You need the experience of a criminal defense attorney as soon as you are accused of a crime. If you have been arrested or think that you will be facing arrest, hiring an attorney is the best way for you to protect your rights. Also, an attorney can mount a strong defense as to why you are innocent or less at fault than what they are saying. Since a criminal conviction will go on your record and impact the rest of your life, you cannot afford to take the situation lightly. Instead, you need to have an attorney at your side that can fight for your rights and work to protect your future.
A criminal defense attorney cannot guarantee the outcome of your trial or ensure that you will be found innocent. Instead, this is a matter of gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, and building a strong defense to present in court. You need someone who is incredibly prepared in your corner to help you through the process. The last thing you want is for your criminal defense attorney to make things up on the fly. Instead, you need a law firm with experience that has successfully defended people against criminal charges.
There is an opportunity to negotiate with the prosecutor or State's Attorney's office prior to the case actually being started. If it works out to have the charges against you reduced, it is in your best interest, because even if you are convicted the penalties will be lighter. However, if you wait too long to hire an attorney, the opportunity for these pre-negotiations may be gone.
During your trial, you need an attorney to present a strong case for your innocence that also has to include evidence. It is not enough to say that you didn't do something or that you are innocent of the charges. Without evidence, there will be nothing for the jury to make that decision on. We need to track down evidence and present it in such a way that the jury can begin to think of reasonable suspicion or doubt that you committed the crime. This is the time where the witnesses will also be questioned and cross-examined . You will know who most of the witnesses are supposed to be prior to the trial so if you have any information on them, you need to share it quickly.
Once the trial is over, your need for an attorney is not over. If you have been convicted, you will move on to the sentencing phase of the trial. Sentencing typically occurs on a different date from when the verdict is given because it is the judge that sentences you. There will be an opportunity at this time to make a case for why your sentence should be as light as possible. This includes mentioning things like your ties to the community, history or need to go to rehabilitation instead of spending time in jail. There are many defenses that an attorney can use in your favor during the sentencing process. The key is to have one.
You need a criminal defense attorney if you have been arrested. Call and schedule a consultation right away so that you can get the help you desperately need.