If you have been charged with a crime, no matter the severity, it is time to hire a criminal lawyer. The consequences of a conviction are for life as you will carry the record with you.Despite what you may see in TV shows, criminal cases are often long and complicated processes with pre-trials and trials. A criminal lawyer will help guide you through these stages by providing their expertise, resources and attention to detail. It is important to retain a criminal lawyer as soon as you are arrested or charged so that your lawyer can begin working for you immediately. After an arrest, it is not a given that you will be charged and even after charges are laid, the Crown prosecutor still has the ability to rescind or alter the charges. If you have a criminal lawyer representing you, it will give you the best chance to avoid charges or to have them rescinded before reaching trial.
Here are six other things that hiring a criminal lawyer does for you:
- Provides important knowledge of the law. There is not a “big book of criminal law” and instead, most criminal law rules are set by precedents in other cases. A criminal lawyer will know about these precedents and have the resources to find and cite them to your benefit during your case.
- Gather information. A lawyer can review your discharge, track down more information, prepare witnesses in your defence and gather information from prosecution witnesses. Having as much information as possible will allow you to prepare the best defence you can.
- Familiarity with the court. An experienced criminal lawyer will know the court system well, including its processes, Crown prosecutors and judges. This experience will provide them extra insight into which strategies will work best in your defence.
- Negotiate with prosecutors. In the event or overwhelming evidence a criminal lawyer can resolve claims with the prosecutor for reduced charges and lesser sentences
- Formulate sentencing clauses. Even if you know you are planning to plead guilty to a crime, a criminal lawyer can make sentencing recommendations to the judge. A judge in a criminal case typically has a lot of discretion in determining the length and specifications of a sentence. A good criminal lawyer can make recommendations that are tailored to you so that your sentence is less severe and helps you avoid being charged again.
- Help you cope with the situation. A criminal charge of any nature is an intense personal situation. A criminal lawyer will have experience helping clients deal with their feelings of fear, embarrassment and anxiety that may result from criminal charges.
It is important to hire a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible when you have been charged with a crime. Because of this, you should take the time to become knowledgeable about which St. Catharines lawyer you can trust before you’ve been charged with a crime. Chown Cairns team of Niagara Criminal lawyers provide aggressive defense for all charges under the criminal code. Click here to learn more about our Niagara criminal law practice group.