If you have been charged with any type of a crime, it is important that you seek out the advice of an attorney as soon as possible. An attorney may be able to convince a judge to let you out on bail or reduce the amount that needs to be paid. Legal counsel can also provide advice as to what to do and say while the case unfolds.
You Can Tell Your Attorney Anything
Thanks to the existence of attorney-client privilege, you can tell your legal representative anything that you want. This is ideal because it allows you to open up about the case and provide as much detail as possible without jeopardizing your chances of obtaining a favorable outcome. Lawyers are not allowed to waive this privilege without your consent even if you admit to committing the crime.
It is important that you understand this right and take full advantage of it. By providing as much information as possible to your legal counsel, it makes it easier for him or her to create a legal strategy. In some cases, this may mean trying to suppress evidence or hiring an expert witness. In others, it may mean choosing jurors who may be sympathetic to the reason why you stole groceries or shot someone who was harassing your child.
How Is Evidence Suppressed?
Prior to a trial, there may be a hearing to determine what types of evidence can be shown to the jury. At this time, your attorney may ask that witness testimony, the results of a chemical test or anything else being used in an effort to prove your guilt be ruled inadmissible. If a judge agrees with that request, the testimony, report or test result in question will not be shown to jurors.
In a way, it is like the the prosecution never had the evidence to begin with. Depending on the overall strength of the case against you, having testimony or other information suppressed could result in the matter being dropped entirely. It could also provide more leeway for your attorney to negotiate a favorable plea deal. In the event that the case still goes to trial, it could still be easier for your lawyer to obtain an acquittal.
What Does It Mean to Negotiate a Plea Deal?
A plea deal can be offered in any type of criminal case whether the charge is a felony or a misdemeanor. The deal allows for some or all of the potential penalties to be dropped in exchange for a guilty plea. In some cases, charges are dropped or reduced in exchange for such a plea.
For example, if you were charged with DUI, a plea may reduce the charge to a reckless driving. That would allow you to avoid having to acknowledge the charge on future background checks that an employer or college might conduct. It could also help to keep you avoid any mandatory penalties that a conviction on the original charge could come with.
There are many factors that come into play when an attorney negotiates a plea agreement. The strength of the prosecution’s case will determine how much bargaining power an attorney has. If the prosecution only has circumstantial evidence or an unreliable witness to rely on, it could be easier to get a plea deal than if there was more reliable testimony or mostly objective evidence.
Other factors may include the severity of the crime and your criminal background. Typically, you have a better chance of being sentenced to probation or community service in a first-offense petty theft case as opposed to a second or third DUI with bodily injury case.
Your Attorney Understands the Nuance of the Law
Perhaps the most important reason to retain legal counsel is because your attorney will have an understanding of the nuance of the law. For instance, he or she will understand when to object to a prosecutor’s question or how to ask the judge for a favorable ruling during a trial. Your counsel will also understand how to examine or cross-examine witnesses in a way that creates doubt that you committed a give crime.
In some cases, failing to properly introduce evidence or introduce a witness properly can result in evidence or testimony being stricken from the record. Without an attorney, it may be difficult or impossible to use the law to your full advantage. In fact, you may not even know when the prosecution has made a mistake or if your rights have been violated without someone to make you aware of those errors.
The next time that you have been charged with a crime, don’t try to fight the case on your own. Instead, hire a professional lawyer who understands the law and how it may apply in your case. From the second that your attorney is hired, he or she will do whatever it takes to help you obtain the best possible outcome.
Todd is a miracle worker who will work tirelessly for you and your family. He is one of the few attorneys i've met - who I earnestly trust to protect me, and who I am happy to refer to our friends and fellow family members. The Spodek Law Group is someone you want on your side, because they will treat you just like family. Todd and his team are available 24/7, and they always answered our calls. Even when we were being irrational, and crazy - they were calm and super helpful. Just call Todd. He gives you a free consultation and is very understanding.- Donna & Robert
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