A criminal defense attorney is an attorney whose primary focus is to defend people arrested or charged with criminal conduct. This specialized type of defense attorney can handle the issues involving the circumstances surrounding your arrest. An arrest only means there’s probable cause that a crime has a occurred – it doesn’t mean that charges have been sought by prosecutors or that you will be convicted of a crime. A criminal defense lawyer will not only be your strongest advocate in court but also will guide you through a process that seems overwhelming at times and answer the multitude of questions you may have. The attorney’s job isn’t to formulate an opinion about whether you’re guilty; it’s the criminal defense attorney’s job to see if the prosecution can prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt and to ensure that your constitutional rights weren’t violated.
I’M SCARED TO TELL MY CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY THE TRUTH
You should be upfront and completely honest with your criminal defense attorney. Attorneys are expected to hold themselves to a very high standard of ethics and responsibility and that includes upholding the attorney-client privilege. The attorney-client privilege that you have with your criminal defense attorney means that no matter what you talk about with them, they cannot tell anyone what you spoke of. In essence, you have a 100% confidentiality agreement with your criminal defense attorney.
Speak with your attorney in the same manner as you would speak with your personal physician. Being honest and forthcoming with your doctor will help them diagnose you more accurately. The same goes for your criminal defense attorney – be honest and forthcoming with them. Provide them with the necessary information to most effectively defend your charges.
CAN A CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY BARGAIN WITH THE PROSECUTOR?
Absolutely! Should your case get a to a point where the prosecutor offers you a deal (a plea bargain), your criminal defense attorney’s job shifts to being your negotiator. Typically, your criminal defense attorney will work with the prosecutor to arrange a deal where you may admit guilt to a lesser offense, obtain a less severe sentence, and drop the original charges. There are hundreds of different ways that a criminal defense attorney can negotiate on your behalf. After hiring your criminal defense attorney, you will want to discuss all those possible scenarios with them, that way you can be fully aware of and have an expectation of your outcome.