Why You Need a Criminal Lawyer
A criminal charge can have a big impact on the rest of your life. You may lose your freedom and your reputation. It can be hard to keep your job, get a new job or even keep the trust and respect of family members. When you’re facing a criminal charge, it can be tempting to try and go it alone. You may try to resolve the matter quickly by pleading guilty to the charges. However, trying to negotiate your criminal case without a lawyer is a mistake. Here’s why you need a Philadelphia criminal lawyer:
Your defense begins right away
When you’re facing a criminal charge, defending yourself successfully requires immediate action. The police may seize your property. In the case of a drunk driving charge, they may conduct a chemical test. There may be things that you can do to gather evidence to refute the police’s version of the story, but you must take action quickly. When you work with an experienced criminal lawyer, they can help you do the right things to prove your case.
For example, you may benefit from taking an independent drug or alcohol test as soon as possible after your arrest. It may be in your best interests to contest the suspension of your operator’s license or confiscation of your property. An experienced attorney for criminal defense knows the procedures for taking action to challenge the state’s evidence.
Every court appearance counts
A criminal charge requires multiple court appearances. From your first arraignment to the time the jury hears closing statements, every time you’re in court, you’re making an impression on the judge. In addition, your attorney can help you make life manageable between the charges and the resolution of your case. If you need to ask the judge to change your bond conditions for work or for an important family event, your attorney can approach the court appropriately for the change. Your attorney attends all court appearances with you, and they help you understand what happens at each court hearing. When you know what to expect, you can fully prepare yourself and do everything that you can to make the process go smoothly.
You may have defenses you don’t know about
There are many defenses that you may assert to a criminal charge. Even though it’s the state’s job to prove the charges against you, there’s still important work to do to strategize what defenses to use and how to raise them. Your attorney has training and experience in identifying and evaluating defenses. They can tell you what defenses are possible and if there’s anything you need to do in order to make each defense viable. What seems like a hopeless case to you might be a case with a lot of options to a defense lawyer. You need a criminal defense lawyer to ensure that you evaluate all of the defenses and raise them appropriately throughout your case.
A criminal lawyer helps you negotiate defenses
If your best option is to take your case to trial, the defense lawyer can help you understand why that’s the case. Your attorney for criminal defense can also work to help you negotiate a non-trial resolution to your case. If your attorney presents a strong defense to the state, the state’s attorney may agree to dismiss the charge. Rather than risk taking the case to trial, they may allow you to plead guilty to a reduced charge with lower maximum penalties.
To get a favorable plea resolution, you must engage in negotiations with the state’s attorney. Often, these discussions are difficult to handle, but your attorney knows what to ask for and how to approach these interactions. These plea negotiations can ultimately result in a resolution of the case that’s beneficial to you without taking the risk of going to trial. Ultimately, the choice of whether to go to trial is up to you, but your attorney can give you the information that you need to make the best choice and they can help you negotiate to have all the best options available to you.
Working with a criminal defense lawyer
A criminal charge can be a life-changing event. A criminal defense lawyer can help you with all stages of the case. They can help you throughout the case in order to ensure that you reach the best possible result.