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Why Should I Hire a Strong Criminal Defense Attorney?

Reasons To Hire A Strong Criminal Defense Attorney

People who are charged with crimes should do everything they can to ensure the best possible outcome for their case. In many cases, an experienced criminal defense attorney can help defendants fully exercise their legal rights and explore all their legal options. Defendants usually are not equipped to represent themselves, so there are many reasons to hire a strong criminal defense attorney. To learn more about what to do after being charged with a crime, contact the criminal defense lawyers of the Forrester Law Firm for a free consultation at (609) 613-1513.

Representation During Interactions with Police

Criminal defense attorneys are available to assist defendants immediately following an arrest. For most people who have been charged with a crime, speaking with an attorney as soon as possible may be in their best interest to help avoid various potential legal missteps that could influence their case. This begins with the initial interaction with the police.

Anyone who has been arrested has the right to refuse to speak with the police until he or she has an attorney present. This legal right protects them from making self-incriminating statements. Even innocent suspects can be charged with a crime based on statements they make to the police. When an attorney is present during police interrogations, they can counsel their client about when to answer questions and speak on the defendant’s behalf.

When an arrest is made, the police are legally required to inform the suspect of their Miranda rights, including the right to remain silent and to receive legal counsel from an attorney. The right to legal counsel is designed to protect people who are facing criminal charges, as the average person cannot be expected to know the intricacies of the criminal justice system. For this reason, many defendants may seek legal guidance to help them fully understand their legal rights and options and all the factors of the case.

However, these procedures are not followed in all arrests. In some cases, police have violated the civil rights of people they have arrested. An attorney can examine the case to determine if the defendant’s constitutional rights have been violated. In cases with sufficient evidence, there is the possibility that charges could be dropped based on such violations. Some common examples of constitutional violations during arrests include:

  • Failing to read Miranda rights
  • Insufficient probable cause for the arrest
  • Conducting a search without a warrant
  • An arrest during an illegal stop or search

Professional Guidance from a Lawyer Who Understands Local Courts and Laws

The district where an arrest occurs is one of the most significant factors involved with the case. Each state has different laws. Additionally, some municipalities have their own local laws that could dictate the penalties of an arrest. For example, according to 8 Pa. Code § 1141.47, in New Jersey, marijuana has been legalized, but someone living within walking distance of the border in neighboring Pennsylvania could be arrested for possessing even small amounts of marijuana if they do not have a medical card.

Individuals who are considering hiring a lawyer after an arrest should seek an attorney with experience in criminal trials in the same court system in which they were charged. Local experience can have other benefits, such as history working with the prosecutor’s office and local judges. Knowledge of local laws and local court systems may be two of the most compelling reasons to hire a strong criminal defense attorney.

Exploring Plea Agreement Options

Each criminal case is unique, and the defendant’s best options will depend on the specific circumstances of the case. Sometimes, the best option will be to plead not guilty and fight the charges. In other cases, the best outcome for the defendant may come from a plea agreement with the prosecution in which the defendant pleads guilty in exchange for concessions from the judge, such as reduced charges and/or a reduced sentence.

Reaching a favorable plea agreement takes negotiation skills. A criminal defense attorney who has made plea agreements with the same parties in the past can draw on this experience to help secure a plea deal that is in the best interest of his or her client. The average defendant will not have the legal knowledge or relationships with prosecutors to handle negotiating a plea agreement on his or her own. You can learn more about your legal options after an arrest from the attorneys at the Forrester Law Firm.

A dedicated criminal defense attorney will be available to assist clients during each step of a case. Sometimes, the case may be resolved quickly with dismissed charges based on problems with the prosecution’s evidence. In other situations, the case may go to trial with the goal of obtaining an acquittal. When a defendant is found guilty of a crime at trial, a criminal defense attorney can continue their legal support during the appeals process.

A guilty verdict is not always the final resolution to a case. Sometimes, faulty verdicts are made based on legal miscues, which could result in an overturned conviction if the defendant and his or her lawyer file an appeal. Some common grounds for an appeal in a criminal case include:

  • Evidence that was obtained through illegal means, such as entering a property without a search warrant
  • Inappropriate conduct from jurors, such as interacting with prosecutors outside of court
  • Insufficient evidence to obtain a conviction
  • Ineffective assistance of counsel

Contact a Criminal Defense Lawyer for a Case Evaluation

The outcome of a criminal case can have a profound impact on the rest of the defendant’s life. Even after a sentence has been served, those with criminal records may deal with setbacks like trouble finding work or housing. With the stakes so high, there are myriad reasons to hire a strong criminal defense attorney. An experienced local criminal defense attorney will work tirelessly to find the best possible way to handle their client’s case and guide them throughout the process.

If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime, the team of dedicated New Jersey criminal defense lawyers at the Forrester Law Firm is here to help. Contact us today at (609) 613-1513 to learn more about your legal options in a free case evaluation.

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