Criminal defense attorneys play a significant role in the justice system in the United States. Criminal defense attorneys, including Staten Island criminal lawyers, protect the constitutional and legal rights of people charged with crimes.
Criminal defense attorneys protect the vital rights of people facing criminal prosecution in a number of different ways. A person facing the prospect of criminal prosecution needs to understand the nature and extent for his or her constitutional and legal rights. Such an individual must also appreciate what must be done to protect these legal interests, including the importance of retaining the services of a skilled, experienced Staten Island criminal lawyer.
In some instances, a person becomes aware that he is she is the subject of a criminal investigation. Indeed, a person being investigated by law enforcement may become aware of a an investigation because the police make contact. The police may request an interview with a person who is the subject of a criminal investigation.
When a person becomes aware that he or she is being investigated based on an allegation that he or she has committed a crime, the time has comes for that individual to seek legal representation. The police are likely to advise the target of a criminal investigation that cooperating now will make “things” better on down the road. In fact, the exact opposite oftentimes is the case.
A person subject to a criminal investigation has an absolute right to decline to be interviewed or questioned. Such an individual need not submit to questioning by police outside the presence of legal counsel.
Therefore, if a request is made for a police interview, a person should politely, and yet firmly, advise that he or she needs to speak with legal counsel. In turn, a criminal defense attorney may well advise a client not to speak to the police. The stark reality is that little good typically comes from this sort of police interview.
The court process commences directly after a person is arrested on a criminal charge. As a result, a person cannot sit quietly and do nothing when charged with a crime. He or she must diligently pursue engaging the services of a skilled, qualified lawyer.
Early on in the prosecution of a criminal case, the defendant appears in court and enters a plea. In the vast majority of cases, the plea initially entered in a case is “not guilty.” Only rarely does a criminal defendant plead guilty at the start of a prosecution.
In New York, as is the case across the United States, only a fraction of criminal cases ever proceed to trial. Plea agreements are reached during the pendency of the criminal prosecution. In fact, on the state and federal level, over 90 percent of criminal cases are resolved short of going to trial.
Oftentimes, a plea agreement will include a reduction in charges and some sort of concession regarding sentencing in a criminal case. A criminal defendant must always keep in mind that a judge is not bound by the terms and conditions of a plea agreement. While a judge nearly always does accept the sentencing recommendation contained in a plea agreement, he or she is not legally obliged to do so. Sentencing in New York is at the discretion of a judge, and not subject to the parameters of a plea agreement.
Defenses mounted in a criminal case depend upon the crime charged and the facts and circumstances. With that said, there are some more common types of defenses mounted with regularity in a wide range of different types of criminal cases. These include a defense based on the contention that the defendant is not the proper person to be charged with the crime. In other words, the person being prosecuted is not the individual who committed the crime.
Another relatively common defense to a crime in New York is based on a contention that the defendant’s Fourth Amendment rights were violated. The Fourth Amendment protects against unreasonable search and seizure. Evidence that is obtained in an unconstitutional manner is excluded from the case. This does not necessarily mean a case will be dismissed outright. However, the exclusionary rule associated with the Fourth Amendment means that the prosecution will be prohibited from presenting certain evidence in court.
Retain a Skilled Staten Island criminal lawyer
Scheduling an initial consultation is the first step in hiring a Staten Island criminal lawyer. During this preliminary appointment, a person charged with a crime has the chance to ask questions. In addition, legal counsel will provide an evaluation of a case, including an analysis of possible defenses. As a general practice among the criminal defense bar, a lawyer does not charge a fee for an initial consultation in a criminal case.
Four Benefits of Hiring a Criminal Lawyer to Represent You
Make the mistake of not hiring a criminal lawyer to represent you in court, and the prosecution will literally get everything they want with little resistance from the judge presiding over your case. The best attorney draws upon decades of courtroom experience to be able to ensure you get a fair hearing and don’t suffer more than anyone else who was able to avoid harsh punishments in a similar case.
Gathering Crucial Evidence in Your Case
In an effort to win your criminal case, your attorney has to have the evidence to show why you are not guilty of the prosecution charges. To do this, your attorney needs to hire a skilled team of investigators that will go back and collect evidence or reenact the events that took place in a way that the court can easily relate to. This evidence will be all your attorney has to be able to punch holes in the prosecution’s case. In addition to the evidence, your attorney has to get familiar with the events surrounding the case to be able to show the court an alternative to what happened to cast doubt in the case.
Bringing Experts to Trial if Needed
Your criminal lawyer is going to take things as far as they need be in an effort to get you off the hook. In addition to all the evidence being brought to the court, your attorney is prepared to bring witnesses to corroborate your side of the story. It is one thing to explain to the court about how a weapon fires, it is another to have an expert in that field explain the things the weapon is not capable of doing. The experts brought to the court by your lawyer will help to show the prosecution case does not hold up.
Looking at the End Game Clearly
Long before the case gets to trial, the prosecution will make many attempts for your side to settle on a plea deal now to avoid the lengthy trial and possibly get a better sentence today that what may occur when the judge makes a final ruling in the courts. Your criminal lawyer understands exactly what the prosecution is up to, and will help to keep you focused on the end game. If the prosecution feels their case has weak areas, they may want out now to save face. Your criminal lawyer will explain the evidence to you and why they think you need to ride this out until the end.
The Power in a Skilled Plea Bargain
Even with the best evidence, your attorney understands that just about anything can happen if the case does go to trial. Maybe something didn’t come across as clearly in court or something was said or done that has the jury looking more favorably at the prosecution’s case. Your criminal lawyer is in the business of expecting the unexpected and will use the power of the plea bargain in their back pocket just in case. By planning to plea bargain now, you have that waiting in the wings in the event things do pan out.
When you work with the best criminal lawyer, you know they are going to do everything in their power to either get the charges lessened or the case dismissed. With the power of the plea bargain in their back pocket, your criminal lawyer has many options available you could not have if you tried going at this alone.
How Hiring A Criminal Lawyer Can Make A Huge Difference
A criminal defense attorney plays a major role in the legal system. They apply the law to court cases to determine whether a defendant is to be proven guilty or not. This may sound simple; however, anyone who has attempted to navigate our complex legal system without their assistance will most likely tell you that it’s not. The courts are very rigid and unforgiving when the law is disregarded or even misinterpreted. A skilled criminal defense attorney has many years of education and experience in handling these matters with a high degree of success. Leaving it up to chance and not hiring an attorney can have long lasting and devastating effects. Criminal charges are viewed negatively by most of society whether you’re at fault or not. This can lead to a loss of employment, family trust, social consequences, and more. Jail time and penalties can also be detrimental to many.
How A Criminal Lawyer Prepares Your Defense
A criminal lawyer doesn’t have to prove your innocence. Simply put, their job is to find the inadequacies and inconsistencies in the opposing party’s case and point them out. This is done by examining the evidence, witnesses, and any other factors that may play into the matter. This can include hiring an expert witness, private investigators, and others to help assert the attorney’s position. The opposing party’s attorney typically follows a similar process in preparing their case as well. A strategy that’s solid is presented in court to significantly reduce or eliminate the charges being brought against you.
Avoiding Common Mistakes Made in Court
Self-representation and depending on a public defender are two of the most common issues that lead to unpleasant consequences in court. A public defender is provided by the state if you’re unable to afford an attorney. They have the same educational requirements and exams as any other attorney. As public servants, they’re often under a great amount of stress due to the extreme amount of cases they’re assigned. It’s not uncommon to not even discuss your case until the day of trial. This leaves the defendant nervous and uncertain as to what will happen to them, if anything. A private criminal defense attorney doesn’t have these same pressures and will take the time to prepare a defense and keep you informed every step of the way.
Self-representation is dangerous territory to state it mildly. Perhaps the most significant issue is the lack of education and training required to understand and apply the law. Unfortunately, the courts aren’t forgiving to those who leave it up to chance and claim ignorance. The gathering and presentation of facts and evidence is also a very specific and strict practice that must be observed. Unfortunately, an unprepared litigant who attempts to play by their own rules is quickly discredited by the opposition. Judges often beat them to the punch and dismantle your case before your eyes.
Interviewing a witness is also a skill that requires a great amount of knowledge and expertise. If the necessary questions aren’t being asked, it’s nearly impossible to prove innocence. Opinions and irrelevant information are also rampant in self-represented matters. It’s incredibly difficult for someone who’s been involved and has an emotional connection to the events to view them in the objective manner. This is required to present them from a legal perspective and to ensure they’re being viewed in the most favorable light. Failing to remove oneself from the equation usually leads to a rather quick demise that often does nothing but leave the litigant backed into a corner. Often, they’ll face steeper charges than they initially thought.
Time is an important factor when you’re facing legal charges. A skilled attorney will be able to make sure enough time is afforded to prepare your best defense. They’ll work with you to understand the facts of the case and ensure that they’re accurately presented. They may even be able to beat the case without even needing to go to court. Leaving you and your family’s future up to chance isn’t worth it. Get a free case evaluation and information on affordable payment plans you can live with. Contact a skilled criminal defense lawyer, today!
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