February 16, 2022 | Criminal Defense
The American justice system allows the accused to defend themselves in court. Indeed, American citizens have the constitutional right to an attorney. A criminal defense attorney provides the experience and knowledge to defend you against criminal charges.
You always have the option to defend yourself. But in many situations, a criminal defense lawyer can help you understand criminal laws and procedures that may arise in your case.
Here is an overview of what a criminal defense attorney does and when you should consider hiring one.
What Do Criminal Defense Attorneys Do?
All lawyers study criminal law, criminal procedure, and Constitutional law in law school. But after taking the bar examination, many lawyers shift to other practice areas like personal injury or real estate.
Criminal defense attorneys stick with criminal law and criminal procedure. Over time, they develop a base of knowledge and experience to help criminal defendants get the best possible outcome regardless of their charges.
What Can a Criminal Defense Lawyer Provide?
Criminal defense attorneys provide several services to clients:
Advice and Counsel
Criminal defense lawyers provide advice about your case and counsel you about your legal options. This advice will include strategies for defending against your charges. But it may also include advice about what you should and should not do while awaiting trial.
For example, if prosecutors have charged you with domestic violence, a judge might issue a protective order to keep you away from the alleged victim. A criminal defense lawyer can explain how to avoid violating the order and being subject to more charges.
Importantly, a defense lawyer can even head off the police and prosecutors before they even file charges. A defense lawyer can meet with prosecutors and represent you during a police interrogation. By making sure the prosecutors and police get satisfactory answers during their investigation, a lawyer might help you avoid facing any charges.
The U.S. Department of Justice estimates that 90-95% of criminal charges result in a plea deal. A plea agreement avoids the risk of a negative verdict at trial. It also helps you shape the sentence prosecutors will recommend to the judge.
But you should not take whatever the prosecutors offer. You will likely need to negotiate to get a fair deal based on your case and the surrounding circumstances. Thus, if you are a good candidate for drug treatment, a defense lawyer can often get prosecutors to agree to intervention in lieu of conviction for drug charges.
A lawyer can represent you as prosecutors prepare to take your case to trial. If the police gathered any evidence in violation of the U.S. or Ohio constitutions, your lawyer can get the evidence thrown out.
If your case goes to trial, your defense lawyer will cross-examine the prosecution’s witnesses. Your defense attorney will also present witnesses to support your version of events. At the close of evidence, your lawyer will present arguments to the jury to poke holes in the prosecutor’s case and explain your defenses.
When Do You Need a Criminal Defense Attorney?
You should consider meeting with a criminal defense attorney anytime the police investigate or arrest you for a crime. Most criminal defense attorneys offer a free initial consultation, so you can discuss your case with a few different lawyers.
You should consider calling a criminal defense lawyer immediately when the police or a prosecutor:
- Wants to question you
- Asks to search your home, car, or other property
- Serves a search warrant on you
- Arrests or detains you
- Charges you with a crime
After the police arrest you, consider hiring a lawyer to talk to prosecutors about dropping the charges or negotiating a plea deal.
Meeting with a Criminal Defense Attorney
When you meet with a criminal defense lawyer, remember that the lawyer must keep your discussions confidential. You should have an open and honest conversation so you can get the best legal advice possible. Contact a lawyer today for help with your case.
Contact the Cincinnati Criminal Defense Attorneys at Suhre & Associates, LLC For Help Today
Suhre & Associates, LLC – Cincinnati
600 Vine Street, Suite 1004
Cincinnati, OH 45202