Navigating the criminal justice system with the help of a criminal lawyer
While growing up, our parents taught us to be law abiding citizens. But now as an adult, you understand how easy it can be to find yourself on the wrong side of the law. Whenever you are arrested for allegedly committing an offense, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are guilty. Luckily, our constitution gives every American the right to a fair hearing. It means that you will go through the court process, which will determine whether you are guilty or not.
Before being put into police custody, the arresting officer will customarily recite your Miranda rights. The Miranda warning acquaints you of your rights during arrest, which includes the right to remain silent and right to an attorney. If your financial situation cannot afford you an attorney, the state will appoint one for you.
The Miranda warning emphasizes the importance of having a criminal lawyer to represent your interests during court proceedings. This is because criminal law is utterly complex. In fact, most of the states have set different punishments for the same offenses, which makes it even more difficult for an average person to understand how the criminal justice process work.
Ignorance of the criminal law is no defense
As noted earlier, the fact that you have been arrested doesn’t necessarily mean that you are guilty. After all, it is the duty of the court to determine whether you are guilty of the crimes or not. However, remember that it is not your admission of innocence nor the ignorance of criminal law that will set you free. What will set you free is the facts and arguments presented in a court of law.
Who is better in presenting these facts and arguments than an experienced criminal lawyer? Criminal lawyers possess a Juris Doctorate. They spend many years studying and practicing law. The rigorous training enables them to understand every aspect of criminal law and court procedures.
The main duty of a Chicago criminal defense attorney is to fight for the rights of their clients. They achieve this by conducting intensive research, looking for loopholes and inconsistencies in the case that might work in your favor. Furthermore, most of the criminal lawyers have built a vast network with their colleagues and other people in the justice system that can help them in the course of your case.
When do you need a criminal defense lawyer?
A criminal defense lawyer can offer legal assistance throughout the process, including pre-trial and during the trial. It is always advisable to bring on board a criminal lawyer as soon as you find yourself in the hands of police even when you have enough reason to believe that you are innocent. The attorney will educate you on your rights, and also offer valuable information about your case.
You might be surprised that a criminal lawyer can help in convincing the court to drop charges against you based on improper arrest procedure or even insufficient evidence. Again, if you have been arrested for allegedly committing an offense, the court may order for your detention pending trial. In such a case, the criminal lawyer can enter into a plea bargain with the prosecution to either reduce the charges or sentencing.
Services of a criminal lawyer during the trial
This is one of the most critical stages of the criminal justice process. Any slight mistake made at this stage can cost you hefty fines or even lengthy prison sentences. During a trial, criminal defense attorneys come in handy by helping in analyzing your case and preparing for defense.
Remember that most of the criminal lawyers have access to information that an ordinary person cannot access, including witnesses and material evidence to be presented in court. This information enables them to prepare for arguments by taking advantage of loopholes and inconsistencies in the evidence presented before a court of law.
Also, remember that criminal cases usually involve a lot of paperwork that must be completed and submitted within strict deadlines. Any slight mistake in the presentation of facts can prove costly. A criminal lawyer works with a team of experts who help in counterchecking every word to ensure that documents are error free. Every step in the criminal justice process carries a lot of weight. Working with an experienced criminal lawyer can help you in passing each of these steps successfully.