Legal Guide

3 Reasons You Need a Criminal Defense Attorney

Being charged with a criminal offense can be a traumatic experience, whether it’s your first experience of the legal system or not. When you’re arrested, you’re advised that you have the right to consult a lawyer, but many people choose to speak to the police independently. Sadly, this can lead to inadvertent admissions and unnecessary consequences.

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People often believe that speaking with the police will ensure that things are cleared up as quickly as possible, but this is rarely the case. If you’re in a position where you’re facing criminal charges, it’s always advisable to seek legal advice. To find out why just take a look at these three reasons you need a criminal defense attorney.

1. Charges Can Be Dismissed

The police may arrest you on suspicion of a crime but if they don’t have enough evidence, they won’t be able to proceed with a prosecution. This can result in charges being dismissed, which means you won’t face any punishments or have a criminal record. For anyone who has been arrested, having your charges dismissed is usually the best possible outcome.

However, you’re more likely to get your charges dismissed if you have a legal representative working on your behalf. With an experienced attorney from, for example, you can find out exactly what your rights are before speaking with the police. In addition to this, your attorney is best placed to fight your corner and determine whether the alleged evidence against you will actually be valid in court.

2. Charges Can Be Reduced

When you’re arrested on suspicion of a criminal offense, this doesn’t necessarily mean that it is the offense you’ll be prosecuted for, or even that you’ll be prosecuted at all. Depending on the evidence against you and the skill of your defense attorney, the charges against you may be reduced before the matter gets to court.

The seriousness of your charges has a major impact on the possible punishments you could face, as well as the effect the incident will have on your future. If your attorney can have a charge of aggravated assault in Canada reduced to one of common assault, for example, the maximum punishment is reduced from 14 years in jail to six months in jail and/or a fine of $5,000.

3. Your Defense Can Be Properly Presented

In some instances, you may have a justifiable defense that mitigates your actions and essentially excludes you from culpability. If you punch someone, for example, you could be charged with a violent criminal offense. However, if you punched someone who was attempting to assault or mug you, your actions may be considered self-defense.

It’s vital that your defense is presented appropriately from the outset, as this can help to ensure your charges are dropped or reduced at the earliest stage. By working with a criminal defense attorney, you can ensure that your case is presented effectively at every stage.

Dealing with Criminal Charges

The shock of being arrested and facing criminal charges can leave you at a disadvantage when it comes to police interviews. By seeking help from a defense attorney, you can ensure your rights are enforced and give yourself the best chance of successfully minimizing the long-term impact of your arrest. 

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