For people who have been accused of a crime, it can be incredibly confusing and bewildering. This is especially true for first-time offenders who may not fully understand the gravity and consequences just yet. For people who have already spent time in jail, it can be less terrifying, but the process is no less troubling. A common question that experienced criminal defense lawyers hear all the time is, “What exactly can you do about it?”
This question comes from the feeling that the person knows they did the crime, they know they were caught, so how could a lawyer possibly help them? At Lauren Taylor Law, we get this question a lot. Remember that no lawyer can make a guarantee of what will happen, but here’s how we often can help.
#1 Keeping the Process Fair
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This is perhaps the most important function that a criminal defense lawyer performs. Keep in mind the various roles of the people involved. The judge is impartial, so his or her role is to hear everything that is presented in court and make a decision based on that information. The same goes for a jury if the case goes to trial. Then, the prosecutor’s job is to paint the worst picture possible in order to convince the judge and jury that you did the crime and should be punished as severely as possible. Judges and juries don’t research the law, look for exonerating evidence or witnesses who can help you. Therefore, they hear one side of the story.
The Constitution gives you a right to a lawyer for a reason. It’s to make sure the government is behaving fairly and that evidence is obtained legally and your rights are not being trampled along the way.
#2 Leverage and Negotiations
Even if you know you committed the criminal violation, your lawyer may still have options to reduce the sentence or minimize the penalties you face. It’s not about “getting away” with a crime; it’s about making sure you are punished for the right crime and not a bunch of things you didn’t do. More importantly, an attorney will look for problems with the government’s case. One by one, your lawyer will work to chip away at the evidence, chip away at police officer testimony, chip away at legal theories, until hopefully the government starts to worry that it may not get an easy conviction. If there is a decent chance that the government will not be able to prove the crime at trial or key evidence can’t be used, then prosecutors may be willing to offer a plea agreement, allowing you to serve a lighter sentence or maybe even avoid jail. In other words, your lawyer builds leverage to negotiate a better deal.
#3 Representation at Trial
If your case must go to trial, there are numerous ways a lawyer is preferable to representing yourself. First, if you need to invoke your Fifth Amendment rights by not testifying, you can only really do this if you have someone else available to speak on your behalf and argue for you. Also, many jurors will be unmoved by a defendant arguing for himself. Whereas, a skillful attorney can present legal arguments that educate and inform, allowing a jury to see why a particular crime may not have occurred in the way it is presented.
Hire an Experienced Greenville Criminal Defense Lawyer Now
If you are facing a serious criminal charge in Greenville, SC, call Lauren Taylor Law today. Our team will work fast to secure evidence, fight for your release, and negotiate the best deal possible. And if you have to go to trial, we can stand by you from start to finish.
South Carolina divorce attorney Lauren Taylor practices family law in Charleston and Greenville. She graduated from the Charlotte School of Law, and has been practicing for more than ten years.
Since the firm’s inception in 2012, Mrs. Taylor has helped hundreds of people navigate the uncertainties surrounding the family and criminal court process.
She has cultivated a team that ensures each case has a strategy crafted specifically to the clients needs and desires.
Her commitment to top notch service has led her to open two additional offices in the low country where she now resides with her husband Michael and her golden retriever, Buster.