Criminal Law Attorney
A criminal defense lawyer can be an indispensable ally for anyone who has been charged with a crime. While some might believe that they are capable of defending themselves in a court of law, this is generally a very unwise choice. A criminal law attorney understands the complicated ins and outs of the legal system and can apply that knowledge for a client's benefit. When an accused person's life or freedom is at stake, a skilled legal professional is not a luxury, but a necessity. A competent legal representative can help the client cope with not only the difficult emotional issues experienced by someone who has been accused of a crime, but they can also guide the client through this frequently complicated process, explaining things each step of the way. In addition to these services, a defense lawyer will deal with opposing council, negotiating any possible deals and getting information. Before representing the client in court, the defense attorney will do whatever needs to be done to pull the case together, whether that requres intense research or hiring a private investigator.
Regardless of the charges that a defendant might face, hiring competent legal counsel should be done very quickly. Since no two cases are alike, a criminal defense lawyer can sort through the details of the case and apply their knowledge and expertise to the specific needs of their client. When someone finds themselves facing jail time or, if the offense is serious enough, the death penalty, the stakes are extremely high. Skilled legal representation can make all the difference in the life of an accused person. When an accused offender cannot afford to hire a criminal law attorney, the court can appoint a legal professional who will serve without payment or at a reduced fee. There have been defendants who have attempted to represent themselves, but generally these efforts have not met without success. This area of law is quite vast and is impossible for anyone, regardless of intelligence, to master quickly. There could be important rules of law that the lay person would not even know to pursue that could make all the difference in a successful defense. A client who has decided to plead guilty might think that, since the case would appear to be relatively cut and dry, legal representation is not required. Nothing could be further from the truth. There can be risks to pleading guilty without negotiation that a lay person is unaware of. For all of these reasons, a wise defendant will never attempt to represent themselves.
Once a defendant has been charged with a crime, a variety of fears and emotions can take over. One of the important roles of a criminal law attorney is to help the client deal with the feelings of embarrassment or shame that might accompany this experience. Coping with the fears regarding an uncertain future can also be a challenge. A caring legal professional can provide a good deal of reassurance simply by explaining what has taken place and what the client can expect as the court date approaches. The Bible frequently addressed the topic of justice. "The LORD executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed." (Psalm 103:6)
The functions of a criminal defense lawyer include working with prosecutors on the defendant's behalf and perhaps obtaining reduced charges or a shorter sentence. Since it is virtually impossible for someone accused of a crime, particularly a serious one, to be objective about the situation, a criminal law attorney can provide a kind of honesty and objectivity that is essential in these situations. If a defendant is unaware or unwilling to face the realities of their case and the likely outcome based on the evidence, a competent legal professional can explain the potential outcomes of the various scenarios a defendant faces. If a client needs to be realistic about the benefits of some kind of plea bargain, their lawyer can help them to face this possibility and take them through the process.
Before going to court, there is much work to be done by the criminal law attorney to prepare the case. This could include hiring private investigators who will provide information necessary for a successful presentation of the client's case. These investigators might be able to find information that would cast doubt on the prosecutor's case, or impugn opposing witnesses. Among the myriad of duties that a defense attorney will perform are; arguing the case in court, questioning witnesses, presenting alternative sentences to the judge if the client is found guilty, searching out overlooked legal loopholes in the case, keeping an eye out for errors or omissions that might be useful if the case needs to be appealed, performing whatever tasks need to be done to pull the case together, and, if need be, working with appellate lawyers once the verdict has been rendered.
It is important to hire a skilled criminal defense lawyer who is familiar with the local legal system and legal professionals within the community. This knowledge of area procedures and customs is very important for a successful defense. A working relationship with representatives of opposing counsel can help both sides work together for the good of the client and for justice for the community. A knowledgeable defense lawyer will be able to explain such concepts to the client as reasonable doubt, presumption of innocence, self defense, and the importance of a solid alibi, the insanity defense, or entrapment. While no responsible legal professional would ever guarantee a specific outcome to a client, the knowledge, skills and expertise of a skilled criminal lawyer are invaluable.
Criminal Law FirmA criminal law firm may be the only answer for someone caught in the web of law enforcement. Facing everything from DUI to treason, the accused will need a professional who knows her way around a courtroom. Attorneys do have a bad reputation but one is sitting in the defendant's chair, staring at what may appear to be a hostile jury, an expert barrister is as important as the next breath of air. A criminal law firm is lot like a cantaloupe; what one sees is not always what one gets, and so care must be taken in choosing one because reputation alone may not be the final need for a defendant. The place to start is with the crime for which one has been charged.
If a person has been charged with a misdemeanor, this is an offense of a lesser nature. In most cases it involves a fine, sometimes some time in a county jail and perhaps some community service. The jail times for a misdemeanor usually run from a few days to a few months, but often not for a first time offense. While a person's reputation may be harmed in just the filing of the charges, this is usually not of a nature that is life-threatening. In these cases, some defendants in misdemeanor cases may be more inclined to choose less expensive solo attorneys than one from a criminal law firm. It is not an across the board principle, but often solo criminal defense attorneys do not have the expense that legal firms will have. A group of attorneys must pay for administrative, paralegal, often advertising and investigatory help while the solo barrister may only have an administrative assistant.
When the stakes are raised with more serious crimes called felonies, there is often the imminent foreboding of a long time in jail, and sometimes the specter of the death penalty that propels a person to the consideration of using a highly successful criminal law firm for the defense. Highly publicized trials have raised the names of a number of trial lawyers to the household name status. In many cases, from that day forward, these attorneys are able to command millions of dollars in defense fees. Even the associates belonging to their firm can also demand higher fees just based on the association factor. An attorney once stood and asked Jesus what the greatest commandment of God was. Jesus answered him,"...Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul and with all thy might." (Matthew 22:37)
Most legal experts advise not waiting to engage legal counsel in a serious criminal matter like a felony. Once a defendant has been read his Miranda rights, he need not speak another word to a police officer until first speaking with a member of a criminal law firm or solo defense attorney. But even in this situation, members of one's family, if they are involved in this circumstance, should do some careful choosing in getting the right lawyer for the situation. Cost will obviously be a factor in the decision for many defendants. Unfortunately, the American legal system has developed to the place where the poor cannot usually afford the most experienced and successful attorney from a well know criminal law firm. At times, an attorney from the public defender's office who is over worked and very much under paid is the lawyer of choice.
When questioning an attorney, one of the first questions ought to be the cost. The attorney will want to know all about the case to extract from the story her basic fee estimate. And while the defendant will want the finest counsel possible, the economics may not be on his side. Lawyers from a criminal law firm may often charge a flat fee, especially if the charge is not going to produce a lot of hours of prep and court time. On the other hand, a two or three week trial may involve extensive investigation ahead of time, and perhaps the use of expert witnesses may drive the cost of defense to stratospheric heights. In the initial inquiry with the attorney, ways of paying can be explored to ascertain if her costs are within reach. Questions about one's experience will also need to be asked.
Perhaps where the attorney went to school, her toughest case, what her mentor taught her about the practice of law could all be fair questions in the vetting process. After all, in the end when all is said and done, more important than money is the need for many defendants to know that their defender is really interested in the case. Of course, a criminal law firm that is hired may provide a cold hearted attorney that gets the defendant off, but for many accused there needs to be an emotional connection with the barrister that can provide a modicum of trust in her tactics. There are cold hearted attorneys who are successful, and there are more personable and caring ones that are just as successful so a person ought to choose the type of lawyer with whom one is most comfortable. Remember that attorneys have a state bar association where complaints about conduct and mismanagement of one's case can be filed. A phone call to the bar association once an attorney has been chosen is a good idea to pursue for final peace of mind.