(Image credit: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b7/Law3.jpg)
People or organizations embroiled in lawsuits due to accusations of criminal misconduct need to engage the services of a attorney to defend themselves.
It is the duty of a lawyer to carry out research, do the paperwork, prepare for and argue a case on behalf of his clients, and defend them from the criminal charge levied against them.
Whether a person has been charged with a misdemeanor or a felony, the Constitution of America guarantees representation to all those charged with committing a crime.
A criminal defense attorney works closely with his client and develops a strategy that ultimately results in proving if his client is guilty of the crime or not, and a verdict is passed by a judge or a jury accordingly.
If the client pleads guilty or is found to be so by the judge/jury, the attorney will seek to minimize the sentence meted out to him.
If you’re expecting to be sentenced to prison time or a hefty fine, you should waste no time in looking for and hiring the best lawyer under your jurisdiction, as he can be your best ally. If you’re being tried in Will County, Chicago, for instance, you will need to hire a criminal defense lawyer in Will County to represent you.
Skilled lawyers come at a price, and if your monetary situation isn’t encouraging, you can work with a lawyer appointed for you by the court. While you can represent yourself, it is highly recommended that you work with an experienced professional as representing yourself in a criminal trial in a competent manner is extremely nerve-wracking and difficult.
Why Hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer?
No two criminal cases are the same. Hence, it is crucial to understand all the nuances of your case, and the laws and arguments that can work in your favor. A seasoned criminal defense lawyer would be trained and have ample experience and will know exactly how to present your case in the court.
Additionally, your lawyer may be able to pinpoint certain arguments and factors that could mitigate or even negate an allegation. If you’ve been charged with a major offense and the possible verdict is the stuff your nightmares are made of, then getting an attorney to represent you in your trial may just be a necessity.
How a Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help You
(Image credit: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/fe/Willem_C._Vis_pre_moot_at_Palacky_University_of_Olomouc.JPG)
A criminal defense lawyer wears many hats. Apart from gathering evidence and witnesses in your defense and cross-examining those that the prosecution presents, he can be helpful in the following ways -
→ Get You a Plea Bargain
Your lawyer can negotiate a plea bargain for you by working with the prosecutor. Plea bargains can lead to the reduction of your potential sentence and even eliminate a few or all of the charges against you. Prosecutors may be uninterested in negotiating with defendants who represent themselves.
→ Work Out a Sentencing Program
Depending on your charges, your lawyer may be able to work out a suitable sentencing program. Even if you’re found guilty, he may be able to get your sentence structured in a way that would keep you from crossing paths with the judicial system in future. For example, if you’re facing a 10-month prison sentence for a drug offense, your criminal attorney may suggest that you go to prison for just 6 months and spend the remaining 4 months in a rehabilitation center to treat the drug problem that got you in a soup to begin with.
→ Show You the Real Picture
Your criminal lawyer will know how things work in the court and is going to be aware of the ground realities of your trial better than you will ever be. He will also be objective in providing you with cognizance of the goings-on of the trial and what to expect from it.
→ Make You Aware of Rules and Regulations
Law is an intricate field and many a time, there may be certain infinitesimal aspects entwined within the major ones. You will probably never be able to decipher these details on your own. Do you have enough knowledge of the various laws and amendments of the American Constitution? Are your sure that the search which the police authorities carried out at your place was lawful? Can you be sure of the lawfulness of any process, if you decide to represent yourself? If not, you know what to do.
→ Help You Adhere to the Unwritten Rules
While all courts have several rules in writing which must be adhered to by everyone, there are a number of unwritten rules as well that may apply to a particular jurisdiction. Only an experienced lawyer would be aware of such rules as well as who would be the right person to meet with when trying to get a certain task done. His services may be able to help you save time (maybe even jail time).
→ Explain All the Consequences
A lot of people agree to plead guilty, if doing so would lead to a shorter sentence, without taking into account all the consequences that come with doing so. Because a criminal lawyer will be well-versed with the legal system, he can explain to you exactly how difficult it is to get back to normal life even after doing time, and other concerns related to it.
→ Gather Statements and Evidence
Not all witnesses may be comfortable speaking with or giving statements/information to people who are accused of committing a crime, fearing their personal safety. They may, however, feel better about talking to an attorney (who’s a professional), thereby helping your case. Further, your lawyer can also identify and hire investigators who can scrutinize the witnesses to be presented by the prosecution. They can then start to find evidence that can reduce their credibility in the court, which can help your case immensely.
Ultimately it would be only you who can decide whether or not to hire a criminal defense attorney for your case, or represent yourself. If you’re going to do the latter, do retain the best lawyer possible to act as coach for you during your trial, at the very least. That should help you get a professional and an objective view on your case.
For more information about LexisNexis products and solutions, connect with us through our corporate site