Why do I need to retain a competent criminal defense attorney?

If you are charged with a crime or are arrested, you must understand the potential implications this will have on your life. A criminal charge or arrest could lead to a prosecution and potential conviction and criminal record. Your freedom and liberty and how you will live going forward can be drastically affected by the arrest.

You need an experienced criminal defense attorney that can address issues such as:

  • Bail: If you are in custody, getting you out of jail may depend on the bail status and amount. The attorney can help try and lower the bail or possibly get you released without bail in some circumstances.
  • The attorney can advise you on any attempts by law enforcement to question you. In general, arrestees should assert their right to remain silent and acquire an attorney for advice.
  • Sometimes after the arrest and before the prosecutor files a case in court, the attorney may be able to resolve the case with the police or prosecutor without a case being filed. To do this, an attorney should be contacted and retained for the best chances of this outcome.
  • Even after the filing of a criminal case, there are circumstances where the client may not need to attend court at all. The attorney and client can talk about this possibility.
  • If the case is filed by the prosecutor and criminal proceedings undertaken, it is vital for the attorney and client to meet and discuss the charges, possible sentence if convicted, factual and legal defenses, case strategies, identifying relevant witnesses and information—there is a lot of work necessary to defend a person charged with a crime.
  • Understanding the court system—It is the attorney’s job to educate and evaluate the court process as the case moves forward. There may be several judges and prosecutors that will hear the case along the process, and the ability of the attorney to communicate with these individuals in a credible and effective way is paramount.
  • Jury Trial—Most criminal cases are resolved in some way before trial, but there are cases that need to go to trial. And, should a trial occur, the client must have the confidence in the attorney to have done the preparation leading up to the trial, and the trial skills to present the best defense. While no one guarantees a particular result, the attorney should be diligent, hard-working, and a zealous proponent for his client.