Facing any type of charge can be incredibly stressful. The uncertainty about your future can leave your mind racing, and you could be unsure of what to do next.
Whether you have previous experience facing legal challenges or if this is your first time facing charges, having a criminal defense lawyer on your side can help you in several ways.
The Benefits of Legal Representation
If you were charged with a crime, remember that you have the legal right to defend yourself. You also have the right to choose a lawyer who can represent you. The potential benefits of hiring a criminal defense lawyer include but are not limited to the following:
- Help organize and strengthen your defense
- Assist with time-consuming paperwork that can alleviate stress
- Ensure that you meet all legal deadlines throughout your case
- Available to answer any questions you have
- Offer general support
- Help manage your expectations about your legal future
- Able to potentially negotiate plea deals or get your charges reduced or dismissed
Regardless of your specific charges, it could be in your best interest to hire a legal team with experience in cases like yours. While you can wait to be appointed a lawyer by the state, remember that finding the right criminal defense lawyer to help you could dictate your future.
Common Charges That Could Require a Criminal Defense
A criminal defense lawyer can be helpful and even necessary in any case where an individual is charged with a crime. Examples of common charges that could warrant legal representation include but are not limited to:
- Drug use or distribution: If you were caught with illegal substances or illegally selling or distributing drugs, you could face serious charges. In some cases, a criminal defense lawyer can help.
- Driving under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or other mind-altering substances: Alcohol-related accidents cause billions of dollars in damages each year in the United States, as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). If you were involved in a DUI accident there can be a tremendous amount of loss. Hiring a criminal defense lawyer could help you navigate the legal system.
- Theft: If you intentionally or even unintentionally ended up with property that was not yours, you could be arrested and charged. Criminal defense lawyers cover these types of cases.
- Assault, domestic abuse, and other violent crimes: Domestic violence and other violent events affect millions each year, according to the article Domestic Violence. Many defendants choose to hire criminal defense lawyers to help in situations like these.
- Disorderly conduct: Sometimes individuals engaging in reckless behavior or disorderly conduct can be charged with a crime. A criminal defense lawyer can help you understand your legal options if you face a charge of this nature.
- Property damage: Vandalism and other forms of property damage are criminal offenses that could require a defense.
- Traffic crimes: While traffic violations can seem like small charges, they can dramatically change your life. Reckless driving or leaving the scene of an accident can leave you facing serious charges and hefty fines. You do have options to fight these charges, and legal consultation could be beneficial.
If you were charged with any of these crimes or find yourself with legal difficulties for any other reason, remember you can get help. You do not have to face your legal battle on your own.
Sentencing in Criminal Cases
Sentencing in criminal cases is based on a variety of factors, including but not limited to:
- Past criminal history or if a defendant is a repeat offender
- The specific circumstances of a crime
- Intent, or whether or not a crime was intentional, premeditated, or possibly committed by accident
- Whether or not a defendant feels a sense of remorse for their actions
- Whether or not another party was also involved
- A variety of other factors
If you are charged with a crime and found guilty, your sentencing could include fines, prison time, and other forms of punishment. Needless to say, this can turn your life upside down. Before you panic, remember that you can hire a legal professional to help you understand the road ahead and determine the best course of action.
Plea Deals and Alternative Sentencing
Criminal defense lawyers sometimes help clients through plea deals and alternative sentences. This means a lawyer will work directly with prosecutors to establish a specific sentence or form of punishment in exchange for an admission of guilt.
Plea deals or alternative sentences, such as community service, are not available in every case. A lawyer can help you determine if this is an option if you find yourself charged with a crime.
Contact McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. Today
If you find yourself in legal trouble and are unsure what to do next, our team can help you evaluate your options. Call (610) 680-7842 for a free consultation today.