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If you are charged with a crime and know you are innocent, your first thought may be that you do not need a criminal defense lawyer. However, you need to remember that the legal system is quite complex, and nobody there knows you or has any reason to believe what you are saying. What’s more, both police and prosecutors may consider you guilty from the start. You can find more here about how common it is for prosecutors to reach incorrect conclusions based on unreliable evidence.
How Can a Criminal Defense Lawyer Make a Difference?
The criminal justice system may seem even scarier than what you see in the movies when you step into a courtroom for the first time. You will be inundated with legalese, policies, rules, and procedures, of which you will be completely ignorant. Also, even though you may be convinced that you are innocent, you can end up doing time simply by making legal mistakes.
When you work with a lawyer dedicated to your defense, you stand a much better chance of successfully dealing with your charges. Additionally, your criminal defense lawyer will help by:
- Having extensive court experience
- Being familiar with the jury selection process and pre-trial motions.
- Having established working relationships with local judges.
- Having the respect of their peers in the legal profession.
What Can Happen If Your Are Charged With A Crime?
The consequences of being charged with a crime, even if you did not commit it, can follow you for a very long time, if not for life. Besides ending up with a criminal record, paying fines, or even spending time in jail, there can be other consequences.
Difficulties When Looking for Employment
Although having a criminal record does not necessarily mean you will not be able to work again, it will certainly make it more difficult for you to get a job. You will need to disclose your record to potential employers, face background checks, and have to take time to explain the situation to potential employers.
Losing Occupational Licenses
A criminal conviction may result in your licensing board or agency receiving notification of your criminal charges. This may cause your license to get suspended or revoked. Your criminal defense lawyer can help you fight the impact the conviction has on your professional licenses.
Issues With Future Legal Proceedings
Once you have a criminal charge, you may be treated differently regarding issues such as child custody cases, divorce cases, or business disputes, and you may always have to fight harder to be trusted.
Problems With Relationships
Relationships tend to be complicated, whether romantic or platonic. But when there is a criminal record, they become even more so. It is up to you to decide if and when to disclose that information to the other person and you always risk a reaction that will put an end to the relationship. You may also end up facing hurt feelings, distrust, gossip, and judgment.
Once you understand what is at stake, you will see how important it is to have the right criminal defense lawyer by your side.