Criminal lawyers help their clients in a number of ways. It is important to understand what exactly these professionals can do for you when you hire them. It is also important to understand what they cannot do for you. At the first sign of trouble you need to contact a licensed attorney. Whether or not you are guilty, you need their help to navigate the judicial system. Otherwise you could face dire consequences. It is always best to at least consult with a lawyer before taking any action in a criminal case.
One of the ways that a lawyer will help you is they will be able to inform you of your rights during the investigation and proceedings. Knowing your rights is important, because if you do not know them you cannot protect them. It is also important to understand your options in a criminal case, such as what it would mean to plead guilty or no contest, or what damage can be done by talking with the prosecution or police. It is always best to have your lawyer present at any time that you are in court or facing an officer of the court, so that he or she can protect you.
Another way that criminal lawyers help you is by speaking with the prosecution on your behalf. The purpose of this is to strike a deal or a plea bargain. Basically, in exchange for pleading guilty and avoiding a trial, the prosecution makes certain allowances for your punishment. In many cases, first time offenders come away with probation only, maybe some community service or restitution as well. It is important to understand that you cannot ask for a plea bargain on your own. This can only be handled by a licensed attorney.
One of the biggest ways that a lawyer helps you when you are facing criminal charges is that they can coach you on what to say to officials. It can be very easy to have statements turned around and used as evidence against you even if you are not guilty of the crime. It is always best to have an attorney present when you are undergoing any type of questioning. This way the lawyer can guide you in what to say or when to keep quiet. They can tell you what you should and should not answer. They can also coach you before a meeting to make sure you know what is appropriate to say.
Of course, in the end, a criminal attorney can only help you as much as you will let them. If you go against their advice, speak with officials without them present, or otherwise jeopardize your case, they may not be able to do much for you. The longer you go in a criminal situation without the advice of a lawyer, the more chances there are that you will not come out of the situation unscathed. However, if you contact criminal lawyers right away, they will be able to help you in ways you can only imagine to keep you out of jail and on the right path for life.