What to expect during a criminal defense trial?

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We have all heard of or seen in movies criminal cases where high-profile defendants find the best criminal defense attorneys in specific legal areas and receive a “not guilty” verdict from the court. Until we find ourselves in a legal scuffle, we believe these instances to be fancies of Hollywood scriptwriters, or storytellers with very active imaginations. The reality, however, might be quite different; and the only way to understand how criminal law truly works in the USA is by putting oneself in the shoes of the defendant.

What happens during a criminal trial?

Imagine just a few days ago your life was totally normal and all of a sudden everything changed… Maybe you decided to drive when you simply shouldn’t have after having a few drinks, things got out of control and people got hurt; or maybe you were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Whatever the reason, you now know that you will be facing criminal charges! The instant that this happens, you have that internal feeling where you know deep down there’s a significant chance that nothing will be the same again. But, then things get even worse when you start interacting with law enforcement and start to get a taste for what things could be like from now on. Even though you know that you might have been at fault and expect consequences, the importance of having competent legal representation on your side covering your case becomes more and more obvious with every second that goes by without it. Now, imagine you finally find an experienced and reliable criminal defense attorney that you like and who can represent you. Think of the relief that this brings to the whole situation, and the implications it can have on the outcome of your case and, potentially, the rest of your life.

To learn more about criminal defense and for specific and actionable advice, please visit the Ferraro Law Group PL website, where you can find much more detailed information about the specifics for some of the most common criminal cases.

The most effective way to ensure having the right legal representation is to have already developed relationships with legal counsel before you need it. And finding a competent criminal defense attorney is no exception. Starting your search as a preventive measure before you need it makes the whole process much easier and stress free than just waiting until there’s no time to do your due diligence and research.

But, if you haven’t developed a relationship with a qualified criminal defense lawyer ahead of time, then it is very likely that the following two factors will cause unnecessary friction in your search before hiring a criminal defense lawyer and sometimes even during the duration of your case:

  1. Does the criminal defense lawyer believe that their client is guilty of the crime?
  2. Is the criminal defense attorney capable of keeping his or her belief aside and defend the client adequately?

When you speak with the leading criminal lawyers, most will tell you that the lawyer’s personal belief is inconsequential in the light of a criminal defense case. That it is not in the purview of the lawyer’s responsibilities to decide the guilt or innocence of their client. And that all you need to do is to find a competent and experienced criminal defense attorney, who is capable of defending you properly.

One may wonder: how can a criminal defense attorney represent someone who they might believe is guilty?

Proper legal representation is a right and arguably one of the main foundations of our legal system. And a criminal defense lawyer can, in fact, defend someone who they believe might be guilty. Also it is important to note that there is a considerable difference between “factual guilt” and “legal guilt.” Factual guilt is whether a person is actually guilty of the crime. Legal guilt is when the prosecution has enough evidence to prove the charges “beyond a reasonable doubt.” Hence, most expert criminal defense lawyers will not ask their client if they are actually “guilty” of the crime they are being accused of. The primary responsibility of your criminal defense lawyer is to represent you and put up a fair trial in court in front of the judge and the jury.

Why do criminal defense lawyers represent the guilty?

The fact that each person deserves responsible and dedicated legal representation in court is one of the main building blocks of our society, and therefore the US Constitution gives each citizen the right to defend themselves in court regardless of their guilt. The law binds all attorneys to secure and deliver this legal right of each citizen. Every lawyer must offer zealous representation to their clients within the bounds of the law. It is their duty to protect the rights of the public. This is one of the means to ensure that every person gets legal representation irrespective of any other factors. Whether they are guilty of a crime or not is for the court to decide.

February 18, 2019 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
Posted in: Uncategorized