Everyday, innocent people are charged with a crime that they did not commit. Even with a legal system that requires the prosecution prove charges beyond a reasonable doubt, many innocent people still unfortunately end up convicted and sentenced to prison. When you are facing criminal charges, the last thing you want to do is take a risk when your freedom is at stake. Therefore, innocent people should especially hire a Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer to help prove their case in a court of law.
Best Time To Hire A Lawyer
When possible, it is important to find an attorney to represent you even before you are arrested or have charges filed against you. In the best-case scenario, you should have a lawyer available anytime you speak to a police officer. You should never speak with a police officer without your attorney present.
In the criminal justice system, it is the job of the police to interrogate individuals they believe are guilty of a crime and try to solicit an incriminating statement from them. Even innocent individuals sometimes make a statement that can be later used against them by the prosecution. That is why it is crucial to have a criminal defense lawyer as soon as the police request to speak with you regarding a pending investigation.
Under the Sixth Amendment, you have the right to legal counsel. You should absolutely invoke this right as soon as you can and as clearly as you can. Once you tell the police that you do not want to speak to them without your defense attorney present, they must stop interrogating you. If they continue questioning you, you should remain quiet until your attorney arrives.
Do not give up your rights to help the police because often good people can be caught in a bad situation trying to be helpful. The police have several methods to trick a person into making a statement that will weaken their case even when that person is innocent. The two best things you can do for yourself if you are involved in a criminal proceeding
- Do not speak to the police on your own
- Have a criminal defense lawyer represent you.
Post-Arrest Legal Representation
If you have already been arrested or charged with a crime, it is important to obtain a criminal defense attorney as soon as you can. At this point, your lawyer can help you understand what your legal rights are and then strategize for what the best option is in your situation.
The first time you will appear in front of a judge is at your arraignment. At this time the judge will inform you of your rights and what charges the prosecution is bringing against you.
As an innocent individual, you will most likely want to plead not guilty. Even still, you will want to consult with an attorney. Experienced counsel can help you determine whether or not to reach some type of agreement with the prosecution or to continue to trial.
Additionally, in certain situations some innocent individuals choose to plead guilty or no contest. No contest is when a person is not denying the charges but at the same time is not admitting guilt. This option is best reserved for cases where the punishment is not that severe. Sometimes, an innocent person simply does not want to deal with a trial and would rather be done with the entire situation. If your lawyer finds that pleading no contest will allow you to return to your normal life with minimal consequence, sometimes this can be a good option.
How A Lawyer Can Help You
Having a lawyer can be helpful in several ways when you are facing criminal charges.
The first and most obvious is that you will have someone representing you in court. Your lawyer has more knowledge about criminal procedure and laws than you. You do not want to end up in prison because of a technical error on your part. Additionally, your lawyer can help during arraignment to request bail to keep you out of jail while your trial is pending.
Secondly, your lawyer can conduct a private investigation regarding the crime. The prosecution has a duty to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the crime. This means that the job of your lawyer is to show as much reasonable doubt as they can that you did not commit this crime. Once the district attorney is trying you for a specific crime, your lawyer can conduct their own investigation using the information the police have. Your attorney will use this information to poke holes in the other side’s case and look for procedural defects in how they obtained this information.
Finally, your criminal defense lawyer can negotiate on your behalf to have the charges reduced or dismissed all together.
Consult With A Criminal Defense Lawyer For FREE
Get your FREE consultation today! You do not want to risk your or your loved one’s freedom by not having a lawyer guide you through this difficult time. Fill out the form to your right or call at 310-997-4688, someone will be available 24/7 to answer your call.