Under the U.S. Constitution, every criminal defendant is not guilty until a prosecutor proves beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant did commit those crimes. Notwithstanding Constitutional protections, prosecutors might try to cut corners in their attempts to prove a defendant’s guilt. They may, for example, ignore proper procedures for collecting and maintaining evidence or attempt to introduce inadmissible evidence and testimony at the defendant’s trial. Further, prosecutors are obligated to disclose any evidence that might exonerate the defendant.
If you are under investigation for criminal charges or you have been indicted for a misdemeanor or felony crime, contact the Legal Helpers immediately to get connected with an experienced criminal defense lawyer in your community who will verify that your rights are protected, and who will protect you from harassment and abuse by the police or prosecuting attorneys.
Investigations that lead to criminal charges or indictments can be traps for unwary defendants. Police detectives are trained to put suspects at ease and to make them believe that voluntarily speaking with investigators is in their best interest. Regardless of what police say:
Most critically, if a policeman confronts someone and that person tells the officer that he or she will not say anything unless an attorney is present, then the officer must refrain from asking any further questions. The Legal Helpers can refer a qualified local criminal law lawyer to anyone who is a target of an ongoing investigation.
An experienced criminal defense attorney will first review the indictment to verify that the facts alleged in that document are sufficient to charge a defendant with criminal conduct. An improper indictment may be subject to dismissal under a legal motion called a general or special demurrer.
The attorney will also analyze the evidence that the prosecutor intends to introduce at trial, and will file one or more motions to exclude from trial any evidence that was not collected or maintained according to proper procedures. The prosecutor will also turn over the defense a list of witnesses who may be called to testify, and the defense attorney may interview those witnesses to understand the nature of their testimony.
Lastly, the defendant’s lawyer may attempt to negotiate a plea deal for lesser charges and penalties, particularly when parts of a prosecutor’s case are weak.
During a trial, a criminal defense attorney will:
A criminal defense lawyer will also advise a defendant on the wisdom of testifying on his or her own behalf. Criminal defendants are not required to testify during a trial. The defense attorney will make recommendations based on a number of factors, including the strength of other testimony against the defendant and of the credibility of the defendant.
Depending on their level of experience and the complexity of the case, a criminal defense lawyer will generally charge between $150 and $700 per hour. This comes out to approximately $10,000 to $15,000 for the entire case. Please note that these dollar amounts are only general approximations and do not indicate how much a given lawyer will charge. The Legal Helpers charges you no fees for its referral services. You should discuss fees and payments directly with your attorney.
A conviction in a criminal matter can lead to serious long-term consequences for your freedom, your finances, and your reputation. Contact the Legal Helpers to get connected to experienced legal counsel in your community. Time is of the essence if you are facing criminal charges or an indictment. Protect your rights today!