Most of us never imagine we will find ourselves being accused of a crime. But, it happens every day in the United States. When we are being accused of a crime, we are afraid, and the repercussions are major. No matter what the outcome, we are damaged. If this is your situation, you need the help of a good criminal defense attorney.
In America, Everyone Gets Help
While it is true that the government will assign someone to represent you in court if you cannot afford to hire your own representation, there are many good reasons to try to hire your own counsel if possible.
All attorneys have legal training, but many attorneys do not represent the same type of client. If you are accused of a crime and your freedom, reputation, and life are at risk, you want to choose an attorney with the right qualifications and experience to help you in that area of law. You want someone with extensive knowledge of the Constitution and the experience to challenge the court when your rights are not being protected.
Public defenders are attorneys, appointed and paid by the state to represent clients in criminal defense. They have the same qualifications as any other attorney, and most of them do a good job. But like any other profession, there are attorneys that just do not work well with you. If you have a personality conflict or the two of you cannot respect each other, working together may be difficult.
What Does the Defense Attorney Do?
A criminal defense attorney comes in at the very beginning of a case. They work tirelessly checking every detail to ensure that your rights as an American citizen were upheld. When an arrest is made, it is made because an officer feels that they have enough evidence to show that you broke the law. The police can arrest you, but it is not their job to convict you of anything. The state looks at the evidence and they determine if they believe that they can prove in court, without doubt, that you broke the law. If they believe the case merits it, they begin the process to take you to trial.
Your Criminal Defense Attorney goes back to the arrest. They check every detail to see if the police followed legal requirements in your arrest. If they did not, your attorney can often get the charges dismissed.
If they must continue, the attorney then moves on to the criminal investigation. The state is trying to prove you are guilty and he looks at the details of the crime and attempts to prove you are not.
The state will specify what charges they will bring you up on. The criminal defense lawyer tries to strike a deal for a lesser charge and a lesser penalty.
If you are found guilty, your attorney allowed to ask for the sentencing he feels the case merits and explain why. The judge makes the final decision. At that point, the appeals processes begin and your criminal defense attorney continues to fight for your rights.