Once you are arrested and charged with a crime, it is vital you find an experienced criminal defense attorney to represent you as fast as possible. If you don’t, police will have more time to question you without the presence of an attorney, gather evidence, and work with prosecutors to ensure you are sent to prison. While you could rely on a court-appointed attorney, they are likely inexperienced and overwhelmed with a large caseload. If you want the best results, here are four things a criminal defense attorney can do for you following your arrest.
Protect Your Rights
First and foremost, a skilled criminal defense lawyer can protect your legal rights. This includes everything from being present during questioning to advise you how to answer specific questions, ensuring the evidence being used against you was properly obtained by police, and making sure your case moves forward within a reasonable amount of time. By hiring your defense attorney quickly, this will make police aware you are determined to see your legal rights are protected every step of the way.
Reducing Your Charges
If you are charged with a crime where the evidence against you makes it likely you will be convicted, your criminal defense attorney can work with prosecutors to reduce your charges and thus virtually guarantee you will receive a much lighter sentence from a judge. Thus, if you are initially charged with a felony and facing years in prison and very large fines, your defense attorney can get these charges reduced to misdemeanors. Should this happen, the worst sentence you may receive is a few months in a local jail, smaller fines, or maybe even probation or community service.
Explaining Possible Outcomes
When you are sitting in a jail cell after your arrest, many thoughts are going through your mind, including how you think your case may play out over the coming weeks. Since you will be uncertain what the future holds, your criminal defense attorney can explain possible outcomes to your case and help you make the best decisions for you and your family. Though you may initially assume a prison sentence is guaranteed, your defense attorney can show you many different options exist, giving you hope things will turn out much better than you expected.
Investigating Your Case
Once you have a criminal defense attorney on your side who has years of experience handling cases similar to yours, they can look over police reports and then conduct their own investigation of your alleged crimes. This can include many things, such as hiring a private investigator to interview witnesses, bringing in their own team of forensic technicians to test physical evidence, and arranging for expert witnesses to testify in court. Since police often make mistakes when conducting an investigation, working with a lawyer who knows how to get to the bottom of things can sway the case in your favor.
While it is natural to be nervous and even scared after being arrested, you must remember that time is of the essence in these situations. If you procrastinate, you will make more and more mistakes along the way, allowing police and prosecutors to have an easier time gaining a conviction. To protect your legal rights and fight the charges against you, hire a criminal defense lawyer at once.