Facing a criminal charge is always a daunting, frightening experience. Many times, people face more charges, or different charges, than they expected or thought possible. The period of time leading up to your trial is one of the most crucial times of your life. It’s your chance to craft a legal defense that will minimize the drastic impacts a conviction could wreak on your life. Unfortunately, the system is crafted in such a way that without having devoted years of your life to gaining specialized experience and knowledge, your defense is unlikely to be successful. When you’re considering whether you need to retain the council of a criminal attorney, here are some things to keep in mind.
- They have the time and staff to devote to your case.
Persons who cannot afford an attorney are offered the option of being represented by a public defender. While this is still a far better option that representing yourself, it is not an ideal choice. A public defender is swamped and overworked with cases the court piles onto him or her. Public defenders don’t have the time to pursue witnesses, compile evidence, or review documents with the same rigor that a private attorney can.
- A criminal attorney has training and knowledge that a civil attorney doesn’t have.
Because of reforms to tort law limiting the number of lawsuits for accidents or harm suffered, many civil attorneys have turned to criminal law to try to make up their lost income. Unfortunately for their clients, these lawyers are trying to work in a system they don’t have the experience to navigate. Criminal attorneys have trained in the criminal trial system for years, and are qualified to help you craft a cogent legal strategy.
- A criminal attorney offers a first line of defense against mishaps.
In the legal system, so much depends on small details. A missed deadline for filing documents can make the difference between a conviction and a verdict of “not guilty”. When your future is on the line, you can’t afford to make avoidable mistakes. A criminal attorney also offers a buffer between you and the legal system. Law enforcement and prosecuting entities have to contact your attorney before reaching you, meaning that the prosecution can only get information from you that won’t damage your case.