If someone is accused of a crime and is facing the possibility of going to jail, the best thing they can do is hire a defense attorney. It is very unlikely that the defendant has enough legal knowledge to represent themselves at a trial or try and work out a deal with the prosecution for a lesser charge or reduced sentence. Some people might believe that if they are innocent, it will be easy to prove it legally. That might not be the case, however, and it is always better to have legal representation.
There are many things that a criminal defense attorney will do for their client. They will spend a great deal of time researching the case to become familiar with all the details. They can even assign legal assistants from their firm to work exclusively on certain cases, thereby ensuring that their client gets the personalized attention that they need. They will spend time with the defendant and instruct them on how to remain composed and dignified in court. A defense attorney will also prepare their client for tough questions from the prosecutor’s cross examination if the defendant will be placed on the witness stand at trial.
Criminal defense attorneys who have years of legal experience will also be able to navigate the local court system better than someone who is unfamiliar with the people and routines involved. They are comfortable being in court and have high success rates for their clients.
Finally, a criminal defense attorney will formulate a strong defense strategy that is tailored to the client’s needs. If the best strategy means that the defendant would be better off accepting a plea bargain from the prosecution, that is what they would advise their client to do. Often law firms will hire outside investigators to gather even more useful evidence for the defense strategy and find ways to point out weaknesses in the prosecution’s evidence. Since the prosecution carries the burden of proof to show that the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, a good criminal defense attorney will present enough evidence to create the reasonable doubt aspect.