There are various crimes defined by the constitution, ranging from misdemeanor to a felony. Likewise, the punishment also ranges from community service or a minor fine to spending several years in prison or death.
During criminal proceedings, representation is critical for a person who has been charged with committing a crime. The Constitution of the United States dictates that all citizens charged with crimes must be provided with representation. If you are seeking to retain the services of a criminal defense attorney or have already retained one, it is important to understand what they can do for you during pre-trial.
The criminal law varies from state to state. Therefore, the definitions and punishments for state crimes are not the same all across the U.S. Every individual has a right of self-representation during the proceedings of a criminal trial. However, the consequences of poor legal representation may be very severe. For this reason, it is important for a suspect to have someone with a wealth of knowledge in law arguing his case.
Criminal defense attorneys provide assistance to clients from the pre-trial to trial. Some people seek the expertise of a lawyer during an investigation, even before being charged with a crime. It usually happens when someone has been named a suspect and believes he may be soon charged. Such a lawyer may provide help in instructing the individual as he is questioned by the authorities to avoid divulging incriminating information.
Criminal defense attorneys can convince the court to drop charges against a charged individual. It often happens when he proves that improper procedures were followed, or there may be insufficient evidence.
When a person is arrested, he may be detained as he waits for trial. In such a situation, he can be released if he provides a set amount of money. This money is called bail and is meant to ensure he shows up during the trial. Criminal defense attorneys can persuade the cut to reduce or waive the bail.
When a person knows he will be found guilty, he may choose to enter a plea bargain. A plea bargain can be defined as a negotiated agreement between the charged party and the prosecution to reduce sentencing or reduce the charges to a smaller crime. Criminal defense lawyers are instrumental during the plea negotiations. Through his representation, the attorney increases the chances of the charged party to receive a reduced sentence.