If you were arrested and charged with a crime, you are almost always best served by obtaining a lawyer. Most criminal defendants retain a lawyer to represent them – especially when their offense could results in a possible jail or prison sentence. Some criminal defendants choose to defend themselves but it’s incredibly difficult for a person to effectively represent themselves in his or her own criminal case.
Self-representation is incredibly difficult because there’s a huge gap between paper and practice in criminal cases. You may find laws that define crimes along with fixed punishment that match their violation in books but it’s not the same as having courtroom experience. You may be fooled into thinking that you understand how the system works by reading these books but you can’t understand the practice of criminal law just by reading books. To experienced criminal defense attorneys, the practice of criminal law appears unpredictable but they have the experience to navigate the court room efficiently.
The power of prosecutors is vast and they get to decide whether to file criminal charges, and what charges to file. This determines most of what actually happens in court. When you try to represent yourself in court, prosecutors have the advantage and they have the power to negotiate your charge and your sentence. Prosecutors may be uncooperative with self-represented defendants. An experienced criminal defense attorney will have the know-how to take a prosecutor to task or to negotiate on your behalf.
In truth, it doesn’t matter how smart or well educated you are, the criminal justice system is not set up to give you a fair trial when you represent yourself. The system makes it virtually impossible to do a competent and effective job of representing yourself. Since every criminal case is different and has unique nuances, only a trained criminal defense attorney who is experienced in navigating unique criminal cases can give you the type of representation that you deserve – and not every criminal defense attorney is cut out for the task. You need an attorney who will fight for you and get the best possible outcome for your criminal charges.
There’s more that goes into being a criminal defense lawyer than just questioning witnesses in court. Defense attorneys:
Since not all criminal defense lawyers are built the same, it’s important to look for an attorney you can trust. You should look for attorneys who are familiar with important legal rules that people representing themselves likely wouldn’t locate on their own. A great defense attorney is familiar with local court customs and procedures. These items aren’t written down anywhere, so it’s crucial to find an attorney who knows how to navigate each courthouse.
There are other lesser thought of traits of a good defense attorney. They understand the possible hidden costs of pleading guilty and they spend time on a case that those who are self-defending won’t have time to do. Attorneys devote time to gathering and examining documents, doing legal research, and talking to witnesses. They also tend to hire and manage investigators who are able to dig into the logistics of a case and talk to the prosecution witnesses.
Identifying opportunities that will get the best possible resolution for your criminal charges is our goal. We’re your partner through the extensive legal process and we’ll take care of you every step of the way. There are many facets to obtaining the best possible solution for your charges and they start with hiring a lawyer you can trust. Let us guide you.