It’s a fundamental right for everybody to defend himself or herself against any criminal charges. However, the legal system can be complicated, intimidating, and hard to understand without the right expertise and experience on your side. Thus, it’s imperatively beneficial to find a lawyer to help you through the process. Here are instances when you should hire a criminal defense attorney:
During Any Police or Feds Questioning
If you’re under criminal investigation or after any arrest, you should have an attorney to help you during questioning. Investigators will often tell you that the attorney isn’t required for the “routine questions” or “preliminary questioning,” yet; the answers you provide usually become evidence at the trial.
Immediately After Any Arrest
An arrest doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve been charged with an offense. You can be arrested under various conditions, including if the police force has a plausible cause. During the arrest, the police will inform you of your right to a legal representative and you should exercise that right. In addition, there may be evidence, facts, or other circumstances known to the investigators that wouldn’t be shared with you until trial but are available to an attorney.
If you didn’t have a criminal defense attorney after your arrest, you could do so before arraignment. An arraignment is a trial in which your charges are read in court and you’re given a chance to plead guilty or not. It’s extremely vital to have counsel available to examine the prosecutor’s evidence, advise you on how to plea, or negotiate a plea bargain.
When Charged With an Offense
Whether you're accused of a felony or misdemeanor, you’ll need an attorney to carefully scrutinize your facts, identify any errors in the prosecution’s case, and present persuasive and aggressive arguments in court. Besides, he or she can help you avoid incarceration, hefty fines, or a permanent criminal record.
When You Need To Appeal
Most states offer a right to appeal a previous conviction, but it’s restricted within a particular time frame. Retaining a defense lawyer immediately after conviction is wise to allow time to prepare the appeal with considerations of all previous and emerging motions, testimony, facts, evidence, and witnesses.
The appalling process and fighting a criminal charge in a court of law can be distressing. However, a good criminal defense attorney will not only make the court process easier, but will also enhance your odds of winning the case or getting a more favorable plea bargain.