Have you been arrested or charged with a crime? The first thing you should do is hire a criminal defense lawyer. In the United States, everyone is entitled to the best defense possible. While it is technically legal for a defendant to represent themselves during a criminal trial, it is generally not a good idea. Even if the accused is an attorney, it is still better to hire an independent attorney to represent them in court. It doesn’t matter whether you’re guilty or innocent, you still need a good defense attorney.
The primary role of a defense lawyer is to protect your rights. Under the U.S. Constitution, anyone accused of a crime has certain rights. A criminal defense attorney is legally obligated to help you as their client and ensure you are treated fairly.
Under the Constitution, you have the right to an attorney. You also have the right to be heard by a jury of your peers at trial. You are presumed innocent in the U.S. until you are proven guilty. You must also be proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. You are also entitled to a speedy trial, although you may opt to waive this right. You should only do so with the advice of an attorney.
When you are arrested or brought in for questioning, you also have the right to remain silent. You are not required to answer any questions without an attorney present. As soon as you ask for an attorney, law enforcement personnel must stop asking you questions and provide you an attorney. You are also protected from unreasonable seizures or searches.
The defense attorney is responsible for providing you the very best legal representation, whether you are guilty or innocent. Your attorney is your spokesperson and will ensure all law enforcement and prosecution personnel will adhere to the letter of the law.
Most defense attorneys can work with you on any charge. Some attorneys specialize in certain crimes such as DUIs, disorderly conduct or white collar crimes. Others focus on the more heinous crimes such as murder or manslaughter. Your attorney will be with you at all hearings, arraignment, and trial. They may also work with the prosecution on a plea bargain or reduced charges.
A criminal defense can become very expensive. If you cannot afford an attorney, the government must provide you one. If possible, it is best to hire your own criminal defense attorney since public defenders are often overworked.