No matter what charge you face, entering the criminal justice system is an intimidating process. From the time of your arrest, pressure is put on you to surrender your legal rights. Having advised area residents for more than 25 years, we know that many defendants seek to put their legal problem behind them, agreeing to plead guilty without even obtaining qualified legal advice. Others attempt to represent themselves in court. Anyone facing charges needs to know they have a right to counsel, and choosing to refuse the help of a defense attorney is a mistake that can have severe consequences. A knowledgeable attorney can make sure you are informed and maximize your chance for a successful outcome.
A criminal defense attorney is uniquely qualified to evaluate your situation and explain your options, providing assistance with issues such as:
- Law enforcement errors — From the moment a police officer encounters you, they are bound by strict rules enacted to protect your fundamental rights. An experienced lawyer understands the law and can investigate any violations that might have occurred. Even if you believe that the prosecutor has a strong case, key evidence might be excluded if it was obtained improperly. A knowledgeable criminal defense attorney gives you the best chance at pinpointing errors.
- Charging decisions — Frequently, prosecutors will file harsh criminal charges that don’t reflect the scope of the alleged crime. They then use these serious counts as a bargaining chip in order to coerce defendants into plea agreements. A skilled criminal defense lawyer knows how the law is applied and won’t let you be misled into accepting an unfavorable resolution.
- Thorough discovery — Legal procedure rules allow defendants to obtain documents and other evidentiary materials. An experienced criminal defense attorney knows how to locate and analyze important information so that clients have a fair chance against government prosecutors.
- Effective courtroom advocacy — Understanding how to handle criminal litigation procedures takes extensive preparation. If you choose to represent yourself, keeping up with the rules will sharply limit your ability to build a strong case. The district attorney would not use a completely inexperienced person to try their case. You shouldn’t either.
Effective, timely legal counsel can mean the difference between acquittal and a criminal conviction that might lead to incarceration, fines and a permanent criminal record. Our skilled advisors can explain the relevant law and develop a comprehensive strategy for you.
Ernst & Associates represents southwestern Ohio clients in criminal defense litigation and other legal matters. Please call 513-970-6200 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation at our Lebanon office.