A defense attorney holds an important position in the justice system. It is their responsibility to ensure that people who have been accused of a crime receive the legal representation that is guaranteed to them by the U.S. Constitution. From minor misdemeanors to major felonies, a defense attorney is capable of handling all aspects of criminal matters.
Who Needs A Defense Attorney?
Often someone who suspects they may be charged with a crime hires a defense attorney. Perhaps they have been arrested or were simply brought in for questioning. Even the person who has done nothing wrong still has the right to have a defense attorney. In fact, it’s advisable to hire a defense attorney at the earliest opportunity. This way, the attorney can advise their client about what should and should not be revealed during questioning.
A defense attorney may also be able to cast doubt on an arrest. To make an arrest, a police officer has to have probable cause, which is essentially a compelling reason for arresting an individual. Attorneys sometimes are able to argue that an officer did not have probable cause, thereby getting charges dismissed.
The services of a defense attorney also include arguing for bail, crafting plea bargains and negotiating with the prosecuting attorney. If a plea agreement cannot be reached before trial, the defense attorney becomes absorbed in preparations. He or she may conduct a thorough investigation, hiring various experts and specialists to provide testimony at trial. They may also set up and conduct various depositions in which witnesses are questioned. This evidence may later be used at trial. Prior to trial, the defense attorney will also make requests of the prosecutor’s office regarding the disclosure of documents and other pertinent information.
From the earliest stages of a criminal matter to the final decision, a defense attorney is an indispensable asset to anyone accused of a crime. With their assistance, defendants sometimes receive reduced penalties or have the charges against them dismissed entirely.