What is criminal defense?
The United States justice system mandates that if you are charged with a crime, you are entitled to representation by an attorney – and if you can’t afford one, the court will appoint one for you. A criminal defense attorney is a lawyer who defends those who have been charged with a crime.
Criminal defense strategies
A criminal defense attorney will evaluate the facts of your case to determine the best defense for your situation. Possible defenses may include:
- Temporary or permanent impairment due to insanity or drugs/alcohol
- An alibi that can establish that you could not have committed the crime
- Age (if you were a minor at the time of the crime)
- Failure of the prosecutor to prove his or her case
Criminal defense attorneys
Regardless of the crime you were charged with, the outcome of your case is closely tied to the ability of your defense attorney. Although though the law has certain guidelines for penalties, often the final decision about your punishment is made by a judge or jury. An effective defense strategy can make a difference in how the judge or jury views your case, your role in the crime committed, and the appropriate penalty.
Some of the steps an experienced defense attorney may take on your behalf include:
- Arguing for a reduction in bail if appropriate, or release on your own recognizance.
- Meeting with both the judge and prosecutor to discuss possible ways to resolve the case
- Representation during the preliminary hearing and attempting to get charges dismissed.
- Preparation of a thorough strategy and argument of the evidence on your behalf – including a careful evaluation of the prosecution’s case for flaws and room for reasonable doubt.
If you have been charged with a crime, it is essential that you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney right away. A well-qualified lawyer can help protect your rights and your future.