What is a criminal defense attorney?
Around 10 million people per year are arrested for various criminal offenses. If you’ve been charged with a crime, you might wonder what’s next.
Navigating the criminal system by yourself is terrifying. Prosecutors are not always honest and can be intimidating. It’s easy to be pushed into an outcome you don’t want to face. Fortunately, a criminal defense attorney can change all of that.
What does a criminal lawyer do? What are the benefits of working with them? Here are the ways working with an attorney can make things significantly easier and better as you face a criminal charge.
A Good Lawyer Helps You Understand the Process
There’s so much legal jargon involved in the criminal process that it can be hard to understand the exact charges you’re facing, much less the short-term and long-term ramifications of a conviction.
A criminal defense attorney can help you understand what the charges are and what the sentencing could be. On top of that, they’ll let you know what’s expected of you and what the legal process looks like at each stage.
Also, you’ll benefit from having someone to talk to about the process. In a criminal case, you can’t say too much to people outside the system because it could impact the proceedings. You might not want to share it anyway. An attorney is someone you can talk to about what you’re going through in full confidence and privacy.
A criminal lawyer’s job is to protect you and focus on helping you get the minimum hardship, even if you’re guilty.
Attorneys Know Your Rights
Law is very complicated. As an individual citizen, you may not know much about it. Lawyers, however, are experts and spend all day every day working in the legal system. One thing they are well-versed in is your rights as an accused person.
If your rights are violated in any way, evidence may be affected or the case may be completely thrown out. If evidence is ruled inadmissible, the prosecution may not be able to win a conviction.
In addition, a criminal defense attorney can help when the police are questioning you. There are techniques prosecutors and police cannot use, and they cannot bully you into confessing. Your attorney knows these limits and can help protect you.
Protect yourself by working with an ally as you face the legal system.
A Criminal Lawyer Knows Your Options
You might think that the only thing you can do is admit guilt or fight to be found innocent. In reality, there are a lot of other options in criminal law.
The police and prosecutors aren’t likely to tell you everything you need to know. That’s why it’s crucial to have professional representation. Your lawyer can evaluate all the evidence against you and find things that will work in your favor.
Even if you’re guilty, you may be able to plead to a lesser charge and face reduced fines and less — or no — jail time. Knowing your options is essential, even if you feel like there’s no way out. A criminal lawyer works with these cases every day and can help you find a way to make things better.
Attorneys Know the Right People
Criminal defense attorneys not only know the law well; they know everyone in the legal system in your area. They have relationships with prosecutors, judges, and administrators that help them move cases forward.
As an individual you don’t have these relationships, and therefore you can’t leverage them in your favor. If you’re alone, you’re an easy mark for a prosecutor looking to add another win to their record.
When you have a criminal lawyer on your side, they know what strategies work with the judge and prosecutor you’re working with. An attorney can create a smart defense for your situation, and they know how and when to push for a plea or go to trial. A criminal attorney won’t be taken advantage of — and neither will you.
A Criminal Lawyer Has the Resources You Need
There is a lot of paperwork involved in pursuing a legal case. Everything has to be filed exactly correctly and on time. Having that paperwork correct can make or break your case. When you work with a criminal attorney, you gain someone who has the experience and staff to make things happen as they should.
Staff can help with filings, track dates, and send things to the right person in the court. Attorneys can contact people they know to expedite — or slow — your case as needed. Lawyers know how to find and schedule the experts and witnesses you need.
Best of all, an attorney is aware of when you can access court funds for your case. For instance, there might be an allowance for experts or private investigation.
When you’re working with a lawyer, you can let them handle the legal process while you live your daily life.
The Right Criminal Defense Attorney Saves Time and Money
You might look at hiring a criminal lawyer as a big expense, but the truth is the benefits far outweigh the cost. The right attorney might be able to save you thousands of dollars in fees and restitution and years of jail time or probation.
Whether major or minor, a criminal conviction impacts your life in ways you might not expect. Even after your sentence is over you could struggle to find work, live where you’d like, and more.
Attorneys understand the legal system and can move efficiently through the process. They have relationships that help them work out the best strategies. You won’t spend days off work tracking down witnesses and experts — they’ll take care of it. If you try to face a criminal charge alone, it’s easy to get intimidated and bullied into an outcome you don’t want.
If you’re ready to fight your criminal charges with a skilled attorney by your side, Alvine Weidenaar is here to help. Contact us for a consultation on your legal case today!