hiring a criminal defense attorney

Hiring a Criminal Defense Attorney

When you’re facing criminal charges, it might be tempting to rely on a court-appointed attorney. Hiring a criminal defense attorney on your own is almost always a better option considering the stakes. Here are a few reasons you should visit our Law Offices in St. George Utah if you’re facing criminal charges.

Knowing Where You Stand

The Utah legal system is complex, and there are often few resources for those facing charges to know where they stand. While prosecutors and judges will provide some information, it’s up to defendants to understand the stakes. By hiring a criminal defense attorney, you can rely on expert help to get an overview of where you are in terms of potential charges and sentences. One of the most frustrating parts of dealing with criminal charges is not knowing what comes next, and the peace of mind that comes with having a lawyer helps you move on with life as best as possible.

Staying Out of Jail Pretrial

You’ll likely have to supply a bond if you’re being charged to stay out of jail prior to trial. Considering how slowly the legal system moves, this can mean months or even longer being unable to work or spend time with family and friends. It’s up to judges to set bail, but they listen to both prosecutors and defense attorneys to come up with an appropriate amount. As your lawyer, we will put forth the best argument possible for a reduced bail, which can be the difference between being able to make bail and not.

Avoiding Pretrial Risks

While you have charges pending, your behavior is likely to be under scrutiny, and small mistakes can leave you at risk of being jailed or having additional charges filed. As your criminal defense lawyer will provide guidance on how you need to conduct yourself before the trial begins. In addition, there may be steps you can take to gain the sympathy of the jury or the judge. If your criminal charges stemmed wholly or in part due to substance abuse issues, for example, entering rehab or therapy might help push the jury in your favor or encourage the judge to decide on a lesser sentence should you be convicted. It’s up to you to make important life changes, but your lawyer can help guide you toward useful local resources.

Plea Bargaining

Both prosecutors and defendants would prefer to come to a deal rather than trial. By hiring a criminal defense attorney, you send the message to prosecutors that you’re taking your defense seriously. As plea bargaining is a negotiation, this places you on a stronger footing. In addition, your lawyer can outline potential problems with the prosecution’s case.  This might make them more likely to offer a less stringent bargain. Having an attorney helps greatly when it comes to plea bargains.

Plea Bargain or Fight

Perhaps the most important choice you face as a defendant is whether to take a plea bargain or whether to fight in court.  When you hire a lawyer, you’ll receive expert advice to help you make the decision that’s best for you. Understanding the stakes and likelihood of winning a jury trial can give you the critical information you need.

Public defenders are typically overworked and have limited resources for presenting a strong defense for their clients. If possible, make sure to hire your own lawyer if you’re facing criminal charges. The potential benefits can be life-changing.