The first and most important reason why you may need a criminal defense attorney is that you are under arrest. Once that happens you don’t want to go it alone. From the start, you need an attorney to provide you with a buffer from the police and the district attorney.
THE IMPORTANCE OF A CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY
This might be the first time you have been arrested and accused of having committed a crime, but it is not the first time the police and district attorney have investigated a crime. It is not the first time the police and district attorney have had a suspect in custody.
It is not the first time the police and district attorney have interrogated a suspect. You may not realize it, but the deck is stacked against you if you try and go it alone. The police and district attorney are trained and experienced and you are not.
IN CUSTODY, YOU HAVE NO CONTROL
From the moment you are arrested and taken into custody, you are playing an away game. You are playing on the police and district attorney’s turf. Your freedom has been taken away from you and you are alone. The odds are against you. The police must tell you that you have the right to remain silent and that you have a right to an attorney.
You would be wise to take advantage of those rights. At a minimum, it will serve to level the playing field. The advantages the police and district attorney have will be lessened if you take advantage of your rights. Getting an attorney into the game is like having a coach in a football game.
WHEN YOU HAVE AN ATTORNEY, YOU HAVE SOMEONE ON YOUR SIDE
Your criminal defense attorney will listen to your side of the story and will find out what information and evidence the police have that can be used against you. Your attorney will investigate the facts of your case will talk to witnesses and to the police on your behalf. Having someone who is free to investigate what happened is indispensable.
YOUR ATTORNEY WILL BE ABLE TO ARGUE FOR LOW OR NO BAIL
The first time you appear in court will be at the arraignment. Your attorney will be with you and will be your advocate which means he will argue for your release on low or no bail. In many cases, the court will allow you to go free on what is called “personal recognizance”. Being let go at the earliest possible time is an important part of a good defense. Your attorney knows this and will work to have you released from custody.
WE CAN TALK TO THE POLICE OR DISTRICT ATTORNEY ON YOUR BEHALF
At the earliest possible opportunity, your attorney can, and will, talk to the police and district attorney about your case. This is something the law requires. The police and district attorney must tell your attorney what their evidence is. There is no “trial by surprise” in the criminal justice system. The defense is entitled to know what evidence the police and district attorney has and what they believe that evidence proves.
It is your attorney’s job to ask for that evidence and what the prosecution thinks that evidence proves. Your attorney will conduct an independent investigation and prepare your defense. Not only does your attorney have the right and obligation to find out what the prosecution’s evidence is and what the prosecution thinks that evidence proves, he or she will also gather evidence and prepare your defense.
Before trial, your defense attorney will try to convince the district attorney that the evidence shows you are innocent or that the evidence is insufficient to prove you are guilty.
WE ARE ON YOUR SIDE
Your attorney is always working to get you the best result possible. That means he or she will try to persuade the district attorney that the evidence proves that you are innocent or that the evidence against you isn’t strong enough to sustain a conviction. Your criminal defense attorney knows that the burden of proof is on the prosecution to prove your guilt “beyond all reasonable doubt” and that you are “presumed innocent” as a matter of law. Your attorney will constantly remind the district attorney of these high legal standards needed to obtain a conviction in your case.
If you and your attorney decide that the prosecution’s case is strong enough to warrant it, then your attorney will conduct negotiations to get you the best plea bargain possible.
Plea bargaining is something your attorney does for you when the facts and circumstances require it. Your attorney is someone who will work to get you the best possible result and sometimes that result is a plea bargain. That is just reality.
WE CAN NAVIGATE THE LEGAL PROCESS
If the prosecution will not drop the case, or make a fair offer to resolve it, your attorney will try the case to a jury. Your criminal defense attorney must be willing and able to try your case. You are entitled to have a jury of your peers decide your guilt or innocence. This is the most important principle of our criminal justice system and your attorney will use all his skill and talent to make sure you get a just and fair trial.
If the jury returns a guilty verdict, your attorney asks to enter a not guilty decision and will decide if an appeal is warranted. Juries and judges do not always get it right. They are fallible, and your attorney will appeal a jury verdict or a judge’s decision if it is necessary. Your attorney will always be willing to go the last mile to ensure that justice is done in your case.
HOW CAN YOU REALLY USE THIS INFORMATION?
Call us at (817) 481-1999 for more information from Robinson & Kardonsky, P.C. or to schedule a consultation in our office in Grapevine.
Note: This blog is for entertainment purposes only and does not constitute legal advice