Anytime you’re charged with a crime things can get serious quickly. Most crimes come with severe consequences if you’re found guilty. The best thing you can do for yourself is to hire the best criminal defense lawyer. A criminal defense lawyer will put your interests first and fight for your rights, even if you broke the law.
In this article, we’re going to teach you some general information about criminal law. This information will help when you meet with a criminal defense lawyer at an initial consultation. We’re also going to explain different ways that a criminal defense lawyer might be able to help your situation. Finally, at the end of the article, we link to our guide which lays out the specific steps to take on how to get a lawyer.
General Information On Criminal Law
Before we proceed, you need to know that the information in this section is only general information about criminal law. It is not legal advice and it is not even specific advice. Instead, use this general information to prepare for your meeting with a criminal defense lawyer. At the meeting, the lawyer can advise you on how criminal law applies to the facts of your specific situation.
Types of Crimes
A crime is any act or failure to act which violates either a state or federal law. There is another category of law called common law which are laws made by courts and judges.
In general, in addition to describing the prohibited action, each law usually indicates the breadth and scope of punishment.
Here is a list of some common crimes.
Homicide includes first-degree murder, manslaughter, and vehicular homicide.
Crimes Against Persons
Crimes against persons include arson assault and battery, abuse (both child and domestic), kidnapping, rape, and statutory rape.
Crimes Against Property
Crimes against property include burglary, larceny (theft), robbery, and shoplifting.
There are many other crimes, but the more common ones include aiding and abetting, attempt, conspiracy, public intoxication, disorderly conduct, drug possession, disorderly conduct, fraud, etc.
How a Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help
Finding the right criminal defense lawyer is essential because most crimes have serious jail time and penalties. Also, the consequences can be severe, and you could lose your job or future job prospects.
There are several ways a criminal defense lawyer can help you prepare your defense than if you were to do it yourself. Here are a few of the ways a criminal defense lawyer can help:
- Understand the scope of the charges against you.
- Lay out the possible penalties for the crime.
- Attempt to lower the offense to a lesser degree offense.
- Identify defenses available to you.
- Negotiate a better deal with the prosecutor.
- Offer an unbiased perspective on your chances at trial.
- Gather information from witnesses reluctant to talk directly to you.
Finally, you should always tell your lawyer the truth. Almost everything you say to your lawyer is protected by attorney-client privilege. This privilege means that your lawyer won’t reveal details of what you say to the police, even if you are guilty of the crime. The purpose of the privilege is to enable your lawyer to prepare the best defense possible.
How to Get a Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you’ve come this far, then you should have enough general information about criminal law to assist a lawyer in advising you about your specific situation. Also, you should have a general idea about how a criminal defense lawyer can help your situation.
But before you start searching for a local criminal defense lawyer, there is one more step you should take. We highly recommend reading our guide about how to get a lawyer. In the guide, you will learn many things about how to get a lawyer. Here is an example of what you will learn:
- How to find a lawyer experienced with criminal defense law.
- How to research the lawyer’s background.
- Questions to ask before an initial consultation.
- Questions to ask during an initial consultation.
- Observations to record about the lawyer
- How to decide whether to hire
the criminaldefense lawyer.
Once you read this guide, you should be prepared to hire a lawyer to help with your criminal defense needs.