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.
If you’re facing criminal charges, why do you need to hire a criminal defense lawyer instead of relying on a public defender? Public defenders play an important role in the justice system by providing legal services to those in need. However, working with a criminal defense lawyer offers several advantages.
If you decide to rely on a public defender, one will be assigned to you. You do not get to choose who serves as your public defender, and if you feel like your court-appointed attorney isn’t a good fit for your case, your options are restricted. With a private criminal defense attorney, you have far more control over your fate. You can interview attorneys, ask about their experience, education and other qualifications, and select the professional you believe will be the advocate. If you later decide that they aren’t up to the task for any reason, you can simply end your relationship with them and select a different attorney. When you opt to hire a private criminal defense lawyer, you decide who is on your legal team.
Public defenders are typically highly qualified, skilled attorneys, and the nature of their jobs means that they have a great deal of experience with the criminal court system. Unfortunately, it also means that they tend to be overworked with heavy caseloads and demanding schedules. With the sheer volume of cases vying for their attention, their ability to focus on any single one is limited. In contrast, private criminal defense lawyers normally take on a finite number of cases at any one time. Because they are not overwhelmed by quantity, they are able to devote more of their focus to your case and concentrate on providing a quality service. Thanks to the level of personal attention offered by a private attorney, hiring one is a good way to secure a strong defense.
With their heavy workloads, public defenders are constantly scrambling to make every moment of their workday count. While most do their to provide an excellent defense for their clients, they do not have time to spend chatting. Trying to get one on the phone can be almost impossible. In fact, you may find that the only time you get to speak with a public defender is immediately before a court appearance. Interactions with a private attorney are far more collaborative. They are willing to educate you about your options, explain the pros and cons of various strategies, and discuss the possibilities. A criminal defense attorney will work collaboratively with you to determine and implement your defense.
Public defenders work diligently to make efficient use of the resources available to them. However, the volume of cases that they deal with and the limited nature of their resources mean that they are often stretched thin. Private attorneys who specialize in criminal defense generally have more resources at their disposal. They are more likely to bring in investigators, expert witnesses, private laboratories, and other paid resources to help support your case. These additional resources can be invaluable when crafting an effective defense.
Many public defenders are dedicated professionals who work hard at a challenging job. However, that job comes with a steady paycheck. They don’t have to give any thought to where their next client is coming from. criminal defense attorneys have to think about their professional reputation and its impact on their ability to maintain and grow their firm. While the desire to craft a superior defense for their clients may be their primary motivation, this consideration offers an extra incentive for them to go the extra mile to secure excellent results for their clients.
Have you or someone you care about been charged with a crime? Hiring a skilled private criminal defense lawyer is the way to gain the legal assistance that you need to mount an effective defense.
What if this is not my “first” DWI arrest?
One of the most dangerous things a person can do is to drive a car while intoxicated. Thousands of people die in drunk driving accidents on a monthly basis. In the United States, penalties for driving under the influence vary from state to state. They’re mandated by the road safety laws and guidelines that each state enacts. Regardless of your state, however, your penalties will become more severe if there are previous DWI arrests or convictions on your criminal record.
In every state, the first DWI a driver incurs is considered a misdemeanor. However, having a misdemeanor DWI on your record means that further arrests might incur felony charges. You may end up doing jail time. If there is more than one previous DWI, or you had a particularly egregious offense, you may find yourself spending several years in prison.
After your first DWI offense, subsequent offenses cause your license to be suspended or revoked for much longer periods of tie. Some states, when a person gets a third DWI conviction, will permanently revoke their driver’s license. You will no longer have the privilege of driving a car. For most people, that means a serious loss of independence, freedom, and overall control of life. Even if you don’t lose your license permanently, a second or third DUI offense will typically result in a license revocation for one or more years.
With every new DWI you get, you’ll be facing greatly increased fines. You might also be put on probation and have to report to a probation officer. Most people will be sentenced to some kind of DUI education program and mandatory addiction counseling. Your car will also typically have an ignition interlock installed before you’re allowed to drive.
Ignition interlock devices are sophisticated breathalyzers installed directly in your car. Before your engine will start, you have to provide a sample of your breath. If the device detects alcohol on your breath, you won’t be able to start the car. This is a safety measure used to ensure you don’t drive drunk again. When you have repeat offenses on your record, the court assumes there will be more repeats. Since drunk driving is dangerous to all the motorists on the road, safety precautions are taken.
You may be aware that the legal alcohol limit for adults over the age of 21 is .08. However, you typically need to pass the breathalyzer test with a score of .02 or lower.
Once you’ve started your car, there will be periodic “rolling retests.” These tests continually measure your breath while you’re driving to make sure you don’t get someone else to provide a sample or begin drinking while on the road. If your breath sample fails the test while you’re en route, or you don’t provide a sample, your horn will begin honking and your lights will flash until the car is pulled over and powered down.
If you’ve been arrested for a DWI with previous DWI convictions, you need to get in contact with a skilled criminal lawyer as soon as possible. No matter what state you live in, repeat DWI offenders are treated very seriously. Driving under the influence risks other people’s lives, and many people consider it an act of unwitting violence. Your charges may be even more severe if you cause an accident or injuries while you drive under the influence.
Your defense lawyer will help you understand your options. Without a strong defender behind you, you might go bankrupt from the fines or face potential years in prison. Defense attorneys understand how the criminal justice system works. They know how to navigate you through all portions of the criminal justice process.
The most important thing is that you commit to taking care of yourself. Multiple DUIs are a sign that you have a serious substance use problem. You’ll almost certainly be sentenced to some kind of mental health treatment. Sometimes it can also help to get ahead of things. If you recognize that you have a problem, and you’re ready to start taking care of that problem, you might enroll yourself in a detox center or inpatient rehab.
Not only is this course of action good for your physical and mental health, but it will often help bolster your case. The judge wants to see that you understand the severity of your actions and take responsibility for them. They want to know that you’re trying to get help for your problem. A person who seeks addiction treatment will often get a lighter sentence than one who resists treatment at every turn.