Hiring a Criminal Defense Attorney in Virginia
Why Is Hiring Counsel Important In a Criminal Case?
People often times think that they can handle a traffic matter or minor criminal offense themselves. However, most people do not understand all the rights that they have or all the potential consequences they are facing with certain charges. Having an attorney is important because it ensures that you understand the charges against you, what the potential consequences of those charges are, and what your rights are. An attorney can also help you understand the court processes and what your options are in resolving your case.
Unfortunately, a lot of people do end up going to court and pleading guilty. Having an attorney is important because it ensures that you understand exactly what you’re doing when you go to court, rather than simply having somebody tell you what to do. When you go to court, you are forced to make important decisions that may permanently affect your criminal record, your driving record, and the ability to have a license. What happens in court can have various effects on you, so the attorney is there to help you understand what your rights are, what the effects of a potential conviction could be, and if there is another way of resolving your case without having those negative effects.
Why Should Someone Hire a Private Attorney As Opposed To Using a Public Defender?
One of the major benefits to hiring a private attorney is that the client has the opportunity to hire an attorney whom they feel comfortable with and trust. This helps establish a working client/attorney relationship and good communication from the start. Additionally, public defenders are assigned cases and often times their caseloads can be overwhelming. This can require them to prioritize their cases between what is a serious case and what is perhaps, a more routine case. A private defense attorney on the other hand, is able to manage her own case load and ensure that she has the time and ability to focus the same amount of energy on all of her cases.
What Factors Should Someone Consider When Looking For a Criminal Defense Attorney?
They should look for someone who they trust and who they share a personal connection with. Someone who they feel will take the time to talk to them about the case and listen to what their concerns are. Communication and trust is key to a successful client/attorney relationship. They should also look for someone who is familiar with the jurisdiction in which their case is being heard and with the type of charge they are facing.
What Common Mistakes Do Individuals Make In The Early Stages of a Criminal Case?
In the very early stages of a case, people often make the mistake of not understanding the full view of what their rights are. For example, sometimes people don’t that they have the right to remain silent. People commonly think that they have to answer law enforcement’s questions or otherwise risk being perceived as dishonest and guilty. However, any statements made to law enforcement can used against a defendant and can usually be detrimental to a person’s case. People also don’t understand the court process or what options they have as far as resolving their case. People need to understand that they have rights from the very beginning to the very end of the case. It’s not simply that they go into court and plead guilty or not guilty. They have the right to remain silent, they have the right to an attorney, and they have the right to challenge questionable police tactics used to try to gain evidence. Having an attorney ensures that they are asserting all of their rights and exploring all possible avenues of resolution.