It might surprise you to learn that an American man has about a 50 percent chance of being arrested in his lifetime. When we add American women to the equation, the likelihood of lifetime arrest falls to about one-third. From minor misdemeanors to major felonies, criminal charges can follow you wherever you go, making it harder to obtain employment, an education, even a place to live.
Why Hire A Criminal Defense Attorney?
According to a recent report from the National Employment Law Project, about 65 million Americans have a criminal record. While that might seem like a lot, and it is, that number would be a lot higher without defense lawyers. In addition to helping you understand the charges you’re facing, an experienced attorney can explain your rights and legal options each step of the way. He or she may even make the difference between a reduced plea bargain or dismissal and a lengthy prison sentence.
How To Know You Need One?
From shoplifting to homicide, just about any criminal conviction could negatively impact your life. This is particularly true in cases where incarceration is a possible outcome. As if losing your freedom weren’t bad enough, ex-convicts rarely have an easy time readjusting to civilian life after release. They often have a hard time securing gainful employment, finding a place to live, and reestablishing relationships with friends and loved ones. Many resign themselves to a life on the fringes of society, a life that often returns them to prison in short order. To avoid this well-worn path, it is important to defend your rights while you have the chance. A seasoned criminal defense attorney can help you do exactly that.
Possible Benefits Of A Vigorous Defense
Even if you plan to plead guilty to a charge, there are mitigating factors that could earn you a lesser sentence, even a dismissal. A good lawyer will do his/her best to build a reasonable, compelling defense that explains your actions or misdeeds. He/she may even be able to secure a plea bargain that results in a less serious charge. And if you are found guilty, your lawyer can fight to have the decision reversed on appeal.
Questions To Ask A Criminal Defense Attorney
Even if time is of the essence, you should always take the time to interview a prospective attorney. After all, this is a person who may very well stand between you and a guilty verdict. Here is a handful of questions that will help you find the right man or women for the job:
Do you have much experienced with cases like mine?
How much of my defense with you handle yourself?
Approximately how many jury trials have you been involved with?
How often do you ask for a lesser charge or work out a plea agreement?
How much do you charge? Do you have a payment plan?
If you have been arrested or charged with a crime, finding a good criminal defense attorney is a matter of utmost importance.