You may find yourself in the unfortunate position of facing criminal charges. In such a case, your best bet would be to get a professional criminal defense lawyer. Their expertise could be the difference between facing prison time or not.
A staggering 80 to 90% of litigants will represent themselves in court. Many pro se litigants take this route because of a lack of financing. Unfortunately, in most cases, the outcome does not augur well in their favor. You are twice as likely to have a positive result if you hire a defense attorney.
Our article explores what a criminal defense lawyer can do for you.
What Is A Criminal Defense Attorney? and Why Do You Need One?
Criminal defense lawyers specialize in defending companies or individuals facing criminal charges. You get the services of defense attorneys through private representation. In this case, you retain the services of criminal defense lawyers to take your case.
The court can also appoint a public defender to your case. Indeed the arresting officers will present the option to you as they read you the Miranda rights. That entails consulting with an attorney of your choice. They should also be present during the interrogation.
The court may also appoint a public defender if you are indigent. That means you can’t afford one due to your impoverished economic status.
Defense Attorney Vs. Public Defender
So what is the difference between a defense attorney and a public defender? In scope of work, both represent criminal defendants. But a criminal defense attorney works for private law firms. To get their services, you must hire them.
Public defendants are government employees who work through the court system. Due to the nature of their employment, they do not have much say over how much work they can take on. As you can imagine, sometimes the caseload can be heavy. That could impact how much time or effort they put into defending your rights.
Why You Should Get the Services of Criminal Defense Lawyers
With clarity on the role of Defense attorneys, let’s look at why you should retain their services.
Criminal Defense Lawyers Can Keep You Out of Jail
Do you know that as many as 500,000 defendants are in jail because they don’t have bail money? Yet, for some, it could be a simple case of not knowing their rights. Criminal defense lawyers or firms can help with the following:-
- Appearing for the bail hearing so that you stay out of jail.
- Negotiate a reduction in the amount.
- Get a release on ROR (release on recognizance) with a promise to appear in court.
- Argue for jail alternatives like work release, rehabilitation, or house arrest.
- Work with the district attorneys (DA) to negotiate a plea bargain. That could result in lesser charges, sentence reduction, or even a case dismissal.
- Negotiate with the court for modifications in sentencing, etc.
The defense attorney’s work is to ensure that the justice system treats you fairly as per your constitutional rights. Without a good grasp of the law, you could end up in the same boat pre se litigants go through. As we stated, those who defend themselves will usually not receive a positive outcome.
Defense Attorneys Investigate Every Aspect of the Criminal Charges
Reputable criminal defense law firms work with many professionals. These include investigators, doctors, CSI, researchers, and more. That gives them resources when they need to investigate a case. The defense attorneys and their teams will:-
- Visit the crime scenes.
- Interview Witnesses.
- Review official documentation.
- Examine physical evidence.
- Talk to experts, etc.
Their work is to uncover all evidence to help fight for your rights. The same applies to finding gaps or inconsistencies. Such can cast reasonable doubt on criminal charges.
Defense Attorneys Develop the Defense Strategy
Due to their grasp of criminal law, the attorneys can mount a powerful defense strategy. It took a brilliant mind and insights to develop the ‘if the glove doesn’t fit, you must acquit defense.
If you keep up with the news, you know about the mic-dropping defense Johnnie Cochran put up for O.J. Simpson. Despite the tons of evidence, a simple observation led to an acquittal.
And that is what the defense lawyer can do for you. Remember we discussed identifying inconsistencies and gaps as the criminal lawyer’s job? It is such gaps that give them powerful tools to win the case.
The Criminal Defense Lawyers Will Be Your Voice at Trial
It helps to have someone with law knowledge to speak for you in court proceedings. That is a vital role that criminal defense lawyers play. Indeed the attorney vs. prosecutor role is where you will see the value of retaining counsel.
Remember, the prosecutor’s work is to prove your guilt. Your defense lawyer’s role is to prove your innocence. Or, ensure the protection of your rights even if guilty.
But beyond that, the defense lawyers:-
- Explain the criminal law as it pertains to your case.
- Advice or recommend whether you should accept a plea bargain or go to trial.
- Help in jury selection.
- Object to badgering, false representation, improper evidence, etc.
- Cross-examine a witness.
- Present and argue your defense etc.
Also, remember a criminal trial can play havoc on your emotions. The uncertainty of the process and outcome can challenge the strongest people. The defense attorney will also take on the role of counselor. Many a time, you will lean upon their support to get over the trying times.
The same applies to your family or those close to you. The defense attorney will be critical in walking them through the process. That is why you need to work with defense attorneys with open communication lines. It can go a long way in alleviating any trial anxiety.
Retaining the services of criminal lawyers can change the outcome of your case. You may think that mounting your defense will work. But how can you expect a good result if you don’t have a good grasp of the law?
Criminal law is an area of specialization. The professionals spend years honing their craft. That allows them to mount fantastic defenses for their clients. They also work with other professionals to ensure a good outcome for your case.
If you are facing criminal charges, don’t gamble with your freedom. Get the services of professional criminal defense attorneys. There is a level of peace in knowing you are in good hands.