If you or a loved one are facing criminal charges, having an experienced criminal defense attorney by your side, fighting for you, can make a world of difference. That is why you should take the time to make sure the right legal professional is there to represent you.
No matter how well you think you may prepare to defend yourself, criminal defense lawyers have a much deeper knowledge of the law and greater experience in how to conduct themselves during the trial.
A Lawyer with the Right Experience
Start by looking for a law firm that has experience. Do some research to find out whether the cases they have handled in the past are similar to yours. You want your lawyer to be familiar with the intricacies of the law as it relates to your case in order to build a strong defense when fighting for your rights.
If you are unsure as to the law firm and its experience, you may do some digging before making the initial appointment. Look for reviews from their clients, and read how their cases were handled. You may also visit reputable rating systems for lawyers such as avvo.com. Or you may search online for pertinent information such as a lawyer’s profile, experience, and professional achievements.
What should you expect from your lawyer?
You want a lawyer that is able to identify certain factors, arguments, and facts that could mitigate or even negate any potential crime. Should you be found guilty, you want a lawyer that may be able to reduce jail time and fines.
Building your Case
To build a strong case, your lawyer will spend time reading case documents, analyzing evidence, and studying the laws that apply to your situation. With information, they begin forming a strategy for your defense. These actions alone can take months but the aim is not to find any surprises when the case goes to court.
When in court, it is your criminal defense lawyer who will be cross-examining the prosecution’s witnesses and calling witnesses in your defense. Your lawyer will also, if needed, explain complex topics to the jury and be ready to discuss any part of the case.
It is much more difficult to convince a prosecutor to negotiate a plea bargain with the defendant if there is no defense lawyer involved. Having legal representation at this time may offer a potential reduction in your sentence or even the possibility of having it eliminated.
If you are found to be guilty as charged, your criminal defense attorney may be able to change your sentence. This change may work in such a way as to prevent you from finding yourself back in the criminal justice system.
An experienced criminal defense attorney has the expertise to know how the case is progressing and what the likely outcome will be. Your lawyer will be able to remain objective throughout the trial and offer you realistic insights. Having this information is crucial when you will be faced with deciding whether or not to accept a plea bargain offered by the prosecution.