Whether you’re looking for representation or you are thinking of law as a career choice in the future, it’s important to understand what a criminal attorney does, enabling you to determine if this is the right legal assistance to have or whether it’s the right career choice for you.
Criminal attorneys are responsible for representing a defendant that has been charged with a criminal offence. These are often broken into three categories; violations, which don’t require legal representation and are usually just a fine of guilt, such as a speeding fine, for example.
Then there is misdemeanors, which are considered more severe than a violation and the defendant may be charged with a fine and jail time, this includes petty theft, prostitution, public intoxication, trespassing and vandalism, just to name a few that fall into this category.
The most severe criminal charge is a felony. These include anything from murder to burglary and arson to rape. These usually include jail time, fines and possibly probation.
The USA constitution promises that anyone charged with a criminal charge will be given the right to legal representation, but you need to choose the right criminal attorney because this is a very complex legislation that is different in each and every state. This is why if you’re faced with charges and you require legal counsel, only choose a lawyer that specializes in this type of law in the state where you are charged and will go to court.
The biggest mistake that many people make is believing that they know the law and that they don’t need a lawyer to get them through their court case. Not all cases need to go to court and your criminal attorney will handle all the pre-trial information, trying to get the prosecution to drop the charges if there is insufficient evidence or maybe even try and negotiate a deal where you can walk free for a fine or reduce your jail time based on a guilty plea.
Your criminal attorney will also have experience with trials in court and they are responsible for analyzing your particular case and identifying any areas where you may be faced with problems, which could end up you in jail. In addition to this they put a defense strategy in place which includes opening and closing statements and calling on witnesses to your defense, they are also responsible for questioning witnesses that they call and that the prosecution call to the stand.
These lawyers are also responsible for negotiating plea bargains, especially if it’s your first charge and they believe you can get off with a slap on the wrist, so to speak.
When looking for a criminal attorney, it is imperative that you ensure that they have the relevant experience and knowledge of the law in your state. They should have a good track record with a number of cases they have concluded and also be members of bar associations, which is a sign that you are dealing with a reputable and reliable law firm that will put your best interests first.
Ideally your law firm should have a team of dedicated and professional law employees who all work together to ensure you get the best service and attention at all times. They should be able to answer your questions promptly and also be able to be realistic about the outcome of your case.
In some cases you may not be happy with the statistics your lawyer shows you. They may feel that you will serve jail time based on the evidence in front of them, but having them fight for you may help lower that term. Remember hiring a lawyer doesn’t mean you will automatically get off the charge, they need to fight on your behalf, so it doesn’t always go according to plan.