An arrest and facing a criminal charge is probably the most frightening thing that can happen in a lifetime. The prospect of penalties such as incarceration, reputation damage, legal fees, and other collateral consequences can consume a defendant’s every thought. Whether innocent of the crime or guilty, it is crucial to have an experienced and skilled criminal defense attorney on your side when facing prosecution for a misdemeanor or felony crime.
Role of a Criminal Defense Attorney
The primary role of defense counsel is advocacy and protecting constitutional rights while trying to clear or mitigate charges against a defendant. After an arrest, a lawyer’s scope of practice spans the entire legal process. It includes bail bond hearings, plea-bargaining with the prosecutor, presenting evidence and testimony at a trial, filing appeals, and post-conviction remedies.
A criminal defense attorney keeps the client informed and advises of potential options and outcomes in each phase. They thoroughly investigate their client’s alleged crime, researching pertinent case law and statutes. They develop a case strategy and negotiate with prosecutors to reduce or dismiss the charges.
If the case goes to trial, a criminal defense attorney must be prepared to present compelling arguments for judges and juries. Following a conviction, defense counsel can assist with getting sentences reduced and request alternative sentencing options, if available. Finally, they can file for an appeal and further argue the case.
Choosing Legal Counsel
The criminal justice system moves swiftly. Hiring the right attorney can be the key to a favorable outcome. Therefore, it is vital to search for an attorney with experience and proven results for the crime you face. Find an attorney that shows personal concern and a genuine desire to help. It should be someone that you can talk openly with and trust.
To find a criminal defense attorney that best suits your needs, we recommend interviewing more than one. Many attorneys offer a free, initial consultation, at which time you can discuss the charges against you, present the facts from your perspective, and review your criminal history. Hire the one you have the most confidence in, whose strategies appealed the most, and whose legal fees seemed fair.
It is Beneficial to Choose an Attorney from your Local Community
A local attorney will be familiar with the professionals that play a role in the outcome of your case. These include the judges, the prosecutors, the court clerks, and possibly the arresting officer. Knowing the parties’ personalities that decide your future helps an attorney build the most persuasive strategies. In addition, they understand the nuances of the local court rules and processes.
Connect With a Network of Attorneys On-Line
Interviewing and hiring the right lawyer may seem like a daunting task. However, searching the My Lawyer Directory database of attorneys can be the best method to connect with verified legal counsel. We provide information based on objective criteria such as practice areas, location, and comprehensive profiles for your review. We can help you find the best legal counsel to get you through the most challenging time of your life.