If you find yourself charged with a crime, you will need to hire an experienced and skillful criminal defense lawyer. In such circumstances, it will be helpful to know these nine things that criminal defense lawyers will and will not do.
Six Things They Will Do
Let us begin by looking at six things your lawyer will do to help you once you have been charged with a criminal offense.
1. Help You Understand the Charges and Legal Procedures
Firstly, a criminal defense lawyer will help you to understand the charges against you; whether it is a simple infraction, a misdemeanor, or a more serious felony charge. For instance, reputable and experienced lawyers like Middlesex County Criminal Defense Lawyers can help you to unravel legal terms like 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th degree crimes. In turn, you will be able to grasp the gravity of your situation.
A 1st-degree crime is the most severe level of crime. It includes crimes like murder and rape. 2nd-degree crimes include crimes like aggravated assault, 3rd-degree crimes include crimes like burglary, and a 4th-degree offense refers to less serious crimes like shoplifting and reckless driving.
The degrees determine the possible punishment lengths. A criminal defense lawyer will also explain legal procedures to you, such as how trials work and what happens at each stage of proceedings.
2. Provide You with Confidentiality Assurance
You can speak candidly about your case with your criminal defense lawyer without fearing any repercussions. With trust and confidentiality, your lawyer will be able to represent you better, as they will know all the facts of the case.
Plus, openly communicating with your lawyer will not only help your case. It will also help you mentally and emotionally, as it will be incredibly beneficial to confide the truth in someone.
Criminal defense lawyers possess negotiation skills that are crucial for dealing with prosecutors. Your lawyer will use their negotiation skills to the best of their abilities to help gain the best possible outcome for your case.
For instance, your lawyer could negotiate plea bargains whereby your charges could be reduced or even dismissed altogether.
4. Collect Evidence
Collecting appropriate evidence in a timely manner could make or break your case. Your attorney will work diligently to gather the necessary documents and witnesses to strengthen your defense.
5. Participate in Pre-Trial Motions
Criminal defense lawyers regularly participate in pre-trial motions to protect your rights. That may involve moving to suppress evidence, changing the venue of the trial for impartiality, or even trying to dismiss some or all charges based on constitutional violations.
6. Represent You in Court
If your case goes to trial, your criminal defense lawyer will represent you in court. They will lay out your case logically and persuasively while emphasizing evidence that refutes the prosecution’s arguments.
Three Things They Will Not Do
Now that you know some of the key things that criminal defense lawyers will do for you, it is important that you also know these three things that they will not do.
1. Handle Your Case if There Is a Conflict of Interest
A lawyer should never handle your case if it presents a conflict of interest. This occurs when they have previously represented or had personal or professional relationships with the party you are opposing. In such instances, lawyers are legally obliged to recuse themselves to ensure fair representation.
2. Promise a Certain Outcome
No ethical lawyer will promise you a specific outcome. They can review your case, explain the possible scenarios based on their experience, and guide you through the process, but they cannot guarantee victory in court.
3. Ignore Your Wishes
Your wishes matter. Sometimes defendants want to accept plea bargains while their lawyers think they should proceed to trial or vice versa. So, while it is usually best to take your lawyer’s advice, remember that any actions your lawyer takes regarding your case must respect your informed decisions.