Criminal defense lawyers provide legal representation to individuals who have a lawsuit filed against them or have been charged with criminal conduct. Federal, state, or local government makes criminal charges, whereas an individual or company usually brings civil cases. A criminal defense attorney will help identify key pretrial issues and help with all the legal issues related to your case. He or she will be responsible for representing you in court should the case go to trial, with the goal that you receive a fair trial and the best possible outcome. The following tips will help you decide which level of representation best suits your needs, and how to decide on a specific lawyer.
Take Action Early
When facing a criminal charge, it’s important to seek legal advice immediately. Talk to a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. A consultation with a criminal defense attorney will help you to thoroughly understand the charges against you and the trial process before you. It might be a while before your first court date, and finding the right attorney can take some time. Attorneys will know if there’s anything that can be done to improve your outcome while you wait for your court date.
Which Attorney is Best for Your Case?
The first step will be determining if you need a federal or state attorney. If you’ve broken a federal law you’ll want a federal attorney. If you’ve broken a state law, you’ll want a state attorney. Examples of federal laws include bankruptcy cases, cases in which the United States is a party, cases in which the US Constitution has been violated, patent cases, and copyright cases. State laws include, but are not limited to, family disputes, theft, contract disputes, and traffic violations. The main difference, as it relates to the outcome of your case, is that federal cases are prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s office. These prosecutors have more resources to dedicate to the case than prosecutors at the state level.
As a defendant, you should choose a lawyer that works closely with the courthouse and prosecutors you will be facing. While the law is consistent throughout a given county or state, procedures can vary from one courthouse to the next. For example, a local criminal defense attorney might know which prosecutors are more likely to entertain a pretrial plea bargain. With respect to certain cases, the District Attorney of one county may not allow plea bargains, while the District Attorney in the next county over does. Local criminal defense lawyers are also more familiar with the local police officers and how they perform before juries.
Go With a Specialist
Modern criminal law is so complex that most attorneys focus on particular types of cases. Don’t hire a criminal defense attorney that specializes in drunk driving if you’ve committed assault, and don’t hire one that specializes in white-collar crimes if you’ve been arrested for drunk driving. Choose a lawyer that has as much experience as possible with your type of case. You should always feel comfortable asking a potential attorney to discuss their experience with certain charges. Never hire an attorney that is unwilling to share their track record. Most private lawyers have spent years working as a public defender or prosecutor, so finding an experienced local attorney shouldn’t be a problem.
Someone You Can Talk To
No matter how experienced and well connected a lawyer may be, as the defendant, you must feel comfortable talking to them. The best defenses are built off of a level of trust between an attorney and their client. The attorney should make you feel like an equal partner in the decision making process.
Choose someone who has qualities that are important to you. In order to build a strong case, you’re going to need to share a lot of detailed personal information with your attorney. Choose someone who shows personal concern and a genuine desire to help you.
CEGA Criminal Law Las Vegas
Carl E.G. Arnold is one of Las Vegas’ most respected Criminal Defense Attorneys with over 20 years of experience appearing before civil and criminal juries in Nevada and California. Contact CEGA Criminal Law today for a free consultation and superior representation.