Do I Need an Orlando Criminal Defense Lawyer?

Monday, October 27, 2014

Kissimmee criminal lawHave you been implicated in a crime? You probably have a thousand questions, the first of which is almost always, "Do I need a lawyer?" The reality is it's always safest to have a lawyer during a legal proceeding of any kind. When it comes to criminal proceedings, there are few times when you should always consult a criminal defense lawyer.

You Just Need Legal Advice

Maybe you don't actually need an attorney to represent you in court, but that doesn't mean you don't have the right to consult with one to discuss your legal options. A criminal defense attorney can explain both your rights and your options. They'll also be able to advise you about what will really happen if you're convicted.

They can also help you understand the potential defenses you have available to you. This option is available to anyone (though never one we can fully recommend), but it isn't the best path for those accused of serious (felony) crimes or those who have any special professional licenses.

You've Been Asked to Be Questioned by the Police

If the police want to interview you because you've been implicated in a crime, you need to hire a criminal defense attorney — even if you're innocent or played only a small or peripheral role to the crime. Innocent people do go to jail and not being as guilty as someone else doesn't mean they won't throw the book at you. No matter what police say, they're not there to help you.

One way or another, never answer questions the police ask you without a lawyer present. Your lawyer may even advise the police they aren't to speak to you without them present.

You've Been Charged With a Crime

If you've been charged with a crime, especially a serious one (like a felony), it's vital you contact an attorney as soon as possible. This is even more true if you have a professional license of some kind, as certain convictions may impact your ability to qualify for those licenses.

If you've already spoken to investigators or the prosecuting attorney, your lawyer will want to know everything you said to them so he or she can prevent you from further implicating yourself. They'll also instruct you on what questions you should or shouldn't answer when questioned and put safeguards into place to ensure things like lineups or photo arrays are conducted appropriately.

Your Case Involves a Constitutional Issue

We all have constitutional rights, and if those rights are violated in the investigation of a crime, it will impact the prosecutions case… but only if you have a lawyer capable of arguing appropriately for suppression of that evidence. Sometimes that may mean the charges are even dropped, as without that key evidence, they have no case.

You're Going to Trial

If your case is going to court, a criminal defense lawyer can help you decide what the best options are. Sometimes, he or she may suggest you plead guilty or accept a plea bargain in exchange for a reduced sentence, but they may also believe you should go to court since they don't think the prosecution has enough evidence to prove you're guilty beyond all reasonable doubt.

You've Been Offered a Plea Bargain

A plea bargain may sound like a dream come true if you're facing a lot of hard time, but a criminal defense attorney can analyze the bargain to make sure it's really a good deal. Has the prosecutor offered you a deal to quickly get rid of the case? If so, why? We have the experience to know. In any event, we can also negotiate a better deal in many cases.

There may also be other consequences of the deal that you may not be aware of, like the potential to serve a longer sentence if you're convicted of a subsequent crime.

You Need to Bail Out

If you don't have the option of bail, you'll have to stay in jail until the trial, which could be weeks or even months. A criminal defense attorney can help get you released on bail or even argue to help you get reduced bail.

How to Get a Criminal Defense Attorney in Florida

If you're in the Central Florida area, call the Orlando criminal defense attorneys at Draper Law Offices at 866.767.4711 for a free, no-obligation consultation or contact us online.

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