Many people who are facing criminal charges will consider representing themselves at some point. Given all the information available to them at the touch of a button on a computer, they often wonder why they shouldn’t just handle their own case — but there are many things that a defense lawyer can do that the defendant can’t.
One of the primary advantages of having a defense attorney is that they are familiar with the court system. Each court has intricacies involving procedures that you cannot easily learn, and certain judges handle things in very specific ways. This type of information can help you as you work on your defense.
How does a defense attorney work with the prosecution?
A defense attorney may also be able to work with the prosecution to reach a plea deal in your case. Typically, prosecutors won’t work directly with the defendant on these matters so it’s best to work with an attorney on them.
As the defendant, you aren’t really aware of the strengths and weaknesses of your case the same way that an attorney may be. This makes it hard to understand when (and where) there is room for negotiation when it comes to a plea.
How can a defense attorney present your case?
It is imperative that your defense is based on the truth, but how you tell that truth may have an impact on your case. Defense attorneys can look at the circumstances of the case and determine the most effective way to tell your side of the matter while still sticking to the truth. In some cases, this might even mean admitting that you did commit the crime but explaining why you don’t deserve harsh punishment for it.
The law is very complicated. When you find out that you’re facing criminal charges, be sure that you immediately find an attorney. You’ll have time to review your options and plan your defense strategy accordingly.