Criminal Defense Law deals with protecting the rights of those charged with crimes. This includes legal advice and representation to mitigate penalties, minimize charges, and even avoid criminal charges being filed in the first place.
Criminal Defendants are criminally accused individuals who need legal protections not to be imprisoned unjustly. They face severe consequences upon conviction, including imprisonment and sometimes the death penalty.
Defense Attorneys know how to use constitutional guarantees such as the right to counsel and the prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures to the advantage of their clients. A prime example is when a person has been charged with a crime. The Sixth Amendment protects a person's right to counsel and to have the assistance of counsel for their defense.
If a defendant cannot afford to hire an attorney, the court will appoint an attorney to represent the defendant. Often, when the attorneys are discussing the case, the attorney for the defendant will ask for "discovery" from the prosecutor. This is "attorney speak" for obtaining an inventory of all the evidence the prosecutor intends to use against the defendant at trial.
The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (applicable to the states through the 14th Amendment) prohibits the police from using unreasonable searches and seizures to gather evidence. If they do, a defense attorney will ask the court to suppress that evidence so it cannot be used at trial.
The Constitution provides many protections for criminal defendants and a good reason. A myriad of issues can arise when dealing with criminal defendants, and the Constitution is here to ensure that every person accused of a crime is capable of receiving fair, well-regulated, and just treatment under the law.
Securing a release pending a criminal prosecution requires special skills. I am committed to giving you comfort and confidence as I guide you through releasing.
After an arrest, defendants are stuck in jail, unable to work and support themselves while awaiting trial. This means that they will often be unable to hire an attorney and pay higher legal feeseven when they are ultimately found guilty of the crime. The longer it takes for them to get out of jail, the more at a disadvantage they will become.
A defendant can seek release from jail while their case is pending if they post bail. Simply put, bail is "good faith" money, giving the court a form of collateral to ensure the defendant returns to court to attend future proceedings in the case. If the defendant fails to appear, the bail money is forfeited.
A defendant in jail who cannot afford bail on his own can run an internet search for "bail bond services" or ask a friend or family member to pay their bond for them. These services usually charge a 10-15% premium for their services. A defendant may also ask a judge to reduce bail if they have strong ties to the local community and pose no threat to anyone.
In the plea bargaining system, a plea agreement is a contract between the prosecutor and the defendant in a criminal case in which he agrees to plead guilty to a particular charge in return for a reduction in his potential sentence.
Because the prosecutor's role in the criminal justice system is to achieve justice and fairness, not the number of convictions or the length of sentences, prosecutors are expected to negotiate each plea agreement they enter into.
A plea agreement is governed by contract law. It is a binding agreement like any other in the legal system and is subject to the exact requirements for validity and enforceability as any other contract.
The key to success at trial in a criminal case is to present a coherent theory of defense to the jury, why the defendant has been wrongfully accused. The defense theory emerges after the defendant's attorney has researched and unearthed information about the accused's circumstances.
For the trial attorney, the goal is to craft a theory that will resonate with a jury from that community, supporting their beliefs on those issues. Developing that theory and presenting it effectively is the goal of every criminal defense attorney for a jury trial.