If you are under arrest or charged with a crime, it is vital to have an excellent criminal defense lawyer in your corner. Your attorney is your best chance to beat the charges or minimize your sentence. But how do you know if your criminal defense attorney is a good one?
Here are six signs that you have a top-notch attorney.
They Know Your Legal Rights
An excellent criminal defense attorney safeguards your legal rights. The attorney must take every necessary step to ensure the judicial system treats you justly and fairly. While not everything goes perfectly in court, a good attorney will fight for your rights no matter how bad the criminal charge.
They Care About Protecting Your Rights More Than Proving You Are Innocent
The best criminal defense lawyer does not care if you did something. Of course, you want your lawyer to believe you are innocent. But rather than worrying about your guilt or innocence, a good attorney is focused on fighting for and protecting your rights using whatever legal tools and resources available.
Again, your attorney should care the most about protecting your constitutional rights.
They Are Relentless
The best criminal defense lawyer does not just review the police report and call it a day. After getting police and prosecution reports, this is where the attorney’s work starts. They should aggressively investigate any allegations with the criminal investigator in the discovery process.
At this time, your attorney is learning everything possible about your case. They talk to witnesses, review all related records, and find any evidence related to your allegation. Your attorney must go beyond the necessary legal reports and get as much information as possible from the prosecutor and other sources.
Attorneys who go to this length for their clients give them a significant edge in court. By the time your day in court is here, there should be nothing about your case that your attorney does not know.
Pleading the Fifth Is an Option
A skilled attorney always tells their clients to exercise their right to remain silent, covered under the US Constitution’s Fifth Amendment. You should not talk to anyone about your case other than your lawyer and the criminal investigator.
Your guilt or innocence hangs in the balance, so your lawyer should tell you what you should say at any given time. As always, criminal defense lawyers know how to safeguard their client’s legal rights.
A skilled attorney always provides regular updates about the case. You should know how the case is going and whether you are looking at jail or prison time.
People charged with a serious crime are always worried about whether they will have to do time. This is highly stressful, and a good attorney understands this fact.
By keeping you in the loop and showing that they care about you, the best attorney can set themselves apart from others. Just taking the time to meet with you and regularly go over the case can help ease your worries and stress.
The criminal defense lawyer always has time for their client.
They Have Extensive Courtroom and Negotiation Experience
Having an intimate understanding of the criminal trial process can be the difference between guilt and innocence.
For example, prosecutorial discretion means that the prosecutor has some leeway in charging you. Your crime on paper may look simple, but it might be an indictment with several counts or just a simple misdemeanor.
A good attorney is highly skilled in negotiating and working the system to get you a reduced charge when possible.