If you are facing the possibility of jail time or fines following an arrest, you are likely asking yourself, Do I need a criminal defense lawyer? During this time, the guidance of a criminal defense lawyer can be invaluable. Even minor offenses that are unlikely to result in jail time could have a negative impact on your life if you are convicted.
An experienced criminal defense attorney could have a direct impact on your potential consequences for offenses. In a best-case scenario, they could obtain a dismissal of the charges against you or a favorable verdict at trial. In some cases, a defense attorney could help you negotiate with the prosecutor for a fair plea bargain or reduced charges. If you have questions about how a criminal defense attorney could help, reach out to the team at Gerald Miller as soon as possible.
An Attorney Is an Advocate
First and foremost, your attorney is your advocate throughout your criminal case. They can speak for you in court or even in public. They can also advise you on when it is in your best interest to be silent. This guidance can help you avoid the consequences of saying something that can harm your case.
There is no situation where a strong advocate is more valuable than when the police seek an interview. Most of the time, criminal defense attorneys will advise their clients to avoid speaking with the police entirely. When talking to law enforcement could result in the dismissal of your charges or even preempt an arrest, your attorney can communicate with them on your behalf.
An Attorney Can Negotiate
It is not uncommon for prosecutors to offer a plea bargain. Typically, these plea bargains involve a guilty plea in exchange for a reduced sentence. Negotiating plea bargains is an important reason why you might need a defense attorney. Successful negotiations could take years off a sentence or even help you avoid jail time entirely.
Not all negotiations involve a potential plea, either. Your attorney could work with the prosecution to drop some or all of the charges against you. Additionally, they could make the case to the state that you were overcharged, which could reduce the potential penalties you face.
Your Attorney Could Provide Support
One way a criminal defense attorney could be helpful to you that you might not expect is through emotional support. Many people facing criminal charges suddenly find themselves abandoned by their support system. Some criminal defendants come to rely on their attorney not only as their legal counsel but also as a resource for coping with the stress of a criminal trial. Your attorney is not your friend, but that does not mean they won’t play an important role in preparing you for what to expect at trial.
Your Attorney Can Keep You Updated
Most people facing criminal charges want constant updating and reassurances during the course of the case. While an attorney cannot promise a positive outcome, then can ensure that their client is kept up to speed on everything that is happening in their case. This can include the status of any motions or the date of the next hearing.
Your Attorney Provides an Unbiased Viewpoint
Some criminal defendants lean on their family and friends during this difficult time. Unfortunately, these individuals often have a stake in the outcome of the trial. This can prevent them from providing unbiased advice to the defendant. An attorney can remain impartial and give their client an accurate assessment of where the case stands. This is true even if that assessment is not good news for the client. Your attorney can advise you on what sentence you might expect if you are convicted, and they can advise you on your chances of an acquittal if your case goes to trial. There is tremendous value in the unbiased viewpoint of a seasoned attorney.
Discuss Your Case With a Criminal Defense Attorney
If you’re asking do I need a criminal defense lawyer, you should know that you have the opportunity to discuss your case with legal counsel before hiring them. Let the attorneys of Gerald Miller evaluate your criminal defense case and advise you on your defense options. We will work tirelessly to help you obtain a positive outcome in your case. To learn more, schedule your free consultation right away.