If you or someone you love has been charged with a crime, you will most likely need the assistance of a criminal defense lawyer. These attorneys are responsible for investigating the case against their clients. They defend their clients in court and try to negotiate for deals with prosecutors. While it is possible to face charges on your own, hiring a defense lawyer will help to improve the outcome of your case. For more information, visit Attorney Jarrett Maillet.
What does a defense attorney do?
Defense lawyers are trained to pick apart criminal cases and build a defense on behalf of their clients. They rely on their experience and knowledge of the law to spot factors and arguments that can help to mitigate or in some cases negate the criminal charges brought against their clients.
Your attorney can negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecutor in your case. A successful plea bargain can result in the reduction of your potential sentence. It may even eliminate some of the charges that have been brought against you. Getting a plea bargain is almost impossible without proper legal representation.
Your lawyer will also investigate your case to build a defense. They will examine legal reports, question witnesses including law enforcement officers and examine other evidence presented against their client. All the information gathered through the investigation is used to build a strong defense. If the need arises, expert witnesses may be sought to help strengthen the case.
Experienced legal representation is especially beneficial in court. Attorneys call witnesses to defend your case. They also cross-examine the prosecution’s witnesses to expose inconsistencies in their testimonies.
Benefits of hiring a criminal defense lawyer
Whether you’re guilty or innocent, it is always a good idea to have an experienced legal professional to help you with your case. There are many benefits of this:
- They are trained and experienced in investigating cases. They will know how to handle the case and build a defense on your behalf.
- They will provide you with legal counsel. You will better understand your case and the consequences of the possible outcomes. They will help you make better decisions as your case progresses.
- They understand the local court system. They will help you determine the best way to approach your case based on the prosecutor and judge handling the case.
- They will ensure your rights are protected. They will represent you and won’t allow you to be taken advantage of.
- They will be your support system. You will have someone to consult and lean on as you navigate the complexities and stresses of the legal system. You will have someone fighting on your side.
- They’ll handle the paperwork
- You will have access to their resources. This includes professional investigators and expert witnesses that can help to build your case.
Do all criminal cases go to trial?
Criminal cases can’t be settled out of court like many civil cases are. However, not all criminal cases proceed to trial. Lawyers not only work to gather evidence to get charges dropped against their clients but also to negotiate plea bargains with prosecutors.
An estimated 90 percent of federal criminal cases end at the pre-trial stage with guilty pleas. Up to 94 percent of state criminal cases end with a plea bargain.
How do I get a criminal defense lawyer?
Defendants have the option of looking for a private lawyer or working with one that has been appointed by the court (also known as a public defender).
If you cannot afford to hire a private lawyer, you can request for a public defender. These lawyers are government employees with experience handling criminal cases. They often handle large caseloads and may therefore not be able to give your case the attention it deserves.
Private defense attorneys are lawyers that specialize in criminal defense. They are often former public defenders or prosecutors. You pay for their services. They do not have as many cases as public defenders at any given moment. They therefore have more time and often more resources to dedicate to your case.
Finding a private lawyer
Look for a lawyer who specializes in criminal cases and who practices in the jurisdiction where your charges are pending. Local lawyers are familiar with the local court system. They know the judges and prosecutors in your area and will therefore be better able to build a strong defense.