No one expects to be in trouble with the law. However, if you are in a situation where you are facing jail time or huge fines, it is vital for you to hire an expert in criminal law. An accused is entitled to legal representation and legal advice. Whilst a matter may appear simple, there are varying degrees of technical issues that can affect the outcome of a trial.
Working with a skilled criminal lawyer significantly increases your likelihood of a successful outcome. You will also have peace of mind knowing that you are working with someone who is focused on your best interests.
What Will a Criminal Lawyer Do for Me?
From your initial consultation, a criminal lawyer will be able to gauge the severity of your situation and offer you an unbiased assessment of your case. Once you retain their services, your defence team will focus on gathering every bit of information that could have an impact on your case. Your lawyer will get this information by:
- Interviewing witnesses
- Review evidence and disclosure materials
- Reading reports from law enforcement and other pertinent experts
- Reviewing your description of the events that transpired when you were allegedly committing a crime
Additionally, your lawyer will be:
- Preparing you and your witnesses for trial
- If necessary, engage an expert to assess your case
- Gathering valuable information in crafting a plea deal
- Protecting your right to a fair trial
During your trial, your defence team will look for any inconsistencies that may cast doubt on your case. Remember, the prosecution bears the burden of proof.
By weighing the evidence against you, your lawyer will create a strategy designed to improve your prospects of acquittal. In the alternative, it may also increase your chances of receiving a less severe punishment or sentence
Additionally, a criminal defence lawyer will:
- Watch to make sure your rights are protected in court
- Cross-examine witnesses for the prosecution
- Ensure procedural statutes are correctly followed
- Look for pitfalls and procedural matters that concern you
In addition to the matters listed, a criminal defence lawyer may attend to the following:
- Negotiating With the Prosecution
Before your case goes to court, your lawyer will consider whether or not a plea bargain would be in your best interest. Several factors help determine whether or not your defence lawyer would recommend attempting a plea bargain.
- The seriousness of the alleged crime
- Strength of the evidence in the case
- Prospects of a guilty verdict at trial
Generally, your lawyer will work with the prosecution to make an appropriate plea.
Example of a Plea Bargain
Jared is charged with burglary but is offered the plea bargain. It states that if he pleads guilty to the lesser charge of trespassing, the prosecution will drop the burglary charges or amend the indictment, or prosecution notice.
Your defence lawyer will address all your mitigating circumstances so the Court can be better informed of your situation. In turn, this may assist the Court in considering a more lenient sentence.
- Consequences of Your Plea
Many accused are eager to plead guilty if it means a shorter jail sentence. However, several conditions may cause you to rethink a guilty plea. A significant point to consider is the fact that a criminal record will follow you for the rest of your life.
- Working with Witnesses
Defence lawyers have years of experience in trying to adduce evidence from a witness. Because there is no ‘hard and fast rule’ in cross-examination, lawyers will have to understand the Evidence Act well and try to illicit favourable answers in Court.
- Working with Investigators and Expert Witnesses
Defence lawyers know the value of having investigators and expert witnesses available for a trial.
Investigators will look at the crime scene for details that could help your case or specifics that contradict what the prosecution claims. Additionally, an investigator can provide expert opinion that may be relevant to your case. While this may not sound like a significant point, should an investigator find that witnesses are against you in some way, your defence attorney can provide an expert opinion, ie, an in-depth analysis of a crash scene. The prosecution is then required to respond or rebut such an opinion.
An example of this is if your matter revolves around the prosecution proving that you have swerved when you were driving, the Court must consider an expert’s opinion about the alleged crime scene. If an investigator provides an expert opinion that your vehicle did not swerve, then the prosecution must consider whether they can rebut this opinion.
Expert witnesses are vital for your defence. Whether the experts have a unique skill set that can explain how an action is not physically possible, an understanding of how a body will react to trauma, or the skills to explain how much force is deadly force.
- Managing All of the Details
Nothing can replace an experienced criminal defence lawyer walking you through the court system. Regardless of your situation, your defence lawyer will work on your behalf to get you the best possible outcome.
Finding yourself in legal trouble can be frightening and highly stressful. You are not alone in your situation if you contact the team of litigation lawyers at WN Legal. We approach your case with a non-judgmental mindset and consider all available outcomes.
** Please Note**
The material presented here is for informational use only. It is not binding legal advice and should not be used to replace a consultation with a legal professional.