Best Seattle Criminal Lawyers
From the moment a police officer informs you that you are under arrest, your world will be turned upside down. From what may be an ongoing investigation into your alleged activities to spending some time behind bars before a court hearing, these and other situations are sure to leave you feeling as if there is little hope for your future. However, the days and weeks ahead may not be as dire as you anticipate, especially if you make the smart decision to hire a seasoned criminal lawyer to represent you from the very beginning. By doing so, you will reap a number of important benefits.
Giving You a Reality Check
When you initially get charged with a crime, your mind may start thinking about all the police dramas you have seen on television. As a result, you probably have a skewed impression as to how your case may play out. Contrary to what you may have seen on TV and in the movies, most criminal cases do not turn on a dime at the 11th-hour. Instead, investigations are often long and complex, which can leave you very frustrated. By having an experienced criminal attorney handling your case, they can give you a reality check as to what you can expect with your case by explaining various scenarios and possible outcomes.
From Prison to Probation
After your arrest, you will be informed as to whether the charges against you are felonies or misdemeanors. If they are felonies, the possible legal consequences if you are convicted will no doubt be life-altering in numerous ways. For starters, you will probably be sentenced to prison for what may be decades. Also, the court may order you to pay huge fines that will essentially mean financial ruin for you and even your family. However, all of this may be able to be avoided if you have a lawyer on your side who knows how to negotiate with prosecutors to get serious charges reduced to a more manageable level. Should your attorney be successful in getting a felony charge reduced to a misdemeanor, you may go from spending time in prison to facing only a limited amount of time on probation.
Since your case will likely involve more than a few court hearings and other meetings, having a well-respected criminal lawyer on your side can mean you will always have clear channels of communication at all times regarding all aspects of your case. From being constantly updated about negotiations with prosecutors to knowing you and your family are always being told the truth about what is happening and what to expect, you can gain tremendous peace of mind during what is of course a difficult ordeal.
Keeping Police in Check
When police arrest you, the one thing they want to do is immediately capitalize on your stress and fear. To do so, they often hurry suspects into an interrogation room and begin intense questioning, often well before the person has even hired an attorney. If you let this happen to you, the consequences can be long-lasting and put your case in great peril from the start. When you are placed under arrest, listen closely when you are being read your Miranda rights. If you do, you’ll realize you are allowed to have an attorney present before you ever answer the first question from police. By using this constitutional right to your advantage, you can avoid self-incrimination and make it far more difficult for police to build a case that can result in a conviction. Thus, always insist your attorney be present during questioning to guide you step-by-step through a process that police try to make as stressful as possible.
Helping with Appeals
If despite the best efforts of you and your attorney a court does convict you of committing a crime, your criminal lawyer can assist in helping you appeal the decision. Remember, your conviction is simply the opinion of one court, meaning it is quite possible an appeals court may view your case in an entirely different light. By working with your criminal lawyer, you may be able to bring new facts to light about what happened, help your lawyer uncover new evidence, and cooperate with your attorney while they are consulting with expert witnesses who may be able to prove you are indeed innocent. But because appeals are not decided overnight, you will need to listen to your attorney and be very patient while the process plays out over several weeks.
Free on Bail
While police may initially place you in a jail cell after your arrest, the last thing you want to do is remain there indefinitely. Therefore, you need to focus on being able to make bail as fast as possible. To accomplish this, you will need your attorney working hard to not only make the judge grant bail, but to also make sure it is set at a reasonable amount based on your charges. Since you probably won’t know the first thing about getting bailed out of jail, you should rely on an attorney you trust to take care of the details. Once you are free on bail, you can then focus your efforts on helping your attorney develop a legal strategy that will keep you out of jail permanently.
While you certainly never want to face a situation where you have been arrested, knowing what needs to be done in these circumstances may mean the difference between staying free or going to prison. While you may think you can handle many of the details yourself, trying to do so only leads to disaster. To give yourself an excellent chance of emerging victorious, hire a criminal lawyer at once.