If you have been charged with a crime, hiring a seasoned criminal defense attorney to represent you could significantly reduce the severity of the sentence you will ultimately face. Not only does a good criminal defense lawyer safeguard your constitutional rights as a defendant, but they also know how to work within the system to reduce the charges against you or have them dismissed altogether. At trial, an attorney can also argue calmly and dispassionately on your behalf, and in a way that is persuasive to judges and juries.
For many defendants, the question isn’t whether they will hire an attorney, but at what stage they should seek the help of a legal professional. If you have been charged with a crime and have questions about your legal rights or are seeking representation, contact the Fairfax criminal defense attorneys at Leary Law today for a free, no-risk consultation.
What Do Defense Attorneys Do?
As the name implies, a criminal defense attorney defends someone who has been charged with a crime, seeking the smallest punishment possible given the circumstances. They act as their clients’ legal representatives throughout the process, speaking and arguing on their behalf. Furthermore, a defense attorney ensures that their client’s rights are respected before, during, and after trial.
It is never advisable to navigate the complex criminal justice system on your own, as you are not likely to be as intimately familiar with the laws regarding the specific charges against you as an attorney would be. Though the cost of hiring a criminal defense attorney can be an understandable concern for many defendants, the cost of not hiring a criminal defense attorney is often much, much higher.
When Is The Right Time To Hire A Lawyer?
The ideal time to hire a lawyer is as soon as you are arrested. However, this may not be possible for some people in some circumstances. In general, you should speak to an attorney as soon after your arrest as possible, particularly if the charges against you are serious.
Typically, you will be discharged from custody and ordered to appear at a hearing where the charges against you are addressed and you have the opportunity to enter a plea. This is known as an arraignment. At the arraignment, you will enter a plea of guilty, not guilty, or no contest. In some instances, the defendant will meet the attorney prosecuting their case following the arraignment.
It’s in your best interests to have secured the help of a defense attorney by the time of this arraignment. This will permit you to have a grasp on the allegations being made by the prosecution and the potential penalties you could face if found guilty. Your attorney will discuss the benefits and disadvantages of pursuing a plea bargain versus fighting your case out in court.
The legal process can be challenging to understand and navigate, especially for first-time offenders. In addition to defending you in court, your defense attorney will provide you support and comfort throughout this ordeal. Knowing that you have a lawyer in your corner who is familiar with the process and knows how to effectively respond to a variety of charges can provide valuable peace of mind during what can be a very stressful time.
How Leary Law Could Help
If you have been charged with a crime, then you need the knowledge, resources, and experience that Leary Law’s criminal defense lawyers can offer. We will craft a strong legal defense on your behalf and explore every legal option available to us as we seek to dismiss or reduce the charges against you. If police misconduct was involved in your case, our attorneys will uncover it and will use it to your advantage.
Rest assured that our seasoned defense attorneys will protect your rights and fiercely defend you throughout the legal process. Contact us today for a consultation, online or by calling us at (703) 359-7111.