Criminal defense lawyers have a more complicated professional life as compared with other legal practitioners. There’s enough substantial proof given the public’s reaction when they come to know that a defense attorney has been safeguarding a guilty person all along. And that too being consciously aware of the defendant’s fault.
However, looking at the situation from a defense attorney’s perspective; if they do not put their efforts into it, they might not even make any money. So, it’s more of like a point-of-view game that lawyers and attorneys play to gain attention and afflict the ruling (if there’s any scope for it).
In case, you’ve also been charged with a criminal offense, you might be actually wondering how you can prove negative. And of course, your emotions would be raging high, especially if you’ve been accused wrongly.
This article, nevertheless, should help you understand what you can do under such circumstances.
Consult with a Criminal Defense Attorney
It needs not be mentioned that your first step should be looking for a criminal defense attorney. More importantly, you should be looking for someone who has been practicing cases which are similar to yours. You can start your search by seeking references from your friends, or you can also browse the internet. In most of the cases, an attorney with a specialization in specific crimes would prove to be more helpful. For example, it is advised that you should consult with a lawyer if you’ve been accused of rape because proving negative is not an easy task in such cases. And not every other lawyer can do that for you. Similarly, if you’ve been charged with attempt to murder or say child pornography, you should be looking for specific attorney’s who have years of experience in these specific areas only.
Here’s how you should proceed after hiring a suitable defense lawyer for your case.
- Be Honest About Your Case – A common perspective issue is telling white lies or even hiding the truth from the attorneys. On the contrary, doing so could land you in even more trouble than you already are. Simply because something unexpected if ever comes out in the courtroom, you cannot expect your lawyer to defend you, unless they were already aware about it. For this reason, even if you are guilty you should be honest about your case with your lawyer. Be open to them in your conversation and tell exactly what happened. If they truly understand your case, they might actually be able to defend and plead for a softer sentence on your part.
- Share ALL Pieces of Evidence – Another important thing to take note of is sharing every piece of evidence with your attorney, be it a video, a photograph, an audio clip or anything else. It should really help your attorney get to know about your case in a better way. Likewise, if you remember any witness or someone who can record a statement in your favour, you should tell your attorney about it. For the simple fact that your attorney already is responsible for collecting the evidence and building up your case, there’s no point in hiding any proof that could save you in the courtroom.
Apart from this, there are a few things that your attorney is responsible for taking care of. And notably, these are additional tasks, other than defending you in the court of law.
- Your Attorney Would Help with the Paperwork – Most importantly court trials and hearings could be very complex for a commoner. Especially, when it comes to filing the paperwork and completing all the documents. A defense attorney would come in handy in such situations. Since they are familiar with all the documents that need to be filed before proceeding with the court hearings, they can help you out with it. After all, filing wrong papers could actually leave you in more trouble down the road.
- They Are Responsible for Ensuring Your Safety – This might be a bit surprising but yes, your attorney is also responsible for ensuring your safety, even if you’re held within custody. There have been cases where the prisoners have faced life altering accidents and attacks while they were in custody. If you or your attorney believes that there is a threat to your health or your life in regular prisons, they can file for a request to move you under more security. There are also special prisons for people who have health conditions such as allergies, cardiac issues, and even breathing ailments.
- Proving Insanity or Mental Incapacity – In some cases, seldom there are features that tell whether an accused is mentally capable of performing the crime. There’s a very meek line separating the consent and incapacity. Your attorney would also be able to know that whether your state laws consider your particular mental condition as an incapacity or insanity or do they overrule such conditions. It is noteworthy that your attorney would most likely recommend you to take a medical test before filing for mental incapacity in the courtroom.
Every case is different, and therefore no two cases can be handled the same way. It is perhaps the intellect of the attorney or the person held in the capacity of proving your innocence to help you out of such situations. Indeed, this is also one of the most significant reasons why you should consult with the legal experts before entering the courtroom. There are no specific guidelines as to which attorney you should be hiring. However, there are still some obvious checks that you can do.
For example, you should check their experience and portfolio before hiring them. Likewise, you should also be checking out if they can fit into your budget or not. And most importantly you should be ascertaining their win-rate. After all you’ll be resting your life and your reputation into their hands, and you simply cannot take chances with it. That being said, it is still important that you understand the fact, that no-one can guarantee your innocence, but only to reduce your charges and get you out with minimum penalties.