In a court of law, you are presumed innocent until proven guilty. A prosecuting attorney must show that all evidence proves beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused is guilty. Prosecuting attorneys are diligent experts when it comes to building a case against a defendant, which is why a Chicago criminal defense attorney is a vital asset to those facing a criminal conviction.
Why You Need a Criminal Defense Attorney
A criminal defense attorney offers defendants a number of benefits. These benefits include:
Experience and Knowledge of the Criminal Justice System
Criminal defense attorneys are experts who have Juris Doctorate degrees, so they have an in-depth understanding of the criminal justice system. A skilled criminal defense attorney is accustomed to court procedures and can identify inconsistencies that can benefit their clients.
Criminal defense attorneys are familiar with court customs and procedures unique to each courthouse. For instance, a criminal defense attorney will probably know which prosecutor has the power to settle a case and the types of arguments that are appealing to that prosecutor.
Building a Successful Case
Individuals who represent themselves may have a difficult time building a case. An experienced criminal defense attorney understands how to build a solid case, which can help lead to a dismissal or reduced charges.
Criminal defense attorneys also have the capability to carry out private investigations and use experts for testimony. Furthermore, they have legal assistants and paralegals who help each case develop a strong defensive strategy.
Most witnesses for the prosecution will be reluctant to speak with self-representing individuals. Criminal defense attorneys can gather information from prosecution witnesses that could be valuable to a defendant. Furthermore, a criminal defense lawyer can mediate between the accused and the other party. It is common for emotions to run high during a criminal trial, and a criminal defense lawyer can prevent a defendant from saying things that could hurt his or her case.
For a reduced sentence, a criminal defense lawyer will negotiate with the prosecutor to come to an agreement for a plea bargain or deal. When the court finds a defendant guilty of a criminal charge, a defense attorney may be able to negotiate with the prosecutor to get lesser time served or a rehabilitation program.
Most defendants have limited knowledge regarding the criminal justice system. Those without legal guidance can become easily confused on what steps to take next. A criminal defense lawyer can guide you through the legal process to relive some of the stress that is associated with criminal charges.
Most individuals who are facing criminal charges have a full-time job, which makes it difficult to find the time that is needed to fight a criminal charge. Criminal defense attorneys can relieve some of the burden of a criminal charge by gathering and examining evidence documents, filling out and submitting court documents, talking to witnesses, and doing legal research.
May Prevent Charges From Being Filed
There are instances where a skilled criminal defense lawyer can meet with the federal prosecutor or district attorney to stop charges before they are formally filed. A defense attorney can present witness statements or evidence that provides prosecutors with the complete picture.
When Should You Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney?
The best time to contact a criminal defense attorney is immediately after an arrest. The sooner a criminal defense attorney begins to work on a case, the more likely the defendant will reach a successful outcome. Negotiation is an important part of the legal process, and it is more likely going to occur in the early stages of a case.