You should hire the best criminal defense lawyer possible if you’re going to have prison time or pay a hefty fine, unless your income allows you to get a court-appointed lawyer. If you think you have a high IQ and a great mind in a legal system, it is almost impossible to represent yourself in a competent manner during a criminal trial. This is because everything is case to case and not the same as the other.
If you hire the best criminal lawyer that is suited for your case, he or she may be able to spot certain arguments and factors that could help lessen or even negate the charges.
A criminal defense attorney does many things for you. He or she calls witnesses in your defense and cross-examines the prosecution’s witnesses.
A Criminal Defense Attorney can help by:
●Getting a good sentencing program for your case- If you are found guilty, your criminal defense attorney would try to find a sentence that will prevent you from going back to the criminal justice system. For example, if you are found guilty for a drug possession conviction, your lawyer can help lessen your 10 months stay in prison by suggesting you to have 6 months prison time and 4 months in a drug treatment facility to help you with your drug problem.
●Work with you and the prosecutor to negotiate a “plea bargain”- A plea bargain can help you eliminate some charges that are brought against you and reduce your potential sentence.
●Point out important legal rules and regulations that you most likely wouldn’t find on your own- Even prior to court decisions, there are many rules about criminal prosecutions that are buried within regulations and laws. You may never know if the search that the police conducted of your apartment was lawful or not if you were to represent yourself without understanding the many nuances and intricacies surrounding the 4th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
●Provide you with a reality check- Defense attorneys know better than you during your criminal trial and they know what is likely to happen in your case. Throughout a proceeding, defense lawyers have the advantage of remaining objective and they also can offer insights into how the trial is actually going. If a criminal defendant is trying to decide whether or not to accept a prosecutor’s plea bargain, assessment at reality check is very important.
●Navigate your case through the state legal system where your case is being heard- There are often many “unwritten rules” that go along with each jurisdiction. Besides written rules, there are also the local rules of court that must be obeyed and followed.
●Be able to easily gather evidence and statements from witnesses that are going to be called by the prosecution- there are many witnesses that refuse to give information and statements to people that were involved in a crime because they fear their own safety. But some witnesses are much more willing to talk to a lawyer about their statement.
●Explain some of the “hidden costs” that come along with pleading guilty- There are instances that people that were involved in a crime who only represent themselves didn’t know about the consequences of pleading guilty to get a shorter sentence. An example of this is finding a job after jail punishment is very hard if you plead guilty.
●Find and hire investigators and expert witnesses- Investigators can also investigate the prosecution’s witnesses, not only the alleged crime. Witnesses’ testimony can be made unbelievable by an attorney if they can find other evidence and can help your case tremendously. Prosecution’s case can be less credible if expert witnesses are able to present evidence that would tend to show your innocence or rebut evidence that the prosecution presents.
●Reading Books Can’t Replace Hiring a Criminal Defense Lawyer- If you put your hope into reading books that spell out crimes, punishments, and defenses, many criminal defendants that seek to represent themselves won’t win the case. Reading about the law is very different from practicing the law in court. Between losing and winning your case, understanding the ebbs and flows of a criminal trial can make the difference.
A prime example of these ebbs and flows is prosecutorial discretion. It is knowledge on what to charge a criminal defendant can make the difference in how a case is handled. If you plan on representing yourself in court, you should have the best criminal defense lawyer possible to help you and act as a coach for you.
●Get Professional Help from a Criminal Defense Expert- Chances of winning your case or obtaining a plea bargain can happen if you hire the best criminal defense lawyer.
Based on Materials from FindLaw
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