When you’re faced with a criminal charge, the importance of hiring the right criminal defense attorney can’t be stressed enough. Our attorney, V. Iyer, at the Iyer Law Office in Denver has experience as a former prosecutor which gives him expertise and insight from both sides of the courtroom. He has extensive trial experience as a criminal defense attorney and has successfully argued thousands of cases.
If you are charged with a crime, you may be wondering if you should spend the time and money to get a good criminal defense attorney. The answer is yes. Like the old adage says: He who represents himself has a fool for a client.
A criminal charge can change your whole life. It can harm your family, your reputation, your job, your freedom, and cost you money, among others. An experienced criminal defense lawyer is critical to minimizing the impact that an arrest can have on the rest of your life. Take it seriously and hire the right lawyer to defend you.
There are many reasons to hire a criminal defense attorney instead of trying to represent yourself.
The law and the legal process are complicated
Most of us do not understand the legal process or know the law, whether the matter is a felony or misdemeanor. Even lawyers know better than to represent themselves if they are facing a criminal charge. It’s just too important.
You need an attorney because although in our criminal justice system you are innocent until proven guilty, the system is often stacked against you. You want someone looking out for you because you could lose your freedom. As a defendant, you have the right to be treated fairly and present your side of the case, but without the knowledge and experience of a lawyer, you will not be able to defend yourself. Your attorney will know how to navigate the Colorado criminal justice system and understands the roles and how to deal with the trial judge, the jury and the District Attorney (DA).
Lawyers understand the deadlines and protocol for properly filling out and filing all the legal documents and motions that are needed. A lot of legal work also involves researching, writing, and clearing procedural hurdles before the case even goes to trial. Missing a deadline or following an incorrect procedure will hurt your case. It could even be a disaster. Attorneys understand statutes, judicial opinions, police reports, and evidence collection procedures. An attorney can also help find witnesses, get evidence, and find experts to testify. All of these things help build your defense.
A knowledgeable criminal defense attorney can also calm your anxiety by explaining how everything works and what you will face during the process and trial. Since lawyers know the system well, they can also go over court rules and regulations. Also, unknown to most people who are not attorneys, are the many unwritten rules and the personal relationships that shape the legal process.
You can lose a lot more than money if you don’t have an attorney
Hiring an attorney costs money but not having one could cost you your freedom, fines, and future jobs. It’s well worth the money to get a good defense.
Lawyers can challenge and try to suppress evidence
Whether a defendant is facing homicide or theft charges, a good criminal defense attorney will know to find out if pieces of evidence against you were improperly obtained or that the testimony of a witness contradicts an earlier statement. They are trained to check the crime lab process to see if they properly handled the evidence every step of the way. Attorneys understand how to properly file court documents and handle other legal procedures that relate to the evidence. This you would not be able to do.
Attorneys know how to find expert witnesses and investigators
Attorneys don’t work alone. They will access a team of experts to help you, including expert witnesses and investigators. You probably would not have the connections to find well-respected people who can help with discovery or challenge evidence or testimony by the opposing party. In fact, you may still be in jail and unable to do this.
Lawyers know how to advise you to plead
Even if there is evidence that may point to you, there are other options you should consider than pleading guilty. An attorney will understand the law and can explain the options you have when pleading. The lawyer can help you avoid potentially severe penalties even before your trial begins.
An attorney can help you prevent problems
It’s always better to prevent problems than try to fix them once they arise. That’s why you should hire a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible so they can help you avoid problems, things that you might not even know about.
A lawyer can negotiate a dismissal or plea bargain
An experienced lawyer can use his knowledge of previous cases or of a particular judge to guess about how it might resolve at trial. Sometimes a plea bargain is the best choice, while other times it makes more sense to see your case through to trial. An attorney also can help negotiate with the District Attorney.
Your attorney will advise you, explain the process, as well as investigate, negotiate, and possibly litigate on your behalf. Many cases do not go to trial. That is because a good attorney can work to get your case dismissed, negotiate a lesser charge or a plea agreement with the District Attorney. That’s why your attorney’s negotiating skills are as important as their litigating skills and knowing the process and the players can speed up a resolution to your case.
A plea agreement negotiated between the DA and your attorney can reduce the charges or the sentence. If you don’t have an attorney, you will not know how to do this. In addition, the District Attorney is usually very reluctant to negotiate these types of agreements with defendants that are not represented by attorneys, particularly in felony cases.
Being investigated or charged with a crime is very stressful and affects your whole life. It is important to have an experienced attorney on your side as you go through this stressful process. Having someone to explain what to expect, to describe the potential consequences, and fight on your side is so important for the success of your case and whether you want to accept a plea bargain.
The District Attorney is very powerful
If you tried to represent yourself you will be at a disadvantage going against the District Attorney’s strength and unlimited resources. It could produce an unfortunate result. You need the expertise of a good defense attorney to make sure that the evidence for your side is presented, and your rights are protected.
In Colorado, the District Attorney has prosecutorial discretion on whether to adjudicate your case, which includes pressing charges or dismissal. Your attorney can talk to the DA to influence those decisions while they are investigating the case and before the charges are filed. Sometimes your attorney may be able to negotiate the type of charge, the amount of bail, and other issues.
Lawyers often give a free initial consultation
Many attorneys will meet with you for during a free face-to-face consultation about your case. This will allow you to get their opinion about your case and you can decide if this is the attorney you want to represent you.
Do not listen if someone tells you to plead guilty just to get it over with, it’s not worth the money to get a good defense, or that you have no chance anyway so why bother with an attorney. A good lawyer can always improve your legal situation, including preserving evidence in your favor, investigating, and advising you.
An experienced criminal defense attorney can explain your chances of success in your circumstances and allow you to make choices by evaluating the risk and possibility of success. If your case does go to trial, facing a prosecutor, judge and jury can be very stressful. Having an expert attorney like V. Iyer beside you is invaluable.
The potential consequences are severe
If you are charged with a serious criminal offense, you could be facing jail or even prison time, heavy fines, and other consequences.
As mentioned earlier, a criminal conviction can:
- Prevent you from getting jobs
- Disqualify you from receiving occupational licenses
- Prevent you from voting
- Stop you from owning firearms
- Forfeit your student financial aid
- Require you to register as an offender
- Cause your deportation from the United States
- Prevent you from living where you want
As soon as you are arrested or being investigated for a crime you should understand the importance of hiring the right criminal defense attorney. There are many things that need to be addressed early and you will want someone fighting for your freedom. Our attorney, V. Iyer, at the Iyer Law Office in Denver will vigorously defend your rights and help you through every step of your case. Since he is a former prosecutor, he uses this experience with pretrial and post-trial motion hearings, and jury and bench trials, to give you the very best defense. His goal is to always fight for the best possible outcome.
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