When many people get arrested or charged with a criminal offense, they often wonder whether they should hire a Chicago criminal defense attorney to represent them. Some people believe that an attorney is a waste of money and that they can simply handle their case on their own. While everyone is legally allowed to represent themselves in court, there are many important duties that an experienced attorney handles to make sure you receive the best possible outcome in your case. The following are some examples of how a criminal defense attorney is vital to your case.
After an Arrest
As soon as you are under arrest, you have the right to an attorney. You should call an attorney before you are even charged, as he can represent you during all communications with police to make sure you do not accidentally incriminate yourself.
A skilled criminal defense attorney looks into every detail of the circumstances surrounding your arrest and the alleged offense. He will interview witnesses, comb through the police report, analyze physical evidence, conduct depositions, and more to help build the most aggressive defense possible in your case.
Protect Your Rights
If you are facing criminal charges, you have certain rights under the United States Constitution during every stage of your case, from arrest to sentencing. For example, the police cannot violate your Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizure before or during your arrest. If your attorney discovers that your rights were violated he will work to keep all related evidence out of court. Additionally, all criminal defendants have a right to timely hearings, a fair and speedy trial, the right against self-incrimination, and much more. An attorney works every step of the way to make sure that prosecutors or the court is not violating your rights in any way so you receive the fair trial you deserve.
Negotiate with Prosecutors
The majority of criminal cases do not go to trial. However, a defendant should not simply plead guilty to any charges. Prosecutors often aim for the most aggressive charge possible and sometimes charge defendants with a crime when they do not have enough evidence to prove guilt. An attorney can look over all of the prosecutor’s evidence and use his investigative skills to negotiate with the prosecutor and try to strike a plea bargain. A plea bargain usually includes reduced charges, reduced sentence, probation instead of jail time, and more.
Advise You of Your Options
Whether to strike a deal or take your case to trial is important, and a defense lawyer can weigh all of your options and help advise you on the best course of action for you in your individual situation.
Facing criminal charges stressful, and you should never try to handle your case on your own. If you have been arrested or charged, experienced Chicago criminal defense attorney Steven Goldman can help you with every aspect of your case. Do not hesitate to contact Goldman & Associates today for assistance.