Posted on: 31 March 2019
You've probably heard that those accused of crimes need to retain legal help. You might also be aware that the U.S. Constitution guarantees that a defendant has a right to legal representation. What many people don't fully realize is exactly why a defense attorney is necessary. Read on and find out what a criminal defense attorney can do for you—from start to finish.
Bail Hearings and Arrangements
Your first time in front of a judge after an arrest will likely be the arraignment. Here, the subject of bail (among other things) is discussed. If you are not offered bail, having an attorney argue with the judge on your behalf might allow you to be released by paying bail or to have the bail amount reduced. In some areas, bail is discussed at a bail hearing.
In many cases, you will be dealing with your charges using a plea bargain. The charge you plead guilty to and the sentence you must serve is open to negotiation. Your attorney will be working with the prosecutor's office to have your charges dropped or reduced. They can also work to have your sentence altered. For example, instead of spending 9 months in jail on a drug possession charge, your attorney might be able to get it changed to probation and in-patient drug rehabilitation.
One of the most valuable benefits of having an attorney is that you get to take advantage of their legal knowledge. They will understand the possible ramifications of accepting plea deals, appearing on the stand, the legality of searches, and more. If your case comes to trial, you can count on knowing what is happening at all times and being prepared whatever may occur.
Both sides have a few weeks (or months) to prepare to go to trial. During this time, your attorney will be gathering evidence, reviewing witness statements, and taking part in the discovery process. Many criminal defense attorneys hire investigators to look at the state's evidence against you. Reasonable doubt is all that is needed for you to be found innocent and when a witness or a piece of evidence is weak, that might cause doubt in the minds of the jurors.
Experience and Contacts
Your trial may require that your attorney make contact with expert witnesses that will testify on your behalf. Most criminal law attorneys have extensive personal contacts with verifiable credentials that can be called upon to support your case. It's vital that you choose a local attorney—their knowledge of judges and the prosecutor's office could mean the difference in a verdict of guilty or innocent.
Speak to a criminal defense lawyer to learn more.Share