An Oakland County criminal defense attorney represents people who have been charged with crimes in court. The crimes can range in severity from a minor misdemeanor to a felony. The punishment also ranges from a meager fine or community service to years in prison and even the death sentence.
If someone is charged with committing a crime, it is imperative that he or she have representation during criminal proceedings. The U.S Constitution actually entitles all citizens charged with a crime to the right of access to qualified legal representation.
Why Are Criminal Defense Attorneys Necessary?
Criminal law is typically a complicated body of federal and state legislation. Characteristically, the majority of crimes committed are state crimes, with exceptions including inflicting injury on a federal employee or causing damage to federal property.
Individuals can represent themselves during a criminal trial, but the consequences of having poor legal representation may be severe. Felonies can lead to prison terms, and this is why it’s important to have a knowledgeable professional represent someone.
Oakland County Criminal Defense Attorney Services Pre-Trial
Criminal defense attorneys will assist clients throughout the process and that includes pre-trial. Some people only retain the services of a lawyer during the investigation stage of the crime, before being charged. This tends to happen if the person is a suspect and believes he or she will be charged. In such instances, the criminal defense lawyer will help instruct the person being questioned to make sure incriminating information is not divulged and no rights are infringed upon.
These attorneys can also help to convince a court to drop the charges against a person based on improper procedure or insufficient evidence.
Furthermore, a person arrested for a crime could be detained indefinitely, pending trial. However, under normal circumstances, a bail amount is set, and once the person pays it, he or she is free to leave, as long as they respect certain geographical limitations to movement. Bail is set to ensure the person arrives for their trial. An Oakland County criminal defense attorney will try to persuade the court to reduce the bail or even waive it. However, if a person is deemed to be a flight risk, that is, if he or she has a high likelihood of fleeing to avoid going to trial, a judge will deny bail to ensure the defendant is present at court when needed.
If a guilty verdict is highly probably due to overwhelming evidence or an admission, the defendant may wish to enter into a plea bargain with the prosecuting attorney. The plea bargain is a negotiated agreement that aims to reduce charges to a lesser crime or even reduce sentencing. The criminal defense lawyer can represent the person during plea negotiations to assist with increasing his or her chances of getting a reduced punishment.
Criminal Defense Attorneys at Trial
Criminal defense attorneys can also assist during the trial. They will analyze a person’s case and identify the strengths and weaknesses therein. From there, the lawyer and person being charged will collaborate to determine a defense strategy.
The attorney will discuss the pros and cons of pleading guilty, particularly when a plea bargain is put on the table.
The attorney will also be able to assist with the standard steps involved in a criminal trial, from selecting the jury to questioning witnesses and providing opening statements. If the trial doesn’t go in favor of the attorney’s client, he or she can also assist with the appeals process.