If you are ever arrested or charged with a crime, it is essential to have a criminal defense lawyer on your side. A good lawyer can help you navigate the legal system and make sure your rights are protected. Here are six things a criminal defense lawyer can help you with.
Fighting your case in court
One of the essential things a criminal defense lawyer can do is fight your case in court. If you face serious charges, your lawyer will work tirelessly to get the best possible outcome for you, even winning an acquittal at trial. In this case, a seasoned criminal defense lawyer with a good record in Dallas suggests that you opt for the services of a qualified local lawyer. This is because they will have the necessary knowledge about the local court system to give you the best chance at success.
Another thing you need to consider in choosing a criminal defense lawyer is their experience. You want a lawyer who has handled cases similar to yours in the past and knows what to expect. This will give you the best chance at a favorable outcome. Just also familiarize yourself with the fees that they will charge you. On average, a criminal defense lawyer will charge you an hourly rate, but some may charge a flat fee. If you don’t have the means to pay the fees, some lawyers may be willing to work pro bono. This means they will not charge you for their services.
Reducing or eliminating your sentence
Another thing that a criminal defense lawyer can do is help reduce or eliminate your sentence. If you are convicted of a crime, your lawyer may be able to negotiate a plea deal with the prosecutor. This could result in a reduced sentence or even having the charges against you dropped entirely. The former is referred to as plea bargaining, wherein your lawyer and the prosecutor agree to a specific sentence if you plead guilty to the charges against you.
The latter is called charge bargaining, wherein the charges against you are reduced in exchange for a guilty plea. This is often done when the evidence against you is not strong enough to convict you of the original charge.
You need to meet specific requirements to be eligible for a plea deal, such as not having a prior criminal record and being willing to cooperate with the prosecution. If you do not meet these requirements, your lawyer may still be able to negotiate a sentence reduction with the prosecutor, but it will be more difficult. As much as possible, you also have to be honest with your lawyer about your case. For example, if you are facing charges for a crime you did not commit, tell your lawyer right away so they can build the best defense possible.
Helping you get released from prison early
Your lawyer can help you get released on bail if you are currently in jail. This will allow you to await your trial at home rather than in prison. A judge will set your bail based on the severity of the charges against you and your criminal history. For example, the judge will likely set a higher bail amount if you face a severe charge and have a lengthy criminal record. Certain charges do not allow for bail, such as murder.
If you cannot post bail, your lawyer can help you get released on your recognizance. This means you will be removed from jail without having to post bail. Remember that you are still required to show up for your court date when you are released on your own recognizance. You also need to be eligible for this option, which is usually only available to people with a low risk of flight and strong ties to the community.
Meanwhile, a criminal defense lawyer can help you appeal the conviction if you have already been convicted of a crime. This is a complicated process; your lawyer will need to carefully review the case to see if there are grounds for an appeal. If there are, your lawyer will file the necessary paperwork and argue your case before a higher court. For example, in Texas, if you are convicted of a felony, you have the right to appeal your conviction. However, you only have a limited time to do so because there is a deadline for filing an appeal.
Getting your record expunged
If you have been convicted of a crime, a criminal defense lawyer can help you get your record expunged. This means that the conviction will be removed from your public record. This can be beneficial if you are trying to get a job or housing and don’t want the sentence to appear on a background check. Remember that most states have strict eligibility requirements for expungement, so your lawyer will need to check if you qualify.
For instance, you will need to wait several years after your conviction before filing for expungement in Dallas. You also cannot have any other convictions on your record.
Lastly, a criminal defense lawyer can provide support throughout the entire process. This includes being there for you during interviews with the police, going to court with you, and providing emotional support. For example, during your interviews with the police, your lawyer will be able to advise you on what to say and not to say. This is important because anything you say can be used against you in court.
When you have to be in court, your lawyer will be there with you every step of the way. They will help you understand and guide you through the process. This is important because the legal system can be very confusing and intimidating. Lastly, your lawyer will provide emotional support throughout the entire process. This is also important because going through the legal system can be a very stressful experience.
A criminal defense lawyer can be valuable if you face criminal charges. They can help you navigate the legal system, reduce your sentence, and even get your record expunged. If you are facing criminal charges, consult with a qualified criminal defense lawyer to ensure the best possible outcome.