People who represent themselves at criminal trials seldom have a good outcome. While they may study the laws related to their case and think they are ready to defend against criminal charges, their lack of experience tends to backfire on them in ways they never anticipated. If you're facing criminal charges, it's important to consider the potential consequences if the prosecution can prove its case against you. With so much on the line, hiring an experienced defense attorney is the only logical thing to do.
A lawyer's job of defending you starts long before your first court date. As soon as you agree to work together, your criminal defense attorney starts gathering evidence and collecting statements from other people involved in your case. That usually begins with speaking to witnesses that the prosecution intends to call to against you in court. While these people are understandably reluctant to talk to you, they are usually more cooperative with attorneys for both the plaintiff and defendant.
Hiring Investigators and Speaking to Key Witnesses
It can damage your case tremendously when witnesses give their testimony and provide evidence against you. An essential function of a criminal defense attorney is to hire investigators to recreate the alleged crime and look into the motivation of those whom the prosecution calls to testify. Your attorney also calls witnesses to refute the evidence the prosecution has presented against you.
Bargaining for Reduced Legal Penalties
If the prosecution is successful and a jury finds you guilty, it's your lawyer's job to negotiate the smallest possible jail term, prison sentence, or fine. A skilled defense attorney could get you probation instead of time behind bars. When you're facing criminal charges, you have the right to hire an attorney or have one appointed to you. Before proceeding further, check with a representative in the county where your arrest took place to ensure you understand the next steps.