You will need the best criminal defense attorney to help you fight any criminal charges. The facts of your case will be reviewed, law enforcement’s arrest report will be scrutinized, witnesses gathered and be your advocate during court hearings. Beyond defending all your rights, criminal defense attorneys are able to negotiate with prosecutors to possibly get charges reduced ending in a lighter sentence. Criminal defense attorneys are trained to be able to pull apart portions of each case; find arguments and factors that can mitigate or even negate any potential crime.
It is one of the more important decisions you will ever make. The experience of the lawyer you choose will make a huge difference between having your case dismissed or being convicted. Often, I have met people who believe that their case can not be won and end up with a public defender who is burdened with many cases and can’t possibly give the case the time it needs. There are others who choose to represent themselves, which almost never comes out well.
What you should expect from the best criminal defense attorney:
- Work with you and the prosecutor to negotiate a deal, also known as plea bargain. These can often reduce the potential sentence or eliminate some or all of the charges brought against you. However, prosecutors are often unwilling to negotiate with defendants that represent themselves.
- Figure out a good sentencing program for your situation. In the event that you are found guilty, your criminal defense attorney may be able to work your sentence in a way that would prevent you from winding back up in the criminal justice system. For instance, instead of going to prison for 10 months, your criminal defense attorney may suggest that you go to prison only for 6 months and spend the remaining 4 months in a drug treatment facility to help you with the drug problem that landed you in trouble in the first place.
- Help you with the emotions that often go along with criminal trials. Defendants in criminal prosecutions often feel embarrassed, depressed, and fearful and can also suffer from low self-esteem.
- Provide you with a reality check. Defense lawyers often know what is going on much better than you will during your criminal trial. Defense attorneys have the advantage of remaining objective throughout a proceeding and can offer insights into how the trial is actually going and what is likely to happen in the near future. These assessments and reality checks are often essential when a criminal defendant is trying to decide whether or not to accept a prosecutor’s plea bargain.
- Point out important legal rules and regulations that you would most likely never find on your own. Many rules and laws about criminal prosecutions are buried within regulations and laws, and even prior court opinions. For example, if you were to represent yourself, you may never know if the search that the police conducted of your apartment was lawful or not without understanding the many nuances and intricacies surrounding the 4th Amendment of the United States Constitution.
- Navigate your case through the state legal system where your case is being heard. In addition to written rules, such as the local rules of court, that must be obeyed and followed, there are often many “unwritten rules” that go along with each jurisdiction. For example, if only certain prosecutors are able to make and approve plea bargains, your criminal defense lawyer may save you time (and maybe even jail time) by talking to the right person the first time.
- Explain about some of the “hidden costs” that come along with pleading guilty. Many people that represent themselves never think about the consequences of pleading guilty if it could lead to a shorter sentence. For example, if you plead guilty, you may find it very hard to find a job once you have completed your punishment.
- Be able to spend more time and effort on a case than a defendant that chose to represent himself (after all, it is the attorney’s job to represent you!).
- Be able to more easily gather evidence and statements from witnesses that are going to be called by the prosecution. Many witnesses, understandably so, refuse to give statements or information to people that were allegedly involved in a crime, for fear of their own safety. However, these witnesses are often much more willing to talk to an attorney about their upcoming testimony.
- Find and hire investigators that can investigate not only the alleged crime but also the witnesses that the prosecution is going to call to the stand. If these investigators can find evidence that would make a witness’s testimony less believable, this could help your case tremendously.
- Find and hire “expert witnesses” that may be able to present evidence that would tend to show your innocence or rebut evidence that the prosecution presents which would make the prosecution’s case less credible.
The Bottom Line: Selecting the best attorney can and will make a HUGE difference in achieving the best results. You will live a lifetime with the results, so you want to get it right. I am confident that I am well experienced and will advocate for you until I get the most favorable outcome possible. Call me, anytime. 513-260-2099