A criminal defense attorney is not only useful during a trial; the lawyer can help you in many ways even before your case goes in front of the judge. Below are some of the pre-trial services you can expect from your criminal lawyer.
Spot Right Violations
The police can violate your rights even before you go to trial. For example, the police may block your access to family members or hold you for a long time without trial. In some cases, such actions constitute right violations. Without a lawyer, you may not even know that the police have violated your rights.
Your defense lawyer will help you stop such violations and seek relevant remedies. For example, your lawyer may use the violations to get you released.
Spot Illegal Procedures
The police don't always follow criminal procedures, but criminal suspects are not always aware of these procedures. For example, aside from a few exceptional cases, the police should not come into your house and gather evidence without probable cause. (A probable cause is a reasonable suspicion of wrongdoing). Your lawyer can spot and use such an illegal procedure to craft your defense.
Not all criminal cases end up in a trial; some cases end in a plea deal. In a plea deal, you negotiate with the prosecutor and then, with the consent of the judge, plead guilty to reduced charges and penalties. A plea deal allows you to forgo trial, which is a win-win situation for both you and the court.
However, you can end up with a pretty rotten plea deal if you don't negotiate properly. A criminal defense lawyer understands the intricacies of a plea deal and will negotiate the best deal for your case.
Secure Pre-Trial Release
You don't have to spend time in jail as you await trial. The court can release you, either on bail or on your own recognizance so you can wait for your trial as a free person. However, you may have to spend time in jail if the court sets your bail amount too high and you don't have an attorney. An experienced criminal attorney can help convince the court to lower your bail.
Educate You on Legal Issues
If the authorities charge you with a crime, you need to understand:
- The nature of the crime
- The minimum, maximum, and typical penalties
- The jurisdiction, say federal or state, that will handle the case
- The typical defenses that can work
- The outcome of similar cases in the past
The above information will help you form a good idea of what to expect during the trial. You can also use the information to manage your expectations. For example, you should not expect a two-year sentence for a crime with a minimum sentence of three years.
Recommend Necessary Experts
In some cases, you may need more than your lawyer to overcome the criminal charges against you. For example, you may need a private investigator to help you dig for information on your accuser. You may need an expert witness to use their opinion to bolster up your evidence. An experienced lawyer has contacts with all such professionals and can help you land the best one.
Lastly, a criminal defense lawyer is also in a better position to gather evidence than you. For example, your lawyer will know how to secure surveillance video footage and track down witnesses. Your lawyer can even get the court to subpoena witnesses if necessary.
As you can see, you need a lawyer right from the start of your criminal case. The lawyer has numerous things to do even before the trial. Mark J. Geiger, Attorney at Law, has the skills and experience you need to handle your criminal charges. Contact us the moment you know the authorities suspect you of a crime.