When you’re faced with criminal charges, working with a skilled defense attorney is essential. Getting a criminal conviction can lead to fines, jail time, community service, probation, and other strict consequences. In addition, you’d receive a permanent mark on your record that will make it harder to secure jobs, loans, and places to live in the future.
You’re allowed to represent yourself in court. However, researching or reading books about criminal law is no substitute for a law degree. Judges also tend to have little patience for people who represent themselves in court without understanding the law. Even if you’re an intelligent, knowledgeable person, you’re at a distinct disadvantage when you represent yourself in a criminal trial.
A skilled attorney, however, has the experience and skills needed to represent and guide you through this trying time. They will work to build a defense for you that could lessen your charges or even get them dismissed altogether. Even if you’re set on representing yourself, it’s advisable to at least seek advice from a criminal defense attorney who can coach you during trial.
A Mesa criminal defense attorney will help your case by examining the related details to find a suitable defense and calling witnesses (if necessary). In addition, they might:
Give You Advice and Options
Your lawyer will represent and advise you during the legal process. While it’s up to you whether or not to take their advice, you’ll benefit greatly from listening to someone with experience in the legal field. A skilled criminal defense attorney will help you access different options for your case. Whether you decide to go to trial or utilize a defense strategy to pursue lesser charges, a frank discussion with your lawyer will help you along the way.
Learn more about how criminal consultations work before you hire your attorney.
Negotiate a Plea Bargain with the Prosecutor
Plea bargains are an agreement between the defendant and prosecutor, in which the defendant pleads guilty to receive a lesser sentence. Plea bargains are a way to establish mutual agreement of the strengths and weaknesses of your case. However, you’ll likely need an attorney to achieve this as prosecutors don’t tend to negotiate with defendants who don’t have an attorney.
Fill You in on Relevant Laws and Regulations
One of the benefits of hiring a criminal defense attorney is their ability to simplify “legalese.” It’s no secret that the law is complex, hard to understand, and changes all the time. Many of the rules relevant to your case will be buried within laws and regulations. If you represent yourself for your case, you may miss some important details that could make all the difference for you.
Help You Find a Suitable Sentencing Program
If you’re found guilty, your attorney may be able to help you avoid criminal prosecution again in the future. For example, they might suggest that you take a shorter prison sentence with drug treatment in place of a longer prison sentence. This would potentially serve you much better and help you fix the root cause of the issue at hand.
Let You Know What to Expect with Your Case
Defense lawyers have plenty of experience with cases similar to yours, so they’ll be able to tell you what you can expect. Your criminal defense attorney will likely have experience with the local courts and be able to advise you accordingly. Don’t be afraid to ask your lawyer any questions you may have during the process of working with them.
Tell You About Hidden Fees That Your Case May Involve
People who are inexperienced with the criminal justice system may have no idea which consequences come with pleading guilty. You could be ordered to attend classes or counseling, pay more for car insurance, and owe court fines for your crime. In addition, you might encounter difficulties getting a job after serving your penalties.
Your lawyer will know which consequences typically come along with your crime. Having this information will help you be better prepared to handle the aftermath of your charges.
Learn more about the average costs of hiring a defense attorney.
Help You Gather Statements and Evidence
Your lawyer may suggest that you gather information or statements from witnesses for your case. However, many witnesses don’t feel comfortable providing information to people who were supposedly involved with criminal activity. It’s best that you have an attorney working with you to handle this as most will be more willing to speak with an attorney about their testimony.
Hire Expert Witnesses and Investigators
Your attorney will be better equipped than you to locate expert witnesses who could rebut the prosecution’s evidence. In addition, they may present evidence to help support your innocence. A criminal defense lawyer will also be better able to find investigators to look into the prosecution’s witnesses and the alleged crime.
Defense attorneys typically fall into one of two categories: court-appointed public defenders and private attorneys hired by the client. Public defenders represent defendants who don’t have the financial means to hire a private attorney.
Public defenders are often assigned many cases at once, and therefore aren’t as available to answer questions as a private lawyer. If you can afford it, it’s in your best interested to work with a criminal defense attorney of your choosing instead.
As you can see, hiring a good criminal defense attorney will make your life easier and improve your odds of having your charges reduced. Even if you meet the income requirements for a public defender, it’s best to speak with a private attorney to get a second opinion and to see if they’re a better fit.
Call us today to find out how we can help you.