As a criminal defense attorney, I often take clients through the sentencing process. The last thing a defendant wants to do is tell a lie, even if it means saving his or her reputation. In my experience, defendants do not like to take a guilty plea in return for a lighter sentence. They also want a chance to present their case in front of a judge and be eligible for probation or parole. In some cases, a plea bargain may be the only option.
A common mistake that many lawyers make in preparing a plea bargain is not knowing enough about the criminal justice system. Legal professionals should know enough about the federal law, but they should also understand state law. Each state establishes its own laws and regulations for criminal defense attorneys. A good lawyer will be able to use this information to find ways to get a client out of jail while saving the law firm money.
One important question that a lawyer can answer before a trial is whether the client understands the concept of “innocent until proven guilty.” Some people are afraid of facing a jury, and they believe that a criminal justice system is stacked against them. In many cases, people are wrong. A good criminal lawyer will explain the legal concepts and points of view that help a client avoid trouble with the law.
For example, an innocent person might be accused of murder. The person may claim that he did not kill his partner because he was defending himself. Legal professionals may advise the client to consider the possibility that the confession he gives to the police may be inadmissible in court. An experienced lawyer may be able to argue for a retrial in order to prove that the confession was false.
Another example may be a drunk driving charge. A lawyer may be able to argue that the punishment given to the driver was excessive. The punishment may have been more than what the person would have faced if he had been guilty. The judge may refuse to retry the case, and the person will spend the next few years in jail.
A conviction can have far reaching consequences. Many people face the loss of their job when they get convicted of a crime. A skilled lawyer can help to ensure that they do not lose their job as a result of their conviction. Convincing the court that the defendant is actually innocent can sometimes be a very difficult thing to do.
In some cases, a legal system example sentence can be as bad as a prison sentence. If you are convicted of a crime, you will be facing at least a year in jail. Sometimes this sentence is much more. A lawyer who specializes in criminal law may be able to use special sentencing rules to your advantage. You may even be able to avoid spending any time in jail all together.