What Does a Criminal Defense Attorney Do?
Most likely, if you are accused of a crime, the attorney representing you will not be the same attorney that assisted you in getting your affairs together for your will, or the same attorney who helped you buy your first home. Your previous attorney was a civil attorney and when being faced with a criminal charge you will want to seek the help of a defense attorney, someone who focuses on criminal law. It is, first and foremost, the job of your defense attorney to make sure that their client is treated fairly throughout the entire legal process after being accused of a crime. We are all afforded the same rights and protections through the constitutions of state and federal governments and your defense attorney is there to make sure all those rights are afforded to you.
The Criminal Defense Process
Your first court appearance after being accused of a felony will be the arraignment, where your charges will be formally read to you. At this time, you or your defense attorney will enter a plea to the judge. After the arraignment your defense attorney will investigate your case and work with you so that he or she may be able to best defend you at your trial.
Your defense attorney will go over your case with you in detail. It is the job of your attorney to give you a realistic view of what is likely to happen in your case so that you can make an informed decision when accepting or not accepting potential plea bargain offers. It is wise to have a defense attorney who is at the top of their field, and one that has experience with local courts, and has defended cases similar to yours. Your defense attorney will help you understand the legal process and the way your local court operates. Your attorney will also be able to gather information pertinent to your case. Companies, witnesses and authorities may be more inclined to provide information to an attorney rather than an individual who is representing him/herself in a case. Having a defense attorney is very important, even in cases where the crime is a misdemeanor. Whether you are very confident about your innocence or otherwise, you need someone who can defend against very experienced prosecutors and help with very inexperienced jurors.
It is important to have confidence in the attorney that you may work with. Your attorney will be your primary voice throughout your case. You want to make sure that you are completely comfortable with your attorney, and feel that they will work with you. The best situation is one where the defendant and the attorney communicate, and make decisions together. Having an attorney that sees you as a person and not just a case file is important; make sure that your attorney has the proper time to dedicate to your case.
The most important things to look for in a defense attorney are their experience and whether you feel like they are going to listen to you and that they genuinely care to help. These are qualities found in the attorneys of Petrovich & Walsh.