Many people know somebody who has been accused of a crime. Most people have seen television versions of defense attorneys. If you are ever arrested, however, it’s time to get serious. Just what do criminal defense lawyers do?
What does the attorney do? Basically, a criminal defense attorney advocates for a defendant. He represents the defendant in all hearings and trials, informs his client of each step and what to expect, takes care of filing motions and all other court paperwork, and, of course, defends his client in court. He’ll also keep abreast of all developments in the case, advise the client of any offers the prosecution might make, and make sure any mitigating circumstances are brought to light.
The attorney speaks with witnesses, reviews police procedures used, and gathers evidence. He will also analyze the prosecutor’s case to formulate a plea and will also inform his client as to the odds of a conviction and the possible sentences. He may negotiate with the prosecuting attorney in matters such as bail reduction, reduced charges and reduced sentences, especially if the prosecution’s case appears to be strong and matters such as overcrowded jails and overloaded court calendars might come into play. He’ll keep his client grounded in the reality of the situation but not let him feel hopeless.
Once a person is being questioned by police, a person may choose not to answer questions and may request an attorney, whether or not his Miranda rights have been read to him. When this occurs, the police cannot question him further. If he is arrested at that time, he will have the opportunity to call an attorney. If he cannot afford one, the court will assign a public defender as his representative, provided the accused can prove that he falls within local financial guidelines. A person being questioned who requests an attorney but is released is not obligated to hire an attorney, but it would certainly be a good idea to at least consult one.
How to find a criminal defense attorney. If you feel you need a criminal defense attorney, how do you find one? If you are arrested for a low-bond crime, you can wait to search until you have posted bond and have been released. If that’s not feasible, you are allowed to search the internet for an attorney or call someone else to do it for you. When searching, you’ll find that many attorneys advertise the types of crimes they usually handle. Also, there are sites posting reviews. Do actually read the reviews; people may unfairly give an attorney a bad rating because he couldn’t satisfy a client’s unrealistic expectations.
Why you might want to get the best criminal defense. Navigating the legal world is confusing to most people. An attorney knows all the laws, procedures, and all the things a layman couldn’t know. If the charges involve a felony or several charges, a good criminal defense attorney is a given. This is not the time to skimp on a brand new attorney whose law license still has wet ink. You need an attorney who has experience in dealing with the area’s attorneys and judges and your particular charges. While the attorney will cost you money, it’s really nothing to the prospect of spending several years behind bars, along with all the effects that will have on your family.
If you or a family member is questioned or arrested in the Arcadia, CA area, SoCal Criminal Law Attorneys stand ready to fight for you. Our attorneys represent people with all sorts of charges, including drug-related crimes, sex offenses and property crimes. If you need a defense attorney, this is not a time to gamble on a discount attorney – call us. We’ll be glad to consult with you.