Getting charged with any crime can have grave consequences. Subsequently, it can be a pretty good idea to consult a criminal lawyer so that you know exactly what’s going on. They are the ones that will be assessing your case, advising you on how to proceed.
Many times, criminal lawyers specialize in various matters that will most likely be beneficial to both you and your case. However, before entering into a relationship with an attorney, you want to know a little more about what to expect.
Preparation for trial
If you decide to go to trial, it’s your right that your lawyer strongly advocates for your case to a jury. However, before the lawyer can do this, they need to understand all the evidence, including everything the prosecution will use and your evidence and witnesses.
Many times, what will happen is a defense lawyer will waive making an opening statement because they don’t yet fully understand the prosecution’s evidence, hoping instead to learn about it when the prosecution uses it. As you can probably imagine, this often proves to be disastrous.
You should expect your Galveston criminal defense attorney to spend time preparing both you and your witnesses to testify. Also, you definitely have a right to expect your lawyer to spend a ton of time practicing and reviewing your testimony, explaining and helping you understand how the prosecutor is likely to cross-examine you.
Find the best plea
On the other hand, if you choose to plead guilty, you have every right to expect your lawyer to negotiate the most favorable plea for you. At the same time, you need to keep in mind that a defense lawyer can’t force a prosecutor to offer anything.
Similar to any other negotiation, your lawyer might pretend to take the case to trial in order to encourage the prosecutor to “blink first.” If a plea agreement is reached, your lawyer should thoroughly explain it to you as well as the various consequences of pleading guilty.
Provide you with a reality check
Criminal attorneys will probably know what’s going during your trial and what’s likely to come much better than you. Lawyers have the advantage of remaining objective throughout a trial and can offer different insights into how your court proceeding is actually going.
These assessments and reality checks are vital when a defendant is trying to decide what to do and when to do it.
Navigate your case through the legal system
Tons of rules about criminal prosecutions are buried deep within regulations, laws, and even prior court decisions. For example, if you were to represent yourself, you probably wouldn’t know whether the search the police conducted of your apartment was lawful or not. However, a lawyer would!
In addition to written rules, there are often many “unwritten rules” that go along with each jurisdiction. For example, sometimes only certain prosecutors are able to approve plea bargains. Your defense lawyer may save you time, or maybe even jail time, by talking to the right person the first time around.