If you've been arrested and you're facing significant jail time, you can't afford to go to court without legal representation. You need to know that you have a criminal defense attorney in your corner. Self-representation during a criminal matter can have serious consequences. Here are just four of the benefits you'll receive from hiring a criminal defense attorney to represent you.
Make the Best Use of Discovery
If you've been charged with a crime, the prosecution team and the detectives handling the investigation have been gathering evidence to be used against you. This evidence includes things like surveillance footage, pictures, witness statements, etc. If you're representing yourself, you may not have access to all the documentation included in the discovery. Unfortunately, the prosecution will have access to that material, which means they'll have the advantage. Luckily, when you have a criminal defense attorney, they'll have access to all documents contained in the evidence files.
Assist in the Plea Bargain Stage
When it comes to criminal cases, many are settled before they ever go to court. This is accomplished through plea bargains. If you attempt to represent yourself, you may not be at the best advantage where plea bargains are concerned, which could result in an unfair bargain being offered to you. Or worse, you may not be offered a plea bargain at all . However, when you hire a criminal defense attorney, they'll work to ensure a fair plea bargain.
Understand Details of the Court System
If you have no experience with the criminal court system, you have no way of knowing how it functions. Unfortunately, that can cause you serious problems when you're facing a long prison term. One of the advantages to having a criminal defense attorney is that they understand how the criminal court system works and how to avoid errors that could jeopardize your case.
Utilize Timelines to Your Advantage
When it comes to the criminal court, there are timelines that are in place for every stage of the case. If you're not aware of how to use those timelines to your advantage, you may miss out on valuable opportunities to control the speed of your trial. Your criminal defense attorney will know how to use those timelines to your advantage. For instance, they can slow the process down for the purpose of finding ways to dispute the evidence against you. They can also move things along so that the prosecution has to put their case together quicker.
Don't risk your future. If you've been charged with a crime, hire a criminal attorney as quickly as possible.