Prison time, large fines, and felony convictions are serious penalties. If you are facing any of these due to a significant crime, you will want a great criminal defense lawyer fighting for you. No matter how smart you may be, representing yourself in a criminal trial in an effective manner is very difficult. Criminal defense lawyers are trained to unearth and find elements of cases that are unique. They look for factors and listen for arguments that can reduce a conviction of a potential crime. Their role is to organize and present the facts in a manner that best supports a winning legal theory. Also, there are numerous legal concepts at play during a trial in which a layperson won’t know when a particular fact could have a crucial impact on a case. For these reasons (and many more), you need to know how a criminal defense attorney can help you.
Here are a few more of the abounding benefits a criminal defense lawyer will provide. We also have an infographic on this topic.
This probably goes without saying. After all, criminal defense attorneys possess a Juris Doctorate degree so they know the criminal justice system. They’ve studied and trained to understand every aspect of criminal law and court procedures. It is their job to defend you and determine if there are any loopholes or inconsistencies in the system that can work in your favor. They also know the main players of the legal system who you will encounter. In many cases they have worked with the prosecutors and judges which will help them build a strong case and benefit their client in a positive way.
In addition to knowing the local rules of the court, there are many “unwritten rules” that are found in each jurisdiction. For example, if certain prosecutors are able to make and approve plea bargains, a great criminal defense attorney may save you time and money by talking to the right person the first time. There are also many rules and laws buried within regulations and other laws. If you were representing yourself, you likely do not know if the search conducted by the police was lawful or not without understanding the nuances of the 4th Amendment of the United States Constitution.
A plea bargain to reduce a sentence or eliminate charges may be your best option, but prosecutors sometimes take advantage of defendants that represent themselves. The prosecutor knows that going to trial against a “novice” will be much easier than a trial with an expert criminal defense attorney.
Seasoned criminal defense attorneys have had many years of negotiating cases, and often utilize creative ideas to sentences that a lay person would not even know exists. Your criminal defense attorney will have advised you from the beginning of the case, what steps to take to put you in the best possible position for plea negotiations.
Some defendants are adamant that they are innocent and don’t want to engage in plea negotiations. However, what they don’t know if that there are several legal mechanisms in which the case can be resolved without having to plead guilty, while limiting your risk of possible conviction at a trial. These are concepts that defendant’s representing themselves are not trained to know or understand.
Although psychology is not their formal training, by virtue of their positions, criminal defense attorneys provide a lot of emotional support to their clients. A criminal case can be a roller coaster of emotions as defendants often deal with embarrassment, depression, and low-self esteem. Standing in their corner is a criminal defense attorney that remains objective throughout the case and can offer insights and perspective on what is taking place. These reality checks are essential and helpful, especially when a defendant is deciding whether to accept a prosecutor’s plea bargain or not.
Many cases involve testimony from witnesses in which evidence and statements must be gathered. Understandably, what witness would want to provide statements or information directly to the person that was involved in the crime? Witnesses are much more willing to speak with your attorney or their investigator about their upcoming testimony making it easier to build a case.
Great criminal defense attorneys also have experience finding and hiring investigators that can investigate the crime and witnesses that the prosecution may call to the stand. If these investigators find evidence that would make a witness’s testimony less credible, this could be a tremendous asset to your case. And they can find or hire “expert witnesses” to combate forensic scientific evidence by the prosecution or show your innocence.
Self-representation is not advised as seasoned criminal defense lawyers understand the subtleties, ebbs, and flows of a trial that often make the difference between winning and losing a case. Hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney will improve your chances of winning your case or obtaining a more favorable plea bargain. With Bruno Law, you will get a highly experienced criminal defense team that will work relentlessly in defending you against false accusations or unfair sentences and deliver positive results. Contact us today for a free consultation.