Attorneys that work in criminal law have to be able to handle an enormous range of cases. This category includes everything from reckless driving to capital murder, and the penalties and procedures for each are unique. Because these cases are complex, attorney representation is imperative. In fact, less than one percent of people represent themselves in court, as it is nearly impossible for an untrained defendant to manage every part of the process.
Why is an experienced attorney crucial for a criminal law case?
Even though attorneys spend years learning about their areas of practice, they are met with unique challenges with every case. Defendants who attempt to represent themselves will usually be overwhelmed with the difference between theory and practice. There are two major reasons why an attorney is needed to handle the case for the defendant:
• Prosecutorial discretion: Prosecutors decide if they are going to file charges and what those charges will be. Both of these decisions will steer the case’s direction. For example, it may seem obvious what the charges will be for a particular crime, but a single occurrence can be framed in many ways, resulting in charges the defendant may be unprepared for. An experienced defense attorney will be able to adjust without trouble and may even be able to argue for a more favorable sentencing.
• Unaccounted for courtroom pressures: The legal system is full of ambitious people, and this ambition can often put a defendant at risk of being treated unfairly. Having an experienced attorney to anticipate this will ensure fair treatment for the defendant.
What can an attorney do for a criminal law case?
In addition to court representation, a defense attorney can provide assistance in several areas, including:
• Negotiating more favorable sentencing with prosecutors. An experienced defense attorney knows when they can get a better deal from the prosecutor, and a defendant without an attorney won’t be as well received by the prosecutor.
• Offer objective advice while the defendant considers their options. A defendant may believe their chances of a favorable verdict are better or worse than they are. An attorney can help the defendant make the right decision regarding their case.
• Understanding complex legal situations. For example, an illegal search and seizure can completely change the outcome of the case, but understanding what an illegal search and seizure is can be difficult for a defendant to determine.
• Gather information from investigators or the prosecution’s witness. Defense attorneys know how to improve a case with the help of a private investigator, and know how to extract information from prosecution witnesses. A defendant without help will have trouble managing either situation.
This is just a small sample of what the defense attorneys at Becerra & Colgin can do for anyone facing charges. If you are being accused of wrongdoing, we can provide you with the professional legal counsel needed to secure the best outcome possible.