What Is a Criminal Defense Attorney and When Do You Need One?

Criminal defense attorneys help their clients navigate the judicial process when they are facing criminal charges. Criminal defendants can face fines and jail time and need attorneys to help them reduce their penalties or have the charges against them dropped entirely. 

Criminal defense attorneys take on several responsibilities when they accept their clients’ cases. This article discusses what these attorneys do and when you should call one.

Develop a Defense Against a Defendant’s Criminal Charges

A criminal defense attorney evaluates the evidence in their client’s case through independent investigation and by interviewing their clients and witnesses. 

If you have hired a criminal defense attorney, it is necessary that you answer their questions truthfully so that your attorney can develop the best strategy for your case. Attorneys will weigh all the evidence to determine what they believe are the best and worst-case scenarios for the outcome of the case. 

Represent You Inside and Outside the Courtroom 

When you hire a defense attorney, they become your advocate and voice inside and outside the courtroom. If you find yourself in a situation where you may face criminal charges, it is oftentimes in your best interest to exercise your right to remain silent until you have your attorney present.  

Your attorney takes on the task of handling all communications on your behalf. This means that your attorney can handle any media that may attempt to reach you for comment. Likewise, your attorney will act as your advocate in the courtroom and speak on your behalf while functioning as your legal representative. 

Evaluate Potential Jurors

Counsel for the defense is able to evaluate the prospective jurors who will be involved in trying their client. Attorneys at this stage may question jurors to determine if they possess any biases which would result in them being unable to evaluate the case impartially.  

If any biases are discovered, the attorney may request that the juror be excused so that the case may be fairly tried.

Potentially Save You Money in the Long Run

The judicial system may assign you a criminal defense attorney, or you can hire one on your own. Hiring your own attorney will result in more attention being paid to your individual case. While hiring a good attorney is often not cheap, it will likely save you money in the long run. The costs of not taking on a lawyer will include many court fees and potential penalties, and you may lose more money from lost wages while your case continues. 

If you cut costs now by deciding not to hire a defense attorney and you lose your case, your criminal verdict could cost you significantly later on. A criminal ruling may severely harm your reputation, and your record may prevent you from obtaining lucrative employment opportunities after your case. Being handed a prison sentence may result in lost wages in the hundreds of thousands. 

An experienced, quality defense attorney will efficiently handle your case and work towards the best possible outcome.  

Negotiate Your Plea Bargain or Case Dismissal

It is estimated that 90 to 95% of cases are disposed of with plea bargains. There are many benefits that a criminal defendant can obtain by negotiating a plea bargain with the prosecutor, including lesser fines and prison time.  

Defendants can obtain better sentences by potentially offering information about other people involved in the crime to prosecutors or by admitting their own guilt earlier on in the trial process. A defendant may reach a plea bargain without a defense attorney, but an attorney is best equipped to handle this process because of their extensive knowledge of the judicial and sentencing processes and their familiarity with these kinds of negotiations.  

A defense attorney’s main objective in the plea bargaining process is to strike a deal that will ultimately result in a less harsh sentence for their client. Alternatively, they may work to have the charges dropped. 

If you have been criminally charged and are interested in obtaining legal representation in your case, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney today. 

Contact Our Criminal Defense Law Firm in West Chester, PA

If you are facing criminal charges and need legal help, contact the West Chester, PA criminal defense lawyers at DiCindioLaw, LLC to schedule a free initial consultation.

DiCindio Law, LLC
29 S Walnut St
West Chester, PA 19382
(610) 430-3535

***This blog article is made available by the law firm publisher for educational purposes and to provide general information, not to provide specific legal advice. By reading, you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the publisher. The above listed information does not include the entire crimes code, annotations, amendments or any recent changes that may be relevant. The information provided is for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments. These materials are not intended, and should not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. Please contact DiCindio Law, LLC for a consultation and to discuss what law is relevant to your case. ***