A criminal defense attorney is a lawyer who specializes in defending individuals and companies charged with criminal law violations. Criminal defense attorneys may be retained privately or appointed by the court through the Public Defender if a defendant is unable to afford private counsel.
When will I need to hire an attorney?
Most individuals hire a criminal defense lawyer for counsel and representation regarding a police or other law enforcement investigation. For the most effective representation, protection, and preservation of your rights, it is best to hire an attorney as soon as possible.
What can I expect from my attorney?
Criminal defense lawyers represent individuals from pre-trial issues including criminal investigation and arrest to criminal charges, through trial, sentencing and post conviction proceedings. A qualified criminal defense attorney will:
- examine and analyze every aspect of an investigation and arrest,
- challenge evidence as unconstitutionally obtained,
- defend against and cross examine all accusers,
- uphold the standard of proof (beyond a reasonable doubt) by taking cases to trial.
What if I want to plead guilty; do I still need a lawyer?
Even if you think you are not innocent, you may simultaneously be not guilty. A skilled criminal defense attorney can help you navigate the process. A criminal defense attorney can also discuss potential plea agreements as an alternative to the defendant’s right to jury trial. Plea agreements, can involve a less serious charge, a lesser sentence or both.
How do I know if I have hired the right person?
When interviewing attorneys, make sure the attorney is highly skilled and experienced in your area. You may be speaking with a highly qualified attorney, but if he is not skilled and experienced in your area of concern, you have the chosen poorly.