Any person who has been accused of criminal charges has the right to an attorney to represent them in court. Their job will be to defend the accused, gather evidence, plead and negotiate on their behalf in court. It is a misconception that you can only contact a criminal defense lawyer right at the beginning of your case and no more. You can contact them at any point in your hearing and proceedings. Either you can go for someone recommended by your family and friends or contact a well-known law firm.
Let us take a look at when you can contact them and how they can help you.
When should I Contact a Criminal Defense Lawyer?
The best time to contact a criminal defense lawyer is as soon as you get to know that you are facing legal charges. This will help your lawyer to get the hang of the case from the beginning and help you every step of the way. This can also help you to settle your case outside of court. Your lawyer can plead and negotiate on your behalf and stop the case from moving to court.
Nonetheless, if you do not contact one right away, you can contact one along with the duration of your proceedings.
One of the main reasons one postpones appointing an attorney is cost – hiring a criminal defense lawyer can be a rather expensive affair.
So when are the critical moments of your proceedings when you should hire a criminal defense lawyer?
This is the highest point where you need an expert’s advice. This is the stage when you either plead not guilty, guilty, or no contest. Your lawyer can review your case and suggest which is the best option for you. At this stage, a bail request can also be made on your behalf.
On pleading guilty, you will face either a no contest or a plea bargain. However, if you plead not guilty, you will move on to the pre-trial stage.
If no plea bargain or solution occurs at your pre-trial conference, you will be granted a hearing from a jury or a judge. At this stage, your lawyer can help your case get closed due to lack of evidence or arrange a plea deal, get probation instead of jail, or get a reduced jail time.
At this stage, your lawyer will help you come up with an effective defense strategy, represent and fight for your case in court.
On accepting a plea bargain or on being convicted of the said crime, your lawyer can help you get reduced charges or the minimum sentence.
While we always recommend getting a criminal defense lawyer right from the beginning of your case, many do not contact them right away. Better late than never, you should contact them as soon as you feel the need for an expert’s help in your case. We hope you make the right choice of contacting a criminal defense lawyer and get a favorable judgment in your case.