If you’ve been charged with a crime, it may seem like the only options you have are bad ones. Should you accept a plea deal? Should you try to fight the charges on your own? Should you attempt to get free legal representation from an overworked public defender? Should you hire your own criminal defense attorney, even though this could potentially be expensive?
In today’s post, we’ll discuss the latter option. You may assume that hiring an attorney is not worth the money, either because your case is relatively straightforward or because you plan to plead guilty. But even if both of those things are true, working with an experienced criminal defense attorney can significantly impact the timeline, scope and outcome of your case.
Criminal cases can be resolved rather quickly or can drag on for months. Some factors influencing the timeline cannot be changed, but others can be. If it is advantageous for your case to either be expedited or delayed, your attorney may be able to find ways to help you implement a more favorable timeline.
There are many non-statutory factors at play in any criminal case, including the judges, prosecutors and venues involved. Having an attorney who knows local courts and has a good working relationship with other members of the criminal justice system can be a big advantage.
Good criminal defense attorneys can often negotiate with prosecutors to obtain the best possible resolution. An attorney may be able to negotiate a favorable plea bargain, convince prosecutors to drop certain charges and will advise clients on how best to proceed under the circumstances.
The majority of criminal cases never actually go to trial – they are resolved through plea deals. But a good attorney will be prepared to vigorously argue your case at trial if the two of you decide to go that route. Your attorney may also be able to help you:
- Reach a reasonable plea deal
- Pursue alternative sentencing options like probation and fines (as opposed to incarceration)
- Get your criminal record expunged in the future, if possible
- Appeal your conviction if mistakes or prosecutorial misconduct occurred
- Advise you throughout the process on how best to mitigate the consequences of criminal charges on your life and your family
Every case is different, and outcomes cannot be guaranteed. But by working with an experienced criminal defense attorney, you can rest assured that your case is being handled with the skill and attention it deserves.