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What to Expect When Working with a Criminal Defense Attorney

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A criminal defense attorney from Stroleny Law, P.A., can represent you in a wide range of cases. From domestic violence charges to federal crimes, you can expect such a lawyer to fight on your behalf. Depending on your circumstances, you may get a court-appointed criminal defense lawyer.

Regardless of whether you have to pay for your legal services or not, working with a criminal defense lawyer will involve some basic things. For starters, they’ll want to know about your case from you. This means they expect honesty as you tell your side of the story. Even when you’ve committed the alleged crime, it’s always best to tell your lawyer. This will enable them to come up with a defense strategy that accounts for this. The last thing your criminal lawyer wants is to be blindsided in court with information that you chose to withhold.

Confidential Communication

In legal practice, there is a thing called attorney-client privilege. This is the client’s right to expect (and have) confidentiality as far as all their communications with their lawyer are concerned. Every time you discuss any information with your criminal lawyer, expect it to fall under the purview of attorney-client privilege unless you choose to disclose it. Similarly, your lawyer cannot disclose the details of such communication to any other party unless compelled by the court.

This usually takes the form of a subpoena. Of course, attorney-client privilege ceases to exist if you choose to communicate with your attorney on a social media platform or in the open. For example, posting details of your case on your Facebook status page means that a lot of people readily have access to it. Similarly, having a privileged conversation in a crowded hallway will negate such confidentiality.

Your Lawyer (Always) Knows Best

As a defendant, you may think you understand your case better because you’re the one facing the criminal charges. This misconception can be detrimental to your case. There is a reason lawyers are sought after for legal representation. It is because they have undergone rigorous training to offer such services. A criminal lawyer is one who has chosen to focus on that specific area of law. In specific situations, having a trusted lawyer for criminal defense cases in Savannah can make a significant difference.

This means that they have experience in handling your kind of case. What your lawyer tells you may not always be what you want to hear. For instance, your criminal lawyer may advise you to take a plea deal instead of going to trial. This means they’ve weighed the available options and determined that your chances of a favorable outcome at trial are slim to none. Having differences of opinion with your criminal defense lawyer is fine as long as you don’t let them cloud your judgment. You may learn more here.

Your Lawyer Can Only Do So Much

This isn’t what many defendants want to hear. Even for a lawyer with a sterling reputation, it’s inadvisable to expect any guarantees of a favorable outcome. Expect your criminal lawyer to fight on your behalf by doing all that they can to help you win. This means investigating every aspect of your case, questioning witnesses, cross-examining those of the prosecution, and representing your interests in all possible ways. For example, if you’re facing serious charges with irrefutable evidence against you, the best your lawyer can do is to negotiate a reasonable plea deal or offer mitigating circumstances during your sentencing to get a more lenient sentence.

Avoid Choosing to Become Co-Counsel

As a defendant, you have a right to self-representation. This means that you can petition the court to represent yourself in a criminal case. Depending on the severity of the charges and the judge’s discretion, this may be allowed. While rare, there are instances of defendants wanting to become co-counsel in the middle of their trial. This is usually in cases where the defendant feels the case isn’t progressing in the right direction. Your criminal defense lawyer will likely advise against this. Given the stakes involved in criminal cases, you don’t want to bungle your case by becoming co-counsel even if the judge allows it. It’s best to let the criminal lawyer handle all matters.

Setting Boundaries Upfront

Many lawyers understand that the stress of criminal prosecution can take its toll on defendants. That’s why many of them choose to set some ground rules right off the bat. This ensures that things run smoothly throughout the duration of the working relationship. Expect your criminal defense lawyer to do this either in writing or verbally. This tends to avoid situations where one party takes advantage of the working relationship for getting favors unrelated to the ongoing case.

All in all, expect your criminal lawyer to be professional in just about every aspect of your dealings with them.

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