Were you recently charged with a crime you did not commit? Then you are probably wondering:
Do I need a criminal defense lawyer if I’m innocent?
In a perfect world, the answer to this question should be a simple no. The criminal justice system would work as intended, quickly acquit you of your charges, and leave you to get on with your life.
Unfortunately, the world is far from perfect. Innocent people go to jail and prison just about every day in Ohio and throughout the United States.
If you want to lower your chances of a guilty verdict, you would be prudent to hire a criminal defense attorney – even if you are innocent.
An attorney will be able to help you fight back against the allegations of the state by:
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Protecting Your Constitutional Rights
The Constitution of the United States of America grants you a wide range of rights and protections, such as:
- The right to protest and peaceably assemble
- The right to keep and bear arms
- The right to avoid unreasonable search and seizure
- The right to remain silent when you are accused of a crime
When investigating or arresting you on criminal charges, the state of Ohio and law enforcement officers cannot violate your rights. However, in an effort to improve their odds of landing a conviction, it is not at all uncommon for an officer or a prosecutor to cross the line.
When you enlist the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney, they will keep a watchful eye on the police and prosecutors to ensure that they do not do anything illegal. If they notice anything untoward, they can notify the judge on your behalf immediately.
Helping You Understand the State’s Allegations
When you’ve been arrested or charged with a criminal offense you did not commit, you may not fully understand the state’s accusations. However, if you hire a knowledgeable defense lawyer, they will be more than happy to sit down with you and walk you through the details of your charge.
Knowing this information is essential if you want to defend yourself effectively.
Explaining the Penalties Attached to Your Alleged Crime
When a district attorney in the state of Ohio charges you with rape, drug possession, or any other criminal offense, they do so with the full intention of convicting you and having a court punish you.
The precise nature of your penalties will depend on the severity of your alleged crime:
- Felonies of the First Degree: Up to 11 years in prison and a fine of as much as $20,000
- Felonies of the Second Degree: Up to eight years in prison and a fine of as much as $15,000
- Felonies of the Third Degree: Up to 60 months in prison and a fine of as much as $10,000
- Felonies of the Fourth Degree: Up to 18 months in prison and a fine of as much as $5,000
- Felonies of the Fifth Degree: Up to 12 months in prison and a fine of as much as $2,500
- Misdemeanors of the First Degree: Up to 180 days in jail and a fine of as much as $1,000
- Misdemeanors of the Second Degree: Up to 90 days in jail and a fine of as much as $750
- Misdemeanors of the Third Degree: Up to 60 days in jail and a fine of as much as $500
- Misdemeanors of the Fourth Degree: Up to 30 days in jail and a fine of as much as $250
In Ohio, judges have the power to increase the maximum prison term for felonies of the first and second degrees by up to 50 percent.
When you enlist the services of a skilled defense attorney, they will be able to take a look at your case and let you know what penalties you could realistically face.
Developing an Effective Defense Strategy for Your Case
If you want to convince a judge and jury to acquit you of your robbery or arson charge, you will need to develop an effective defense strategy. The attorney you hire to provide you with legal representation should have no issue guiding through this process.
Depending on the specific nature of the state’s accusations, your attorney may recommend one of the following approaches:
- Claiming that the police or prosecution violated your rights
- Proving that you were in another place when the crime occurred
- Arguing that the state does not have sufficient evidence to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt
- Showing that the prosecution’s witness is lying or misremembering
An experienced lawyer has likely handled a lot of cases like yours in the past. As such, they will be able to examine your situation and give you the information you need to select the right defense strategy for you.
Providing You with Sound Legal Advice and Guidance
As you work through your criminal case, you will have to make lots of hard decisions. The calls you make may play a sizable role in determining if you end up behind bars or get to go home to your family.
Should you make smart choices consistently, you may be able to prove your trustworthiness to the court and boost your chances of getting your charge dismissed. However, if you make lots of poor decisions, there is a chance that you will incriminate yourself – and make it more likely that the jury will convict you.
So, how can you know which option to pick when facing a tough situation? By hiring a good criminal defense lawyer, of course! They will be able to use their in-depth knowledge of criminal law to help you make smart calls every time.
Searching for Evidence That May Help Your Case
One of the quickest and most effective ways to get your criminal charges dismissed in the state of Ohio is to present a judge and jury with evidence that shows you could not have committed the crime in question.
Defendants usually find that they have the most success in this endeavor when they provide the court with the following evidentiary materials:
- Witness testimony
- GPS data
- Electronic records
- Written correspondence
- Pictures and videos
When you develop an attorney-client relationship with a knowledgeable defense lawyer, they will help you search for the evidence necessary to prove your innocence. Having handled countless cases like yours during their careers, they know who to talk with to find the materials you need.
Representing Your Best Interests at Trial
When you call a lawyer and ask them to help you fight back against your charges, the first thing they will attempt to do is get your case dismissed. If they succeed, you can forget about your legal problem and go back to living your life. However, if the district attorney insists on moving forward with your case, you will need to go to court to prove your innocence.
Your lawyer will then spend time preparing your case for trial and walking you through the steps you can take to prepare for your day in court. When your trial date arrives, your legal representative will present your evidence to the jury and argue as to why you should not be convicted of a crime.
Your lawyer will have handled many cases like yours in the past. As such, they know how to argue in a way that is likely to resonate with the jurors.
Do I Need a Criminal Defense Lawyer If I’m Innocent? Contact Our Law Firm for More Information
“Do I need a criminal defense lawyer if I’m innocent?” We hope this page has helped you understand why it is so essential to hire a lawyer when you are accused of committing a crime in the state of Ohio. However, if you need any additional information, please do not hesitate to get in touch with the legal team at Suhre & Associates, LLC for a free consultation.