The sixth amendment of the United States Constitution declares that any person accused of a crime has a right to an attorney to represent him or her during trial. From the time of arrest, a suspect has the right to an attorney.
And no matter the crime, a defense lawyer must do everything in his or her power to mount the best defense for their client (defendant). Attorneys cannot let personal feelings come into play when representing their client.
The defendant or suspect is the person accused of a crime. The burden of proof lies with the government and it has to prove that the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
If you have been accused of a crime, you may not know at which stage in the process you need to hire a defense attorney.
At What Point Should You Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney?
If you are facing charges that may result in you spending time behind bars, you need to hire a criminal defense lawyer right away.
The cost is usually the main concern but hiring an attorney early in the process can actually save you money in the long run.
The more serious the crime, the more severe the consequences. So that you fully understand what charges you are facing, you need to speak to a lawyer before the arraignment.
This is when you will plead guilty, not guilty, or no contest. Your attorney will recommend how you should plead and represent you in the hearing.
Your lawyer will make a request for bail or ask that you be released on your own recognizance.
If you plead guilty, enter a plea bargain or no-contest, a sentencing date is scheduled. If you plead not guilty, then the pre-trial conference is next.
If the pre-trial conference does not result in a solution or plea bargain, an appointed judge or a jury trial will hear your case.
Your lawyer will try to get your case thrown out due to lack of evidence or could get you a plea deal to get the charges reduced. You could get a reduction of jail time or get probation instead of jail.
Your lawyer will work with you and develop the best strategy for your case.
When your case goes to court, your attorney will speak for you. He will call witnesses and cross-examine the prosecutor’s witnesses.
The state has the burden of proof and must convince the jury that you committed the crime beyond a reasonable doubt.
Your lawyer will show the jury that the burden of proof has not been met and there is not enough evidence to convict you of the crime.
If you are convicted of the crime or you accept a plea bargain, your lawyer will try to get you the minimum sentence.
If you have to serve jail time, he or she will try to convince the judge that probation or an alternative to incarceration would better serve justice.
Speak to a Lawyer Today
Being accused of a crime and going to court is an emotional and highly stressful situation.
If you need a criminal defense attorney who has your best interest at heart, contact us right away for representation at its best.