Hiring a criminal defense lawyer is your best choice if you’ve been charged with a crime. If you do not have a good criminal lawyer you may end up facing a lengthy prison term. However, many defendants make mistakes when hiring an attorney that ends up hurting their case.
The criminal justice system is filled with intricate laws and procedures. Even minor crimes have unexpected consequences. A knowledgeable criminal attorney has the expertise to identify key issues and devise an effective defense strategy. Don’t downplay the complexity of your case or assume the truth will set you free. Let an experienced lawyer handle the nuances. Being upfront about exactly what happened allows me to build the strongest defense. Yet, many clients omit embarrassing facts or continue lying about their innocence. That severely damages their credibility if those facts eventually emerge. No matter how unflattering the full truth is, your lawyer needs to know it to represent you effectively. Don’t leave out details – your candor is protected under attorney-client privilege.
Television dramas portray prosecutors as crusaders of justice. In reality, they build cases to obtain convictions – not seek the truth. Prosecutors will use every advantage available and exploit any misstep you or your lawyer make. Never talk to a prosecutor or investigator without your lawyer present. Be wary of their efforts to turn you against your attorney. Trust your lawyer’s advice over what law enforcement tells you. Any photos, comments, or posts related to drugs, gangs, crimes, and even police complaints are fair game. Defense lawyers need to know about any online activity linked to your case so we argue relevance. Better yet, refrain from posting anything case-related once charges are filed.
Quality legal representation requires experience and expertise that comes at a price. However, not having an attorney or hiring the cheapest lawyer you find could cost you way more in the long run with harsh sentences or botched plea deals. A top criminal lawyers in Toronto gives you the best chance of an optimal outcome. Don’t plead guilty without consulting an attorney. Prosecutors will try to negotiate plea deals directly with defendants to avoid going to trial. They’ll make it sound like a great offer that expires if you don’t accept immediately. Consult your lawyer before entering any plea deal or trial agreement. When defendants are asked to enter a plea at arraignment, some mistakenly plead guilty right then believing it ends the case. All that does is waive your right to fight the charges or negotiate with the prosecutor. Plead not guilty and let your lawyer work the system to seek dismissal or bargains. A guilty plea should be a strategic, deliberate decision, not a rash gesture.
The wheels of justice turn slowly, so expect your case to take some time. Your lawyer needs to request evidence, file motions, build a defense, research options, and negotiate – all of which takes significant effort. Pushing your lawyer to resolve the case immediately backfires. Trust the process and stay in frequent contact with updates. For your lawyer to best represent you, they need you to be forthcoming, responsive, and involved. Return calls promptly. Show up on time for meetings. Follow your lawyer’s instructions. Being evasive, difficult, or non-compliant only hurts your defense. Criminal cases require close collaboration with your attorney. Don’t be your own worst enemy.