While some laws are pretty straightforward, the processes of the legal system can be very complex. This is why lawyers go to school for so long. When it comes to criminal matters, understanding what you are up against and how to defend yourself matters. A criminal conviction can haunt a person for years to come, and it may mean having your freedom restricted. If you've been charged with a crime and haven't hired a lawyer, there are some important reasons you should do so fast.
Collection of All Evidence For and Against You
Access to evidence can be almost impossible to get if you don't follow the process to obtain it. By hiring a criminal defense lawyer, you will be able to get all of the evidence against you because your lawyer will know how to file subpoenas to get records and all the information the prosecution has on your case. Additionally, you can work with your lawyer to find evidence, including witnesses, that may demonstrate your innocence. They can help prepare affidavits of any witnesses you have, which are legally binding statements that can be used in court.
Weighing the Evidence Against the Charges
Once the evidence is obtained, a good criminal defense lawyer will weigh it against the specific charges in your case. Laws typically have several elements in them, and each of those criteria must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Your lawyer can see if the evidence stacks up against each element of the laws you are charged with breaking, and if they don't, they can file for a dismissal of the charges. If the evidence demonstrates some ambiguity as far as whether or not you are guilty, a prosecutor and a judge may still want to move forward with the case. In that situation, your lawyer may be able to negotiate a lesser charge or convince the prosecution of the legal challenges to prove the case and then work out a plea bargain.
Go to Court to Defend You
A criminal lawyer will defend you in court if your case goes to trial. If you can't successfully drop the charges or negotiate a plea bargain, your next best bet is to go to trial. For anyone who doesn't feel guilty of the crimes that they are charged with, then a good lawyer will help you present the best legal defense to a jury. Your lawyer will help you select jurors, and they will present all of the evidence in a way that demonstrates reasonable doubt that you are guilty.
When you consider how criminal charges can negatively impact your life for a very long time, it is worth the time and money to work with a good lawyer. They will give you the best shot at defending yourself within the framework of the legal system.