FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Why is it Important to Have an Attorney?
The United States Constitution and its amendments offer robust protections to defendants in criminal cases. While students learn about these rights in an abstract sense, most people do not know all the details about what defendants, police officers, judges, and lawyers can and cannot do during a criminal investigation or criminal trial. You know that you have the right to remain silent, but do you know when that right applies?
Criminal defense lawyers know all of the details related to crimes, investigations, and the procedures of the criminal courts. Your lawyer can help you avoid making mistakes that could lead to you being wrongfully convicted, assuming that pleading guilty is your only choice, or missing out on opportunities to have the court reduce your charges or dismiss the case against you.
What Does Your Attorney Do for You?
If a criminal defense attorney’s job was only to prove that defendants are innocent, then no one would choose to go into this line of work, because it would be their job to do the impossible. Some people who hire criminal defense lawyers know that they have broken the law, and in some cases, it is one person’s word against another’s about whether a crime occurred, so it is impossible for anyone who was not present at the moment of the alleged crime to know with certainty what happened. Instead, a criminal defense attorney’s job is to help people who are being accused of crimes exercise their rights.
If your case goes to trial, your lawyer will summon witnesses to attest to your innocence or to cast doubt on the prosecution’s version of the story; your lawyer will also cross-examine the witnesses summoned by the prosecution. Most criminal cases do not go to trial, though. Criminal defense lawyers also help defendants negotiate plea deals so they can avoid long prison sentences and other draconian punishments. They also help eligible defendants enter pretrial diversion programs and successfully complete these programs. Criminal defense lawyers also provide legal guidance to defendants during questioning by police, even when the defendant has not yet formally received criminal charges.
What are the Benefits of Having an Attorney in GA?
Representation by an attorney is a basic legal right of defendants in criminal cases. The court appoints public defenders to represent defendants who cannot afford to hire their own lawyers. If you have any means to hire your own lawyer, though, you should do it. Unlike public defenders, criminal defense lawyers in private practice are allowed to choose the cases they represent, whereas public defenders must take every case assigned to them, leaving them too overburdened with work to devote their full attention to every case. Your drug possession case is not your lawyer’s priority if he is also representing another defendant who is facing murder charges. Furthermore, some criminal defense lawyers choose to focus on certain types of cases, meaning that your lawyer has extensive, up-to-date knowledge on cases similar to yours.