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Following an arrest, many Philadelphia residents begin crafting their own defense. However, a better option would be to hire an attorney instead. If you or a loved one are facing charges, here are some benefits you might experience when hiring a Philadelphia criminal attorney to defend you.
Knowledge of the Law
A successful conviction requires the prosecution to prove each and every element of a crime beyond a reasonable doubt. This is often harder than it sounds as many statutes are very ambiguous. Smart attorneys know this, and will use that ambiguity to cast doubt.
Knowing how courts have ruled in the past will play a part in your defense as well. Attorneys who practice criminal law have likely dealt with similar issues in the past and therefore know what to expect. If there are any questions, a lawyer will perform the required legal research so that everything is clear. For example, if you rob a liquor store, you’ll want an attorney representing you.
Demanding Exculpatory Evidence
The state has an obligation to let defendants know what evidence they have against them. If it exists, they are also mandated to turn over what is known as exculpatory evidence. Exculpatory evidence is any evidence that might be used to prove your innocence. If you are convicted, you might need a federal appeals lawyer – we can help with that too.
While the goal is to make the prosecution prove your guilt, exculpatory evidence is nonetheless very important. The fact that exculpatory evidence exists is often grounds for having charges dropped or reduced. When presented to a jury, this evidence could greatly affect a verdict as well.
Those who represent themselves often are unaware of the importance of exculpatory evidence. They might not know whether the state has this type of evidence or how to ask for it. Rest assured that a criminal lawyer knows how to request this evidence and will use it to your advantage whenever it is available.
Better Negotiating Power
Not all criminal cases wind up in court. In many instances, striking a plea deal is more advantageous to all parties concerned. When it comes time to negotiate with state attorneys, you will generally come out better if you have legal representation. Attempt to negotiate yourself and you might easily be taken advantage of. A prosecutor may think that you will accept any offer because you have no other option than to do so.
Provides a Realistic Outlook
There is a lot of uncertainty involved when you are facing criminal charges. Just having an idea what the outcome might be can help you better plan your future. A reputable lawyer will prepare you for an unsatisfactory outcome, while at the same time working to get you the possible results. And if there are any unexpected situations, you won’t be caught as far off guard by them.
Gives you a Shoulder to Lean On
After an arrest, many people are surprised to find that their family and friends no longer want anything to do with them. At a time like this, it is always good to know that a criminal lawyer is still on your side, and will continue to fight hard to help you preserve your dignity and innocence.
Have you been charged with a crime in Philadelphia? If so, there are numerous advantages to hiring an attorney rather than representing yourself in court. You have plenty at stake, so you should consider the benefits of a criminal defense lawyer very carefully.