If you or someone you care about has been arrested, there is a lot of work to be done before the first court appearance. At the top of your to-do list should be contacting a criminal defense attorney, who will be your biggest ally during the legal proceedings. Keep reading to learn more about how criminal defense works and how you can find a local criminal defense attorney.
Criminal defense attorneys represent people who have been accused of crimes. Their primary objectives are advising defendants throughout the legal process, ensuring that the client’s rights are protected at all times, and working to get charges against the defendant lowered or dropped altogether. If you hire a criminal defense attorney, you can expect them to take measures such as:
Criminal lawyers examine the case against the defendant from all angles, searching for evidence that police may have missed, or for signs that the defendant was treated unfairly by the justice system. Having someone on your side who is protecting your legal rights can mean the difference between a harsh sentence and little to no penalty.
If you have been informed that you will be charged with a crime, you should hire a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible - even before your arrest if time permits. If you have already been arrested, you should hire a criminal lawyer before your arraignment, which is your first appearance in court.
Criminal lawyers prepare the defendant for the arraignment, which typically takes place within 48 hours of the arrest. During this crucial time, the attorney will examine evidence, speak to witnesses, negotiate bond amounts, preserve evidence left behind by police, and even argue for the defendant’s release. The steps the attorney takes before the dust has settled from the arrest could amount to shorter sentences, lesser penalties and possibly even release.
If you can’t afford to hire an attorney and are facing charges that threaten to place you in jail for six months or longer, it is your legal right to have one provided to you at no cost. If you don’t fit these qualifications for free representation, you will have to pay to hire a lawyer. Keep in mind that lawyers charge more or less based on factors such as their years of experience or size of their law firm.
If you are required to pay for a lawyer, there are several costs you can expect to encounter. These costs include:
AboutBail has a nationwide trusted network of local, qualified criminal defense lawyers. The quick search will provide you with contact information for criminal defense attorneys near you. Use that information to get in touch with a lawyer near you to find out more about the firm’s services and costs.
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