Hiring a criminal attorney after an arrest is in the individual's best interest since it gives the individual a stronger chance in court. Even if a jury finds an individual guilty, an attorney can work on the individual's behalf to get the least possible sentence upon conviction. This leads to less jail time. Given what is at stake, having someone represent you is certainly wise.
Here is what you should be aware of:
When placing an individual under arrest, the officers must read the individual his or her Miranda Rights which include the right to remain silent and to have an attorney represent the individual. The individual needs to avoid speaking until the attorney arrives so that nothing the individual says will be used in court. Once at the jail, the individual will receive a phone to contact the lawyer.
A bail hearing will occur before a judge to determine if it is possible to get out of jail pending the trial. The judge will most likely grant this request since it coincides with the constitutional right of being innocent until proven guilty. Once the bail is set and the individual pays the amount, it is possible to live at home pending the conclusion of the trial.
As a criminal attorney, we conduct discovery on behalf of our clients to gather evidence that can be helpful in the case. Evidence may include:
This process takes time, especially when considering how long it may take for forensic reports to come back and to interview witnesses. As such, it is important to retain an attorney and avoid needing to change attorneys part-way through the trial.
Before the trial starts, there will be a series of pre-trial motions before a judge. These motions can include requests to move the venue if it appears that it is not possible to get a fair trial or to determine if any the court needs to admit any evidence from the trial. When it comes to things like what evidence to admit into court, these motions can have a direct impact on the outcome of the case, so it is important to have an attorney on hand for them.
The trial will be held after jury selection is complete. The length of the trial depends on the complexity of the case, the number of witnesses and the evidence in the case. It is not uncommon for a criminal trial to last a week or longer. The prosecutor will present the State's case and evidence while trying to prove guilt.
The job of the defense attorney is not necessarily to prove innocence but to create enough doubt so that a jury is not comfortable issuing a conviction. If prior to rendering a verdict, our client is interested in working out an agreement with the prosecution, a criminal attorney can negotiate it on the client's behalf. Upon rendering a verdict, the only recourse is to appeal.
To learn more about the process or to hire a criminal attorney to represent you, call our office and schedule an appointment.
NOTE: This is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.