If you've been arrested, you will probably need a defense attorney to help you navigate the confusing events that follow. You might be wondering what kinds of tasks defense lawyers perform for their clients. Read on to find out what to expect from your criminal defense lawyer from the beginning to the end.
Support During Interrogations
You have the right to have your lawyer present when you are being questioned by law enforcement after an arrest. You can also have an attorney present even if law enforcement insists that they "just want to talk to you". Once you get representation in the room, you can be assured that you won't fall victim to intimidation, manipulation, and other tricks interviewers use to get false confessions. It might also show law enforcement that you are not an easy scapegoat for a crime you did not commit.
Bail Problems Solved
Most defendants are offered bail, but not all are, and sometimes the bail is far too high for a person to pay. You might need your attorney to argue for a bail reduction or even to allow you to be allowed bail. While you might not understand what the judge needs to hear in this case, your attorney knows how to reassure the judge of your ties to the community and your commitment to clear your name by returning for future court events.
Plea Bargains Negotiated
Almost all criminal cases end not with a courtroom trial but with a single appearance in front of a judge. Plea bargains keep the wheels of justice turning faster, but the deal may not be in your best interest. This method of dealing with a case can mean reduced charges and compromises when it comes to sentencing, but you always have the option to be heard in a courtroom trial. Consult carefully with your lawyer before making a decision.
Participate in Discovery
If you opt to go to trial, it's time for your attorney to get busy preparing for it. Performing some investigations about the circumstance of the alleged crime is important, but so is finding out what the state has against you. Discovery is the legal trial preparation process that mostly involves the trading back and forth of case information, evidence, and recorded statements.
Represent You in Count
Finally, your day in court arrives and you will be fully prepared to take the stand (in some cases) and fight for justice with your attorney by your side. Attorneys help choose juries, give opening statements, question witnesses, and close the case by reminding jurors why they should find you innocent. Speak to a criminal defense attorney to find out more.