If you were charged with a crime, you must know your rights as a defendant. Criminal defense attorneys are professionals who can help you navigate the legal system and represent you in court. When your case is severe or complex, it’s recommended that you hire an attorney to ensure your rights are protected and for other reasons that we will discuss below. Your first step should be to research your potential attorney. You can use the Lawyer Directory on the far right of this page to search for a defense attorney in your area. You can also search this directory to find an attorney in a specific legal area. You can also hire a criminal defense attorney who may be recommended by friends, family, or a probation officer.
Criminal defense attorneys are trained to defend individuals charged with a crime. This can include working with police and prosecutors to help defendants avoid convictions or get them the best possible outcome in court. A criminal defense attorney will meet with you and discuss your case. They will also determine where their services are most needed, whether at the scene of an arrest, during the arraignment, at trial, or at some other stage of the process. Criminal defense attorneys sometimes take on cases that are outside their area of expertise. Your criminal defense attorney can help you prepare for trial, help you with the process of negotiating plea deals, or fight on your behalf in court. The first step should always be to contact a lawyer and discuss your case. Criminal defense attorneys want cases that represent their best interests as well as yours.
The basic responsibilities of a criminal defense attorney:
Criminal defense attorneys can also investigate a case for you by contacting witnesses, collecting evidence, and looking into arguments that the prosecutor might use. A criminal defense attorney is best suited to help in situations where there are not many leads or an eyewitness because they can be thorough and clinical and make sure all of the evidence points in your favor. An experienced defense attorney will be able to establish alibis and point out other ways that may demonstrate your innocence. Criminal defense attorneys should also be able to look for signs of police or prosecution misconduct in their initial investigation. If they notice that police have lied or withheld evidence, they will be able to help you get the case dismissed.
A criminal defense attorney is not expected to be an expert in all types of crime or criminal law. That’s why you should always look for an attorney that specializes in the specific type of crime you’re accused of committing. A criminal defense attorney can explain any legal options you may have and how the prosecution will approach your case. A criminal defense attorney can also help you decide if you want to plead guilty or not guilty and can help you create a plan of action. Criminal defense attorneys may be involved in your case from start to finish. If you’ve been arrested, they can meet with you either at your home or at the police station after you are booked.
Consult with a criminal lawyer before speaking to law enforcement:
If you’ve been contacted by the police, it’s recommended that you consult with an attorney before speaking with law enforcement. A criminal defense attorney will be able to advise you on what you can and cannot say, as well as protect your right to remain silent. You may feel nervous when talking to the police, but don’t be afraid to ask questions and make sure they understand what you’re saying. Typically, you should avoid speaking to law enforcement without an attorney present, regardless of whether your case is criminal or civil. Even if you’re innocent, any statement you make can be used in court against you. If you’re not represented by an attorney, it’s recommended that you do not speak to law enforcement.
Once you’ve had a chance to speak with an attorney, you must take advantage of the free consultation. If, in your initial meeting, the attorney tells you that they don’t think they can help you and that they would prefer not to represent you, then it’s recommended that you find a new defense attorney.
Contact an attorney before consenting to specific requests:
Criminal defense attorneys can help you negotiate a favorable plea deal. A plea bargain is a predetermined outcome involving either a charge or an offer of probation in exchange for another charge being dismissed. A criminal defense attorney can help you avoid trial and help prevent you from pleading guilty to something you may not have committed. You do not always have to take the first offer your attorney proposes. Criminal defense attorneys will always make suggestions for compromise, but you must consider each option carefully before making any decisions.
Criminal defense attorneys can use every legal tool possible to help you avoid a conviction. They may point out factual errors in the evidence, argue that the charges violate your civil rights, or that you were entrapped. Criminal defense attorneys can represent you in court and help explain your side of the case to a judge or jury if necessary. You will also be able to hire an attorney during the trial who will cross-examine witnesses and call witnesses on your behalf.
Criminal defense attorneys can help clients avoid convictions and obtain the best possible outcome. This allows individuals to stay out of prison and protect their rights. Attorneys who defend criminals charged with a crime can be very influential in court as they know what evidence can work to their advantage. Additionally, criminal defense attorneys know how to negotiate a plea bargain so that you don’t end up with a felony on your record for something you didn’t commit.
Criminal defense attorneys usually charge a flat fee or an hourly rate. A lawyer who helps clients with criminal defense cases can help you understand your legal rights and options with the assistance of mental health, drug, and other professional counselors if necessary. Criminal defense attorneys can also serve as advocates for clients when it comes time to represent them in court.