Statistics suggest that having a criminal defense lawyer represent you in a criminal case increases your chances of a favorable outcome by a factor of two, regardless of the alleged crime. Such chances of success, no matter how modest they look, are critical, particularly for someone accused of a crime.
It is the right of all citizens accused of committing a crime to acquire representation. But, not all legal representation will work for your case, especially if it’s a criminal case. You need a criminal lawyer from The Medlin Law Firm to get a favorable outcome for your case. But, what exactly does a criminal defense attorney do? Let’s take a look.
Defend Their Clients’ Rights
The U.S. constitution has several safeguards that protect your rights as a suspect of any crime. During your arrest, law enforcement officers should:
- Advise you of your rights
- Ensure you understand the rights they read
- Repeat those rights to you
However, those safeguards can sometimes fail, mainly because most people don’t know how to invoke them during their arrest. Other times these safeguards may fail because the police or other authorities intentionally misled people.
A criminal defense attorney will help defend their clients’ rights by:
- Educating them on their rights
- Calling out the police and prosecutors on their overreach and errors whenever needed.
- Insisting that their clients should be treated with objectivity and respect at every step of the legal process.
Understanding your rights makes it quite easy to know the cause of action your lawyer will take to help you get a favorable outcome.
Investigate, and Drill Down the Case
Most movies and crime shows series often paint a different picture of what precisely criminal defense attorneys do when defending their clients. In most of these shows, defense attorneys spend most of the time in court arguing passionately on behalf of their clients in front of a jury.
However, that’s a fraction of what a defense attorney does. Criminal defense lawyer spends a considerable part of their time defending their clients behind the scene. And quite often, most of the behind the scene cases never get to go to trial. A good defense lawyer is an excellent listener, and they also have the ability to:
- Pay attention to any minute details you may present
- Ask questions
- Communicate with you
Once they have all the facts about your case, your attorney will then get to work:
- Reviewing the evidence and looking for holes and flaws in the prosecution’s plan of attack.
- Examining the evidence for something that might have been misinterpreted or missed during the initial investigation.
- Working with experts to secure, interpret, and understand the evidence presented about your case.
- Identify other potential suspects in your case that can work in your favor.
- Filing motions to include new evidence in your trial
Once your lawyer has a firm grasp of everything to do with your case, they can then work towards getting a plea deal for you, depending on the evidence of your case.
The communication between you and your attorney doesn’t stop during your first meeting. Your criminal defense lawyer will maintain contact with you to explain the further developments in your case. The best part about being in constant communication with your defense attorney is that you get to understand your case better.
If your case does go to trial, your lawyer will help you with the jury selection process. They may try to have jurors who are biased against you removed.
Another crucial role that your attorney plays is helping with a plea bargain. Depending on the status of your case, your criminal defense lawyer can negotiate with the prosecutor regarding offering a particular plea bargain. And most of the time, your lawyer can help you secure a much more favorable deal where you can sometimes get a reduction of possible punishment or charges.
If your case does go to trial, your lawyer can fight for you during the trial. They will examine witnesses, cross-examine all the witnesses in your case, and convince the jury and judge that the prosecution failed to provide sufficient evidence of your participation in the said crime.
As the criminal defendant, if you are sentenced because of either a plea bargain or a jury conviction, your criminal defense attorney can represent you during the sentencing period. They may discuss the different factors that can help convince the jury or judge to limit your sentencing time.
If you are still debating whether you should hire a criminal defense attorney or represent yourself, the reasons above are sufficient to push you to get one.