Being arrested and charged with a crime is something that should be taken very seriously, especially if extended time in jail or prison is a possible consequence if you are convicted. When you're due in court for a criminal offense, the very best thing that you can do is hire an experienced and reputable defense attorney to take your case and represent you. A quality defense attorney will not be cheap, but their services can make a huge difference in the outcome of your case. Some of the top reasons you should always hire a defense attorney when charged with a crime include:
Understanding of the Law
One of the best things about a defense attorney is the fact that he or she will have a deep understanding of your state's laws. When you have an attorney, he or she will be able to look at your charges, know the possible consequences that you may face if you are convicted, and determined if you were properly charged. Most people do not know a lot about the details of the laws in their state, so defense attorneys serve as a very valuable resource.
Examine Evidence and Create a Defense
When you have been charged with a crime, the last thing you want to do is show up in court alone and simply proclaim your innocence. Taking this route will not be successful, and you can find yourself in a lot of legal trouble if you are not properly represented in court. An experienced defense attorney will look at the facts of your case, gather and examine all of the evidence available, and create a defense that will be used in court when presenting your side to the judge or jury. During the discovery process, it is also possible for a defense attorney to find errors or discrepancies in your arrest or how the case was handled by the police, which can lead to your case being dismissed.
Negotiating a Plea Agreement
In some cases, there may be overwhelming evidence that shows that you are most likely guilty of a crime. If this happens, a plea agreement may be your best option. With a plea agreement, you may end up pleading guilty to lesser charges that carry less severe consequences than your original charge. However, you are unlikely to be able to negotiate a plea agreement with the prosecutor on your own. If a plea agreement is the best choice in your case, your defense attorney will protect your interests and negotiate the best deal possible for you.