiently and effectively. The law firm has the resources to hire investigators and expert witnesses when necessary.
Trying to represent yourself against criminal charges can be challenging. You do not have the resources, time, and skills that a criminal defense attorney and his staff possess.
Save You Money and Protect Your Best Interests
Hiring a criminal defense attorney can be the best chance you have of beating the charges against you. A criminal conviction could result in a prison sentence and loss of individual rights, such as the right to vote and own a firearm. Your criminal record could negatively impact your career and personal choices for the rest of your life.
With the help of your defense team, you can clear your name and protect your legal rights. Your lawyer works with you to minimize the impact of the criminal charges on your daily life while your case proceeds through the criminal justice system. Having an attorney to handle matters means you can continue working and taking care of your family.
Do You Need to Hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer?
Whether you are facing a simple drug possession charge or a federal drug trafficking charge, you should meet with a criminal defense attorney to discuss your case. What you might consider a simple criminal case could require an aggressive felony defense.
If you are unsure whether you need to hire a criminal defense attorney, err on the side of caution and talk with a lawyer. Talking to the police or a prosecutor without a lawyer present usually never works out well for a defendant. In most cases, it makes matters worse and could result in losing your freedom.