When you’re in legal trouble and face criminal charges, feeling stressed, anxious, overwhelmed, and any other mix of negative emotions is normal. You may be unsure of what to do or where to turn. Regardless of your feelings and thoughts, you must press forward and start thinking about your future.
After the police arrest you or a prosecutor issues criminal charges against you, hiring a criminal defense attorney should be your first order of business.
If you’ve never hired an attorney or have never needed one, you might not know why they’re so important or even what role they play in a criminal case. Continue reading to better understand what a criminal defense attorney is, what they do, and why it is necessary and so beneficial to hire one to handle your criminal matter.
What Is a Criminal Defense Attorney?
A criminal defense attorney is an attorney who has graduated from law school and chose to focus on criminal law. Taking the route of criminal law requires a commitment to this area of law and dedication to clients, as lawyers must start small and work their way up.
Criminal defense lawyers have the right knowledge, skills, and tools to handle every aspect of a criminal case. This is critical, as criminal cases can be challenging to navigate, especially for someone unfamiliar with criminal law and procedure.
If you’re in legal trouble and face criminal charges, a criminal defense attorney is the right person to call. Not every criminal defense attorney handles every type of criminal case, so finding one with experience handling your type of charge is critical to your future and the success of your case.
What Does a Criminal Defense Lawyer Do in a Criminal Case?
Along with knowing what a criminal defense lawyer is, it’s vital to comprehend what they can do for you and your case. Once you understand everything an attorney can do to handle your case, it clarifies the importance of hiring a defense lawyer.
You can expect your criminal defense attorney to:
- Help you understand your charges and what they mean
- Provide valuable advice and guidance
- Investigate your charges
- Review the evidence the prosecution has against you
- Create a viable legal defense and strategy
- Collect evidence to help your defense
- Represent you at all court functions, including trial
- Communicate and negotiate with the prosecution
- Provide emotional support throughout your case
When you hire a criminal defense lawyer, you can feel more confident knowing your case is in able hands. No matter how challenging your case is or what bumps you encounter along the road, your attorney will be there for you every step of the way from start to finish. This can relieve some of the stress and uncertainty of the criminal process.
Why Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney to Represent You?
A strong defense can be your ticket to freedom. However, the road to freedom is not as easily traveled without a criminal defense lawyer on your side.
While there are countless reasons to hire a defense attorney, the following are only some of the major reasons you should do so.
A Criminal Defense Lawyer Understands the Law and the Judicial System
With their years of education, training, and acquired experience, a criminal defense lawyer is knowledgeable in the appropriate laws and knows the judicial system like the back of their hand.
Additionally, many criminal lawyers take a special interest in specific areas of criminal law very early on in their careers. This means they’re even more committed to their practice and knowledgeable about certain criminal issues and charges they regularly defend against.
Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to criminal cases. A skilled criminal defense lawyer is the best ally in your legal battle.
A Criminal Defense Attorney Has Relationships With Prosecutors and Judge
A criminal defense attorney knows they should always try to maintain good, amicable relationships with prosecutors. Even if they are technically on opposing sides, there’s no reason for attorneys not to get along and work together for their individual causes.
Having relationships with prosecutors facilitates discussions concerning specific issues, like working out plea deals.
Additionally, criminal defense attorneys are almost always familiar with judges. They strive to be open and upfront with members of the bench, as judges can heavily involve themselves in cases and mediate when both sides hit an impasse.
These connections and relationships can positively impact your case and future result.
A Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Craft a Legal Defense for Your Criminal Charge
There’s a strong emphasis on the word “defense” in the title “criminal defense lawyer,” as that is their primary objective create a strong defense to fight any charges brought against you.
A right lawyer for criminal defense will look at all the facts of a case and work diligently to ensure their client gets the best defense. They review all evidence the prosecution has against you, like police reports, and speak to every witness involved in the case.
They then take all of this information and evidence to analyze how best they can create reasonable doubt in the minds of the jurors or the judge in the case of a bench trial.
A Criminal Defense Attorney Can Explain Your Charges and Advise on Potential Outcomes
A criminal defense attorney can clearly explain the charges against you. They can educate you concerning the reasoning and law behind the charges and the possible outcomes of your case.
Your attorney can provide details regarding criminal law and procedure, for example, the difference between having a jury trial versus having a judge hear the case and issue a sentence, and how these things can affect your case and the outcome.
A Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Obtain Helpful Evidence to Fight Your Charges
Evidence plays a vital role in criminal proceedings, as it can truly make or break your case. Therefore, you can trust your lawyer to request and obtain every piece of evidence they feel will work in your favor.
A lawyer for criminal defense engages in a process called discovery. Among the tools attorneys use in discovery, depositions are some of the most used and important.
A deposition is almost like a recorded interview. The deponent, who is under oath, is asked questions and must provide answers to the best of their knowledge. Deponents are usually witnesses and experts. The court reporter takes down everything said at a deposition and transcribes it so your attorney can use the transcript and extract any information they need to strengthen your defense.
Your criminal defense lawyer can also utilize other methods for uncovering pertinent information, like hiring private investigators.
Whatever type of evidence is necessary for your defense, you can trust your attorney will get it by any means to build your case.
A Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help Your Case Move More Quickly and Efficiently
Sometimes, criminal cases can drag on way longer than they should. This can be frustrating for you and cause even more anxiety as you wait to see what the future holds for you.
There are several reasons why criminal cases can take a while, but when you have a lawyer on your side, they will do everything necessary to move your case along as quickly as possible.
Criminal defense attorneys know every person charged with a crime has the constitutional right to a speedy trial should they choose to exercise it. Because prosecutors usually have a very heavy caseload, they often ask for multiple continuances from the court to have more time to prepare your case for trial. This is not always fair to you.
Your defense attorney can express their opposition to the further continuance of your case, and, customarily, judges will set the case for trial. When this happens, the prosecution is not allowed any more time, and your case can finally move forward.
A Criminal Lawyer Can Support You During Your Case
Facing criminal charges can bring up many negative feelings, emotions, and thoughts. It can be a challenging time mentally, as you fear for your future and wonder how your case affects your loved ones.
Criminal defense attorneys have a unique understanding, which allows them to provide kindness and compassion. They understand how stressful going through a criminal case can be and how uncertain you may feel as you await trial.
You can rely on your criminal lawyer to be there as your support system to answer your questions, give advice, and walk with you through the entire process.
A Criminal Defense Attorney Can Protect Your Future
While there are no guarantees regarding the outcome of your case, criminal defense attorneys always have their client’s best interests at heart. They seek to obtain a favorable outcome as they realize how substantially this can affect your future and ability to live freely and normally.
You can feel confident knowing your criminal defense lawyer will do their best to reach a beneficial outcome and protect not only your future but your loved ones’ futures as well.
Hiring a Criminal Defense Attorney and Having a Public Defender Appointed to Your Case—What’s the Difference?
The judge can appoint a public defender to handle your case if you qualify. Unfortunately, public defenders cannot typically provide the same level of service as a private criminal defense lawyer.
Public defenders commonly have limited experience and do not have the luxury of spending extended time on a case, as they are often overworked with a heavy caseload. This can negatively affect your ability to get a good result.
On the other hand, a private defense attorney generally has the time and resources to carefully look at all aspects of a case and consider the best defense to use in your case. While defense attorneys do charge for their services, they can also give you a much better chance at a promising outcome.
Do I Really Need a Defense Lawyer to Handle My Criminal Case?
Yes, you need to hire a criminal defense attorney to handle your case. Even if your charges seem relatively minor, you can still face costly penalties and a permanent criminal record upon a conviction. Without proper defense representation, a conviction is likely a certainty.
There are more than enough reasons to seek legal counsel and have an experienced attorney handle your criminal case. You only have one opportunity to fight the charges against you, and there is no room for mistakes. For these reasons and beyond, you always need to have a qualified criminal lawyer on your side.
What Consequences Will I Face if I Don’t Hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer?
There are no serious legal repercussions if you choose not to hire a defense attorney. However, you should understand that when you fail to hire a criminal defense lawyer, you run the risk of getting convicted for the crime and getting an unfair sentence. While you can appeal your conviction with the court, it is not easy, especially if you also choose to do it alone.
Hiring a criminal defense attorney can save you from many challenges, headaches, and disappointments in the future. Therefore, after getting charged with a crime, start your case on the right note and have a defense attorney represent you from the outset.
Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney as Soon as Possible
If you’re facing criminal charges, do not think twice hire a criminal defense law firm‘s lawyer as soon as you can. The sooner you find an attorney you like and hire them, the more time you’re giving them to work on your case and craft the best possible defense and legal strategy.
Time is of the essence, and your future depends on it. Hire a criminal defense lawyer right away.