In order for justice to be done, a criminal defendant must have representation that can understand every variable that can come up in a case. This goes far beyond reading statutes and understanding court procedure. Every case can be different and a defendant representing him or herself may find their client at a great disadvantage.
People choose not to hire a defense attorney for various reasons, such as fear that a lawyer will make them look guilty, to avoid the costs of legal representation or the belief that a lawyer really can't do anything to help them. These deterrents are not true. One of the biggest mistakes a criminal defendant can make is not having a strong advocate to look out for his or her legal rights.
Benefits of a strong defense
No matter who you are or what your past experience has been with the criminal justice system, a lawyer can help you and make a difference in the outcome of your proceeding. Defense lawyers are trained to view every case uniquely and can help minimize the consequences for their client. Here are some reasons why a strong advocate can be your best defense; a lawyer can:
- Negotiate with the prosecutor for a reduced charge or lessened sentence. A prosecutor may be less likely to make a deal with a self-represented defendant.
- Tailor a sentencing program based on their client's situation to reduce the chances of reoffending.
- Ensure that their client was charged with the correct crime; make sure the behavior fits the crime charged and that their client was not overcharged.
- Provide an honest assessment of the case and explain what is actually going on throughout the legal proceeding.
- Understand all applicable legal rules, court customs and procedures that may impact the case outcome.
- Take the time needed to do a thorough investigation of the facts, legal research and witness preparation.
- Hire investigators or expert witnesses when needed.
If you have been charged with a crime, it is important to have a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney working on your behalf. Attorney Sam Byrd is a strong advocate for his clients and can explain the charges against you, explore all available defenses, represent you in plea bargaining and help you understand what to expect after trial.