Are you facing criminal charges or an investigation in San Diego, CA? If so, gaining an understanding of the role played by an attorney and at what stage their services become necessary should be high on your to-do list.
This post explains what a criminal defense lawyer does and when you might need to hire one.
What Exactly is a Criminal Defense Attorney?
A criminal defense attorney defends anyone charged with a crime. As your legal ally, they play an integral role in ensuring that your rights are not violated. They focus on interpreting laws, investigating and assessing your situation, and developing a defense strategy.
When Should You Hire a San Diego Criminal Defense Attorney?
Before Charges Are Filed
If you believe charges may be filed against you in the near future, reach out to a criminal defense lawyer right away. While it might seem weird to talk to a lawyer before charges are filed, it’s actually in your best interest to do so. This way, your lawyer can be with you any time law enforcement questions you, and they can explain what steps you should take to best protect yourself.
During a Criminal Investigation
An investigation often precedes formal criminal charges. It’s an intricate part of the process where law enforcement gathers evidence related to potential violations of the law.
If you’re being investigated for possible involvement in a crime, hiring a defense attorney is critical. They will help ensure proper conduct during this stage and provide advice on how to best cooperate while protecting your rights at the same time.
Right After You’re Arrested
Being arrested is scary for anyone, whether it’s your first experience with the criminal justice system or you’ve dealt with it before. As soon as you are arrested, you should contact a criminal defense lawyer at your earliest possible chance. An experienced defense attorney will help you navigate this process, ensuring that your rights aren’t violated and that you’re treated fairly under the law.
This is not an exhaustive list of when it’s necessary to work with a criminal defense lawyer. However, it provides a snapshot of the most critical times when speaking with and hiring one is a good idea.
Specific Steps an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer Will Take To Help You
Understanding the specific actions that a criminal defense lawyer can take to assist with your case is essential, as it gives you an idea of what effective legal representation looks like. Here’s how they can help you:
Investigate and Speak with Witnesses
An attorney will thoroughly investigate your case, collect facts, review evidence presented by the prosecution, and speak with witnesses. Each step is taken to help build a strategic defense designed specifically for your circumstances.
Negotiate Favorable Plea Deals
Criminal defense lawyers are practiced in negotiating with prosecutors to reach a plea bargain, which may include reduced charges or more lenient sentences. In some cases, this is advisable over going to trial and risking a conviction that could carry significant prison time and other consequences.
File a Motion to Suppress
Another important role of a criminal defense lawyer is to look for when your rights might have been violated, like during your arrest. If such circumstances exist, they can file a motion to suppress to try to have illegally obtained evidence suppressed, meaning it can’t be used against you.
Represent You At Trial
While many criminal matters are handled through plea deals or diversion programs, some of them do end up going to trial. If this is the case, your criminal defense attorney will represent you before a judge (and possibly a jury). They will counter the prosecutor’s evidence and present their own evidence and witnesses to help create reasonable doubt about your guilt.
Help You With Appeals
If you’re convicted and there are grounds for an appeal, your attorney can handle this on your behalf. By raising mistakes that were made during trial proceedings, there are chances to overturn a conviction or secure a new trial.
Schedule a Free Consultation With an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney in San Diego, CA
Ultimately, having professional and knowledgeable representation from a criminal defense lawyer significantly improves your chances against any charges you’re facing. Schedule a free consultation with a skilled criminal defense lawyer in San Diego, California.