What Does a Criminal Defense Lawyer Do?

If you’ve been charged with a crime, you have the right to defend yourself in court. But it is strongly advised that you retain an experienced criminal defense lawyer to represent you instead. Failing to have a skilled attorney advocate for you could jeopardize your rights and ultimately make the situation far worse.

Have you or a loved one been charged with a crime? Let us explain how having a knowledgeable Evansville, IN criminal defense attorney can make a difference. Contact Verdelski Miller today for a free consultation.

Understanding the Law and Court Rules

Perhaps the most obvious benefit of hiring a criminal defense lawyer is having someone who knows the law. Criminal law includes both statutory law and state and federal court decisions that affect the rights of the accused.

Our firm is well-versed in this practice area and knows precisely what the state must prove to win a conviction against you. Remember, the burden is for the prosecution to prove you are guilty, not on you to prove your innocence.

But criminal procedure and trials involve much more than knowing statutes and case law. There are criminal procedure rules that the government must follow. These are put in place to protect the rights of defendants.

If the prosecution violates these rules, for example, evidence against you can be suppressed. However, if you don’t know what the rules are, you won’t know whether and on what basis to request this. Local rules of court also play a role, and an experienced attorney will know them.

There are also rules of evidence that govern criminal cases. They exist to make sure only reliable and relevant evidence is admitted in court. You need someone who knows the rules so untrustworthy evidence can be kept out. You also must understand them to ensure that your evidence gets admitted. An Evansville, IN attorney will argue the rules of evidence in your favor.

Criminal defense lawyers understand court rules

Discovery: Obtaining the Prosecution’s Evidence for Your Case

If you’re a criminal defendant, you naturally want to know what sort of evidence the prosecution has on you. This is where the process of discovery is important to know about. Discovery refers to the process of formally requesting evidence that another party has. In a civil case, like a breach of contract lawsuit, the parties can send each other discovery requests.

For a criminal case, in most Indiana jurisdictions, there is a mandatory discovery rule. What this means is that any evidence the prosecution or police have must be given to the defendant. This may include police reports, forensic evidence, 911 recordings, and more.

Your Evansville, IN criminal defense attorney should conduct discovery in your case. If it’s mandatory, your lawyer’s job is to make sure the state and police turn over everything required by law. This way, you can know what the state has against you and prepare your defense accordingly.

Negotiating Plea Bargains, Requesting Dismissals, and Trying Your Case

Many criminal defendants can negotiate plea deals with prosecutors. The ability to do so will depend on a number of factors, including:

  • The strength of the prosecution’s evidence
  • The nature and seriousness of the charges
  • The defendant’s criminal record, if any
  • How inclined the prosecution is to settle the case
  • Whether a judge is likely to accept a plea deal
  • Whether the defendant’s rights were violated at any point of the investigation or criminal proceedings

It may be possible for your Evansville, IN criminal defense lawyer to negotiate a more lenient deal for you. This will require you to plead guilty to lesser charges, but the consequences would be less severe. Depending on the circumstances, your lawyer may even be able to have some or all charges dismissed.

If a plea bargain or dismissal cannot be done, your attorney will prepare and try your case in court. Plea bargains can happen after a trial begins. If the possibility arises to work one out, your lawyer will discuss it with you.

Call an Experienced Evansville Criminal Defense Lawyer

Being charged with a crime is not the same thing as being convicted. You have rights, and the best way to assert them is to retain an Evansville, IN criminal defense lawyer. Don’t jeopardize your freedom by attempting to defend yourself against an experienced prosecutor.

Reach out to us to start working on your case today.

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