6 Common Reasons People Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney
When someone is charged with a crime, they may feel overwhelmed and unsure of what to do. This is where a criminal defense attorney comes in.
A criminal defense attorney will help the accused understand the charges against them, provide guidance throughout the legal process, and represent the accused in court. There are many reasons to hire a criminal defense attorney, but six of the most common are listed below.
1. The Crime Has a Mandatory Prison Sentence
Say the crime that the defendant has been charged with has a mandatory prison sentence (for example, a Class E felony is punishable by a fine of up to $3,000 and at least one year in jail). Oftentimes, defendants are unaware of this requirement until after they have pleaded guilty and the prosecutor reveals the mandatory minimum sentence.A criminal defense attorney can fight to protect the defendant’s rights and may be able to negotiate the crimes with which the defendant is charged.
2. The Person Has Never Had to Deal with the Criminal Justice System
If the defendant has never had to deal with the criminal justice system, they will want someone on their side with experience. Arresting officers are well-versed in manipulating inexperienced defendants into making statements or signing documents that may be used against them later on. Experienced attorneys understand this tactic and know how to handle it.
3. The Defendant Has Been Accused of a Crime in Another State or Country
If the defendant has been accused of a crime in another state or country, they will need an experienced criminal defense attorney with contacts and resources throughout the legal system. Being charged in an unfamiliar court can be confusing and intimidating, so having someone with knowledge and experience will help the defendant immensely.
4. There’s a Negative Public Perception of the Crime
When there is a lot of public outcry regarding the crime in question, an experienced criminal defense attorney is recommended. Many times, defendants may need expert witnesses or someone to testify on their behalf. It may also behoove the defendant to have the trial moved to another area without as much media coverage of the case. These types of cases require an attorney with experience and knowledge of handling this type of situation.
5. The Defendant is Not a U.S. Citizen
Suppose the defendant is not a U.S. citizen. In that case, they will want to hire an attorney that can represent them throughout the legal process and help prevent any immigration problems that may affect their future ability to remain in the country legally.
6. The Defendant is a Juvenile
If the defendant is a juvenile, they or their guardian will want to hire an attorney with experience with children accused of crimes. Even if the crime has no mandatory prison sentence, if the defendant is underage, they may be sentenced to a juvenile detention center. This can have long-lasting effects on an individual’s future career options and security clearances.
There are many reasons to hire a criminal defense attorney. When choosing a legal representative, it is important to find an experienced professional with the knowledge and skills necessary to protect your rights throughout the legal process. Call us today to schedule a consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney. Our team will help you understand your rights and how we can assist you in protecting them.