Hiring a Criminal Defense Attorney

Being charged with a crime does not mean one is guilty. However, even if one is guilty, the desire is to seek the least amount of penalty possible. Regardless of guilt or innocence, it is the right of every person in the United States to have legal representation. There is an old saying that says, “The man who defends himself in court has a fool for a lawyer.” Though that saying has an element of humor, it is quite accurate. It is impossible for a layman to adequately navigate the mire that is our current legal system alone. One mistake could bring down a judgement of guilty or could cause the punishment for a crime one is guilty of to be much more severe.

The stress of being charged and possibly imprisoned is extreme enough. Having to pick the proper counsel to stand and speak for us in court can bring a feeling that it is hopeless to even try and fight. That could not be further from the truth. Certainly there is a system and the rules of that system must be followed. Even those who have experience with the court system are not expert in the subtleties of its ways. It takes an educated, trained and competent attorney to take on a case if there is to be a real hope of a successful defense.

The First Meeting with an Attorney

A big fear that causes a lot of stress to those charged with a crime is the initial consultation with an attorney. For the defendant, it feels as if this is the end of the world. For the good criminal attorney, it is part of the job. The attorney knows that emotion accomplishes nothing. Facts are what will win the case. The defendant often feels that the attorney does not identify with the seriousness of the situation. The attorney asks questions and writes things down. At the end of the meeting there is a simple handshake and there may not be any contact for days.

Do not misinterpret the initial meeting. The attorney has been preparing before he or she even meets the potential client. What goes on behind the scenes is not readily apparent to the defendant. What the attorney needs from the client is facts and details, not emotion. That is why a good attorney will keep a client on task. The goal is to avoid any surprises and to head off any direction that a prosecutor would like to take the case. Facts and small details reveal volumes that may possibly be used when it is time to stand before the judge.

The Costs of Hiring a Criminal Defense Attorney

Cost is another stressor. The best attorney could only work for free for a very short time before going out of business. Costs associated with mounting an appropriate defense involve much more than just the wages of the lawyer. It takes time and other professionals to put together the best defense for the client. Every professional from paralegals to private investigators may be employed to get to the facts that can be used in defense of the client. The client who is incarcerated should recruit the assistance of trusted friends and family to help secure funds for attorney’s fees.

Another major stress point when defending a client is a perceived failure. Good attorneys have multiple avenues of approach they may pursue when defending a client. If one avenue is closed, then the effort is concentrated in another area. For example: a low bail amount will be attempted even if it is likely the judge will set bail high. It would be wrong for the attorney to just accept a high bail amount without first trying to get it lowered. However, even if it is not lowered, it is not a failure. It is a good attorney doing every single thing he or she possibly can for the client.

One must pick an attorney that a measure of trust can be placed in to see the case through to the best outcome possible. The court system is a wilderness no one should have to navigate alone. Good counsel is there for those who need it.