Being charged with a crime is a life-changing event. If you find yourself in this situation, you are likely feeling a cascade of different emotions and concerns: fear of incarceration, fear of being able to find employment with a criminal record, or the heartbreak and trauma this could cause your family or loved ones. This is very serious, and one of the most important steps you need to take at the very beginning is to hire a defense attorney.
But you probably have several questions about how the criminal prosecution process works. No doubt, you are likely also wondering how a defense attorney can help you. Here are five ways that a criminal defense attorney can serve you well during this process.
A criminal defense attorney has spent years learning every single protocol and meaning in criminal law. This corresponds to the law enforcement system and both the prosecutorial and defense components of criminal cases in court. A defense attorney can examine your case with a fine-toothed comb to analyze your charge in every detail. This includes every aspect of what occurred at the scene of the arrest and all the evidence pertaining to the case.
Essentially, a defense attorney uses their law knowledge to interpret how the prosecution is likely to proceed to win a conviction against you. Your defense is tasked with proving your innocence or reaching a negotiation to counter the recommended sentence.
2. Plea Negotiation Expertise
In some situations, there may be a need to argue a plea bargain to reduce the charges against you or the sentence being recommended by a prosecutor. A criminal defense attorney can let you know if this is the best course of action and can argue the particulars of your defense to receive leniency from the prosecution.
3. Case Analysis
Having your case analyzed with a fine-toothed comb is crucial to arguing against the criminal charges that have been brought against you. A defense attorney can interview witnesses that may have seen or heard key details at the scene of the crime. Your attorney can interview these witnesses and compile an analysis of how the witness testimony will fit into the narrative of the case as a whole during court.
Furthermore, a criminal defense attorney can request access to the discovery components of the case, which will give your attorney full access to all the details the prosecution has.
When you hire a criminal defense attorney, it shows the prosecution and the judge that you are committed to clearing your name and fighting for your freedom. This will likely be missing if you choose to represent yourself as a novice or if you decide to rely on the state-supplied public defender. A defense attorney shows both confidence in you as the accused, and confidence in following the procedures of criminal law as a whole.
Last but not least, a defense attorney can be a crutch for you and help guide you through this alarming moment in your life. Being faced with the prospect of going to jail or prison is frightening, and family members and loved ones can only do so much. Your attorney can help talk you through what to expect and how you can best maintain your composure during this experience.
It helps immeasurably to have someone standing by your side during this experience. A defense attorney will fight for you every step of the way. Defense attorneys are not psychologists, but they can certainly be your rock of support as you navigate the waters of the criminal justice system.