When you’ve been accused of a crime, finding a good attorney should be your top priority. Considering the complexities involved in both state and federal proceedings, having an experienced professional by your side is invaluable.
From gathering evidence and developing strong defense tactics to managing interactions with prosecutors, an attorney can help take every possible step to build a compelling defense.
Here are some of the top reasons why hiring an attorney is necessary to help preserve your freedom.
The Benefits of Hiring a Skilled Criminal Defense Attorney
- Your attorney is a dedicated ally, and they will stand by you throughout the entire process.
- They have the legal knowledge and experience to navigate the complex criminal justice system and fight for your rights.
- They know how to tailor their defense strategies to fit your circumstances. A good attorney does not use a “one size fits all” approach.
- Attorneys may be able to negotiate plea deals, have charges reduced, or have charges dropped altogether, saving the need for a courtroom battle.
- The right to legal representation. This right is so sacred, the state will provide you with an attorney if you cannot afford to hire one.
- You have the right to a speedy trial. If you feel the state is dragging its feet or churning your case for whatever reason, your attorney can step in and help make sure everyone moves the process along.
- You have the right to remain silent. Exercise this right whenever possible. It may be necessary to give some basic information such as your name, address, date of birth, etc. Beyond that, you don’t have to answer any questions.
Your Responsibilities as a Legal Client in a Criminal Defense Case
- Following your attorney's advice
- Being truthful with your attorney
- Showing up to all court appearances
How to Choose a Criminal Defense Attorney
Not all attorneys are created equal. You want a lawyer who has knowledge, skill, and experience. They need to give you competent representation, and you need to make sure they are up to the task.
Start by researching attorneys in your area who focus on criminal defense. Many lawyers focus on personal injury, contract law, and other practice areas that will not help. If you simply look for a “lawyer,” you will find hundreds of people who are qualified attorneys, but they are not equipped to handle a criminal defense case.
Look for someone who has experience defending against your specific charges. Even if a lawyer is a defender, they generally focus on certain crimes. For instance, a lawyer who handles white-collar crimes may not be able to help someone accused of a violent crime.
Seek an attorney who is willing to take the time to explain the legal process and guide you through each step. You want to stay up to date, stay involved, and ask questions. An attorney who says, “Don’t worry about it, I’ll handle it,” is not keeping you involved, and they could make costly mistakes.
A good attorney will also be responsive to your questions and concerns and will work tirelessly to protect your rights. By taking the time to choose the right attorney, you can increase your chances of obtaining a positive outcome in your case.
Preparing for Your Meeting with Your Criminal Defense Attorney
- Come with a list of any questions and concerns you have, no matter how small.
- Be honest and transparent about all details of your case, including your past criminal history and any potential witnesses or evidence. The more your attorney knows, even the bad parts, the more they can build a strong case.
- Gather all relevant documents and information about your charges and arrest, such as police reports and witness statements. If you are missing anything, your attorney will let you know what else to get. Sometimes, they may be able to do it for you.
Questions to Ask When Choosing a Criminal Defense Attorney
- Ask about their experience and track record with similar cases.
- Inquire about their strategy for your case and how they plan to defend you. A competent attorney should have a well-thought-out approach that considers your situation.
- Find out how available they will be during your case and how often they plan to update you on their progress. You want an attorney who is attentive and communicative.
If you’ve been accused of a crime, Law Offices of Kenneth A. Stover is here to help stand by your side and represent you in court. Free consultations are available, so reach out to us today by calling (775) 502-1575 or contacting us online.