Are you dealing with a criminal or a civil matter? You may be thinking about the cost of hiring a defense attorney.
Defense attorneys will help you navigate criminal or civil court proceedings. Above all, they ensure you’ll get a fair trial. Attorneys gather evidence to bolster your credibility. They can also get you out of jail faster.
The difference between civil and criminal law is that criminal law applies to conduct that violates the rights of others. In contrast, civil law applies to conduct that injures individuals or corporations. In both cases, the defendant may face fines, imprisonment, community service, or even death.
This article will reveal the importance of a defense lawyer in civil or criminal cases. Let’s explore.
The Main Duties of a Defense Lawyer
The defense attorney has two main roles:
- Advocate your cause in court
- Ensure you’re rights aren’t violated during the court procedure
The prosecutor must prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt during criminal cases. This means the burden is on the prosecution to prove guilt.
A defense attorney can raise reasonable doubt and get you cleared of all charges. Under the law, you’re innocent until proven guilty. Without an attorney, the court proceedings may go awry. As a result, you could be guilty until proven innocent.
Civil cases don’t require reasonable doubt. The court can rule against you with less evidence presented against you. However, an attorney can counter claims and evidence made by a plaintiff. You may face a civil suit in the following cases:
- You may have won a criminal case, but you’re facing a civil lawsuit
- You’re a business owner facing litigation by a customer or an employee
- You must go to small claims court due to a minor dispute
- You’re going through a divorce
Regardless of the severity, having a lawyer represent you in a civil case is a good move.
Prosecutors often use manipulative tactics to damage a defendant’s credibility. Prosecutors are looking for any holes in your narrative. They will exploit any inconsistency and damage your credibility in the eyes of a judge or jury.
Prosecutors can also get vital evidence dismissed if they use persuasive arguments. Prosecutors may even suppress evidence that could strengthen your case. They could also use a witness who falsely accuses you.
However, an attorney can ensure your case is airtight. They’ll ensure you remain consistent throughout the trial process. Defense attorneys know the machinations that prosecutors use to discredit the defense.
The defense will also ensure a jury hears all evidence that will boost your case.
Defense attorneys can also counter the claims and evidence presented by a police officer. Police offers and prosecutors usually work together against defendants.
Police officers can also testify against you in court. However, a defense attorney can call into question the nature of a police investigation if necessary.
In many cases, police officers and investigation teams mishandle the chain of evidence. In worst cases, police officers can frame a suspect. Your attorney can identify irregularities during the investigation.
Self Representation is a Mistake
Defendants that hire an attorney will win their cases most of the time. This is because defense lawyers are trained to make compelling presentations in the courtroom. Many people don’t have the argumentative capability to articulate their cases in court.
- Example: Many defendants don’t know when to interject when a prosecutor makes an outlandish claim.
Only an experienced attorney knows when a prosecutor has gone too far. So, for example, they may ask leading questions to get a desirable answer.
In other cases, they’ll implant a particular narrative in the jurors’ minds. However, a defense attorney can keep prosecutors in check.
Plus, an attorney can help you present a stronger case. They know how to take your story and craft it within a legal framework. Also, many attorneys have legal teams that can conduct additional research to strengthen your case.
They even have the necessary resources to find witnesses on your behalf. Witnesses can lend credibility to your story. In addition, defense attorneys can hire private investigators to find witnesses or conduct additional investigations.
Further, defense attorneys know how to navigate the courtroom overall. Perhaps they know the judge or prosecutor. They know how to work within the system to achieve a favorable outcome.
The Right to a Speedy Trial
Your attorney will also ensure you make it to trial promptly. The Sixth Amendment of the Constitution guarantees your right to a speedy trial.
However, too many defendants remain in jail or prison for prolonged periods with no trial date in sight. This is especially true if a judge denies the bond or you cannot access your bond hearing.
Your attorney will fight on your behalf to ensure your trial proceeds accordingly. An attorney can ensure the case is dismissed if you don’t get a speedy trial.
Lawyers can also streamline the bond process and get you out of jail. With the help of an attorney, you can await trial from home instead of a jail cell.
The Most Important Thing Defense Counsel Can Do For You
Defense counsel can protect you from overzealous prosecutors. Without attorney protection, the courts could violate your rights with impunity.
Defense attorneys are also during civil trials. Prosecutors or plaintiffs will craft a narrative to discredit your case. However, attorneys know how to fight back and sway a judge or jury.
With the help of an attorney, you stand a much higher chance of winning a case or getting the charges reduced.
Interested in reading more? Read more on our blog to gain insight into other topics.