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Nobody enjoys having an encounter with law enforcement. However, having such an encounter indicates that something is amiss and that something could be a criminal violation of the law.
As a resident of South Carolina, you have certain rights and privileges. You are also obligated to be a good resident, which includes following federal and state laws. As long as you do your part, there is very little chance you will encounter law enforcement. However, should you intentionally or inadvertently break the law, you can expect to get cast into the legal system. It’s also possible to find yourself in such circumstances even if you are innocent.
If you end up getting arrested with or without cause, we cannot stress enough the importance of you first staying silent until you speak with an attorney. Second, your best interests will only be served if you hire a good criminal defense attorney South Carolina specific. Due to regional intricacies in the law, it is best for a lawyer to be from within the state, and you might not for example decide to use a Virginia criminal defense attorney.
To help you better understand exactly what you could be facing as you enter the criminal legal system, we thought it would be prudent to tell you eight (8) benefits of hiring a criminal defense attorney.
Knowledge of the Legal System
Protection of Your Rights
As the accused and or a defendant, you have rights. While those rights were laid out when the arresting officer read you your “Miranda Rights,” it’s possible you didn’t fully understand what was being said. Your criminal defense attorney’s top priority is to make sure members of the court and prosecution are honoring your rights. You also want them by your side to make sure you don’t do something inadvertently that would compromise your rights.
Remember: There are some very important reasons why your defense attorney, upon first meeting them, will tell you to only interact with law enforcement or a prosecutor when the attorney is present.
Expertise to Handle Paperwork
In other areas of your life, you have surely encountered the inefficiencies of federal, local, and state government offices. They can’t seem to operate without requiring mounds of paperwork. The criminal law system is no different. Everything that happens involving a crime has to be detailed out ad-nauseum.
Your attorney has the resources needed to fill out any and all of the paperwork that would be required in your case. These resources are very proficient at filling any required paperwork properly and on time.
Explanation of Your Charges and Possible Penalties
Being charged with a criminal offense is serious business, especially if the charge is a felony. You know it’s serious business because a conviction could put your freedom at risk.
The arresting officer will tell you that with which you are being charged. It’s not their job to explain it in great detail, nor is it their responsibility to discuss the possible penalties you might encounter if convicted. That information is best delivered by your defense attorney. It’s their job to explain the legal definition of the charges, why you are being charged, what they understand the circumstances of your case to be, and the risks to you should you be convicted.
Preparation of Your Defense
You don’t want to simply provide a defense against your charges. You want to provide an effective defense that will lead to the dropping of charges, a full acquittal, or a lessening of penalties due to circumstances and cooperation.
An effective defense requires the ability to dispute the evidence and call witnesses. It takes time and resources to gather everything needed to help defend you. It also takes the training and expertise of a criminal defense attorney to find the little nuggets of information that can be helpful in your defense.
Ability to Negotiate with Prosecutors
For a moment, let’s assume you did commit a crime. Maybe, there were extenuating circumstances that led to your actions. However, the reality is most guilty defendants never go to trial. Instead, their criminal defense attorneys use certain information and their understanding of the law and sentencing guidelines to negotiate the least penalties possible.
Keep in mind that criminal defense attorneys tend to build professional relationships with judges and prosecutors. It’s a small legal community. They can use what they know and these relationships to get you the best results possible.
Save You Money
Yes, a criminal defense attorney will cost you money. However, their ability to effectively navigate the legal system and secure advantageous outcomes can save you money and more. They can save you money in the form of restitution, penalties, and court costs. They also have a higher probability of getting the charges dropped or acquittal, which could save you public shame, your job, and/or your family relationships.
Provide Emotional Support
Being hit with criminal charges can be emotional and mentally devastating. That would only figure to get worse as you continue working your way through the criminal justice system. Your criminal defense attorney would be well aware of the stress the situation is causing. They have been through it with clients many times. With that in mind, they have some expertise related to providing emotional support. They would also keep you well-informed as things proceed, which would help remove your fear of the unknown.
If you live in or near the Columbia, South Carolina area and need a criminal defense attorney, we want your first call to come to our Strom Law Firm. We have the experience, knowledge, and resources to defend you and get you the best outcome possible.
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