If you’re facing criminal charges and aren’t sure what to do, your best defense is to contact an experienced attorney who can help you through your situation. If you’ve committed the crime you’ve been accused of, don’t just give up without speaking with a lawyer – legal counsel benefits everyone facing charges, regardless of what they have or haven’t done.
A lawyer will help you with more than just winning your case
Whether your case is heard before a jury or a judge, a lawyer is there to do more than get you a verdict of “not guilty.” A lawyer will be your strongest support system while you move through the unfamiliar territory of the intimidating justice system. A lawyer brings peace of mind in the chaotic uncertainty of facing criminal charges.
Through brief scenes that only show part of the complex legal process, television sitcoms and courtroom dramas have created the impression that hiring a lawyer is only about winning your case. While winning your case is part of what a lawyer helps you accomplish, there are more reasons you need a lawyer if you’re going to court to face criminal charges.
A judge will consider the law(s) that you’ve been accused of breaking, and will interpret those laws to determine whether or not you’ve actually broken those laws. It may seem cut and dry but it isn’t.
Your sentence will depend on interpretation of the law
Whether you stand before a jury or a single judge, the determination of whether you’ve broken the law will depend on the interpretation of the law. Part of your lawyer’s job is to influence the way the judge or jury interprets that law by using their experience, quick thinking, and vast knowledge of similar rulings from the past.
Interpreting law isn’t so simple. There are two schools of thought when it comes to legal interpretation. On one hand, some judges interpret laws by strictly adhering to the literal meanings of the words in the written law. Other judges will interpret the law based on the legislative author’s intentions. Some judges incorporate both schools of thought into their interpretations.
Without a good lawyer, you won’t have the knowledge and experience to influence their interpretation, and you’ll be at the mercy of whatever the judge decides.
A lawyer will help you understand your paperwork
When you’re facing criminal charges, you can expect to fill out a lot of paperwork that you may not completely understand, even if you Google the terminology. There are many common words in the English language that have an entirely different meaning when used in legal context. If you think it’s difficult to understand corporate contracts, those are nothing compared to the paperwork you’ll need to read when facing criminal charges.
Having a lawyer will ensure that you’ll understand the legal definition of every word in the paperwork you’re required to complete.
There are also many legal terms you might think you understand but don’t. For example, people commonly use the terms “robbery” and “burglary” in error. Television shows often depict people coming home to find their home broken into and their jewelry missing, and call the police to say, “I’ve been robbed.”
Since they weren’t home and their belongings weren’t taken from their person or near their person, they were burglarized and not robbed. There are other important distinctions between theft, burglary, and robbery that most people aren’t aware of. For example, a burglary can occur without anything being stolen or any crime being committed.
These distinctions are just a few examples of how legal words don’t always mean what you think they mean. The only way to ensure you understand everything you’re asked to read and sign is to have an experienced lawyer by your side.
Committing a crime doesn’t guarantee a guilty verdict
If you’ve committed the crime you’ve been accused of, don’t assume you’ll automatically be given a guilty verdict. It’s the state’s job to prove your guilt, and guilt isn’t always determined by your actions alone. It’s also possible the state may not have as much evidence as you think they do, so don’t give up hope.
For example, if you’re charged with assault because you hit someone, but you acted because you were protecting someone else from being harmed, no crime was committed. What determines whether a crime was committed is not your actions alone; it takes all factors into consideration including mitigating circumstances and other influences.
Lawyers are expert negotiators
Being handed a one-year sentence without a lawyer could have been a six month sentence with a lawyer. When you’re facing criminal charges that could land you in jail, you’ll be grateful for having a lawyer, even just to negotiate shaving off a few months from the initially proposed sentence. That’s not something you can do on your own.
An experienced lawyer can also negotiate different kinds of agreements that might avoid you having to plead guilty. Whenever they can, they’ll fight for a sentence of community service, anger management classes, or substance abuse classes instead of jail time.
A lawyer is there to help you stay calm
Court proceedings can be turbulent, confusing, and frustrating. Having a lawyer by your side will keep you calm and confident throughout the proceedings. If there’s a chance you might end up with probation instead of jail time, being calm and confident will serve to help the judge make that decision. Without a lawyer to help you stay focused, if you show your anger in front of the judge, it could negate any possibility of a shorter or modified sentence.
If you’re facing criminal charges and want to get through the experience as painlessly as possible, contact Rowdy Williams for a free case evaluation. Your future depends on your ability to get through your situation as quickly and painlessly as possible. With an experienced attorney by your side, you’ll be guided by someone who knows the system inside and out.