A conviction on a federal charge could result in significant penalties such as fines or prison time. It could also result in damage to your reputation or bring shame to your family. With so much on the line, it is in your best interest to hire an attorney. He or she may be able to get a case dropped, negotiate a plea deal or work to obtain an acquittal in your case.
Why Would a Criminal Case Be Dropped?
Criminal cases are generally dropped because there is a lack of evidence to convict a person. For instance, a witness may decide that he or she no longer wishes to cooperate with the prosecution. It is also possible that a key piece of evidence will be ruled inadmissible by a judge at some point before a trial begins. Sometimes, the evidence will be ruled inadmissible during a trial, which may lead to some or all charges being dropped.
Why Would a Prosecutor Negotiate a Plea Agreement?
The prosecutor in a case would negotiate a plea deal for a variety of reasons that all aim to serve the best interest of the public. For instance, the prosecution may not believe that it has enough evidence to convict you on a charge at trial. Therefore, you may get a plea deal that reduces some or all of the charges in exchange for a guilty plea.
You benefit because the penalties are much less than what they would be if a trial happened and the jury returned a guilty verdict. The prosecution is happy because it gets to claim a conviction in the case. Saving resources and reducing the backlog that a court may face are other reasons why plea deals are offered. In some cases, a judge may prefer a plea to a trial.
Why Would a Jury Acquit You?
A jury’s job is decide whether or not you are guilty of a crime based on the evidence that it has seen. However, a judge could provide instructions to a jury to disregard certain pieces of evidence when making its decision. Furthermore, jurors are only human, which means that they may be moved to vote guilty or not guilty based on factors other than the evidence.
For instance, they could be sympathetic to your plight as a single mother or as someone who didn’t have access to proper mental or physical health care. An attorney will take steps to put jurors in place who are most likely to vote in your favor. They may also be able to win key rulings from a judge that may play a role in what jurors consider when making the choice to convict or acquit.
The Government Will Have Attorneys Working on Their Side
You can feel confident that the government is going to have as many attorneys as necessary working on your case. These people have likely spent years working as criminal attorneys and understand what it takes to win. Therefore, you should have an attorney on your side who will work to make sure that the government doesn’t do anything illegal before, during or after a trial.
It is important to note that you have the right to an attorney. If you can’t pay for an attorney, one will be provided to serve as your advocate. While the law does give you the right to act as your own attorney, this may not be the best decision. Typically, a judge will order that a legal professional act as an adviser as the case unfolds. This reduces the odds that mistakes are made that both harm your chances of getting a fair trial and provide opportunities for lengthy and expensive appeals.
An Attorney Can Help Even After a Conviction
Just because you have been convicted of a crime doesn’t mean that your case is over. There is still a chance of having a jury’s decision overturned on appeal. For example, your attorney may be able to show that evidence was tainted or was not collected properly. It is also possible that a witness will either recant his or her testimony or otherwise acknowledge that part of it was incorrect.
If it can be shown that forensic evidence or DNA evidence has come to light since your conviction, that may also result in a jury’s guilty verdict being overturned. In the event that this occurs, the charge may remain on your criminal record. The next step would be for your legal team to ask that the charge be expunged or sealed.
The moment that you are charged with a crime or believe that you will be charged, contact a criminal attorney. Doing so may make it easier to preserve your rights and make sure that you are treated fairly throughout the legal process. It can also make it easier to clear your name by having the case dismissed or being acquitted by a jury.
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