Criminal Defense Attorney 101

by Bre, 8:14 PM

Let's face it, you got yourself in a pickle and got into some trouble and you need a lawyer.  If you are in trouble or in a legal battle, I want to share with you that getting a criminal defense attorney is more simple than you think. Criminal law is different than civil. This area of law relates to offenses that break the laws of a local, state, or federal governments. The prosecution is handled by lawyers employed by the governmental entity, and the defense is handled by either a publicly appointed defender or a private defense attorney whom the defendant pays. In criminal law, there are misdemeanors (small offenses) and felonies (more serious crimes). Reasons that you need one can vary from assault to DUI, even legal trouble with work. Drug charges are also reasons you may need one. Domestic disputes or even violating a restraining order can also be reasons. There are more serious crimes that are almost unfathomable but those crimes are also reasons that a lawyer is needed these days. 

When you find yourself facing a battle with the system, a lawyer is a must. If you're facing criminal prosecution, a criminal defense attorney can help you understand several things including: The nature of the charges filed; Any available defenses; What plea bargains are likely to be offered; and What is expected after trial or conviction.

Now, you are probably thinking what can a criminal lawyer do for me? A good criminal defense lawyer may help: Reduce your criminal charge to a lesser offense (for example, reduce a felony to a misdemeanor); Lessen the severity of the punishment for the crime; Reduce or eliminate jail time (via probation, for example); and/or Help you develop a sound defense strategy (if your case goes to trial).

When trying to find your lawyer, be sure to ask the following questions so that you know what you are dealing with:
  • Do you have any experience handling cases similar to mine? 
  • How much of my criminal case will you actually handle?
  •  How many jury trials have you litigated? 
  • How often do you work out plea agreements or ask for a lesser charge? 
  • What are your attorney's fees, and how are they calculated? 
  • Do you offer a payment plan? 
  • Would you be willing to provide references from clients you've helped?
Getting questions like this answered can make you feel more comfortable in the situation at hand. It will also make you understand what you are dealing with.

If you're facing criminal charges that could result in a prison sentence, loss of professional licenses, or other tough penalties, you'll probably want legal counsel on your side. Buckle up buttercup! You are going to be going through a process but your attorney can help you through it.  You don't have to give up if you need a lawyer, many of them are willing to work with you to help you get your life together but YOU have to be the one to make the jump and reach out. 
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