Why Do I Need A Criminal Defense Attorney?
The justice system is complex, and when you face criminal charges, the situation is compacted with the added stress of handling the process after being arrested. A criminal defense attorney is either hired or assigned to your case. Allowing them to take care of the paperwork and other details removes a considerable burden as you trust someone who knows the ins and outs of criminal proceedings.
You need a criminal defense attorney if you are facing criminal charges. Whether you hire one or the court appoints one, trying to go it alone can be frustrating, and it is easy to miss things that may work in your favor. Many qualified attorneys are available, and clients should expect the best representation because criminal defense lawyers serve many roles. The best attorneys walk alongside their clients as guides, protectors, and trusted sources.
The defendant pays private attorneys, and the government pays for government-appointed attorneys. Depending on the person facing charges and their financial situation, they can choose to pay for their own attorney or use the one appointed by the court. The court-appointed attorneys are free to the defendant because they are salaried. A small percentage of defendants may want to represent themselves in court, which is incredibly challenging and can cause more damage if not handled correctly. Although more than 75 percent of defendants cannot pay for their own attorney, many reputable defense lawyers can offer a free consultation on the phone and provide affordable services. As you can imagine, hiring a private attorney may offer a more personal and focused feel than the court-appointed one.
What Does A Criminal Defense Attorney Do?
All criminal defense attorneys focus on finding out the facts of each case and investigating those facts for accuracy, and seeking additional evidence in favor of the defendant. Legal representation will also file all paperwork and work to negotiate deals such as reduced charges and sentences and lower bail. In today's system, deal-making is growing in non-violent crimes due to overcrowded prisons, overbooked court calendars, and two years of catching up on cases not heard by a jury due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There is currently a purposeful effort to free up the court system.
An experienced lawyer working to fight for you will know a reasonable plea, significantly increasing the likelihood the prosecutors and judge will consider and grant the request. An experienced criminal defense lawyer will also question any witnesses, analyze the prosecution’s case, gather evidence, and bring knowledge of the judge’s ruling history. Sharing inside knowledge with the defendant about sentencing consequences, such as fines, jail time, and immigration impact allows sound decision-making and the best approach in the courtroom. Permanent marks on a record can have ripple-effect consequences on life, parental custody, housing, and employment, not to mention the loss of some constitutional rights. If a plea deal is not reached, the private defense counsel will represent the defendant during the trial.
Representing Your Own Case
When a defendant refuses legal representation from the courts and does not hire a private attorney, they must ask the judge to self-represent or Pro se. Although when it comes up on television and movies, this seems like a viable option, it is not recommended to go it alone when facing criminal charges. Ultimately, the judge decides and not the defendant. The judge determines eligibility by looking at the severity of the charges, the language, education, and the accused's accurate understanding of the charges. The judge must decide if the defendant can represent themselves competently enough to get a fair chance. If the judge determines significant delinquency in any area that would lead to an unfair hearing, they rule against Pro se. If the judge says no, court-appointed counsel is provided.
Benefits of A Local Criminal Defense Attorney
Finding a local attorney where you have been accused of the crimes is incredibly helpful throughout court proceedings. A professional familiar with the area has insight and knows intricate details that attorneys from out of the area will not know. Additionally, if an attorney is established and has been around for years, they already have relationships with law enforcement, the courts, and others in the community. Although it may not seem relevant, even a slight advantage can help in some cases. Familiarity with the other attorneys, judges, and prosecutors can offer a significant advantage when working to fight charges. Well-established criminal defense attorneys welcome those seeking private representation and provide free consultations. If you or someone you love is facing criminal charges in San Diego, contact the offices of Joni Eisenstein for the best legal representation available in North County.
If you are on the fence about hiring a defense attorney, stop thinking about it, and do it now
Hiring a criminal defense attorney like Joni Eisenstein can help you go from a place of uncertainty to freedom.