Criminal Defense

If you’ve been accused of a crime, you’ll need an experienced criminal defense attorney to help you navigate the legal process. Criminal defense law encompasses all of the legal protections offered to accused individuals. If you’ve been suspected of committing a crime, then law enforcement agencies and government prosecutors will have extensive resources at their disposal to assist them in convicting you. A good criminal defense attorney is required to give you a fair advantage of protecting yourself against these charges. They are skilled in the various aspects of constitutional law that you’ll need for a solid defense.

A criminal defense attorney can assist with three main purposes:

  1. Securing Bail
  2. Plea Bargaining
  3. Standing Trial

Securing Bail

Following an arrest, a defendant’s first priority will be to get out of jail. In order to obtain this release, the defendant will be required to post bail. This bail money serves as a form of collateral to ensure that the defendant returns to court to attend future court proceedings. If the defendant fails to appear, the bail money is forfeited. A criminal defense attorney can help to negotiate bail amounts and secure the defendant’s release from jail. Should the defendant be unable to afford bail, an attorney can assist with locating a commercial bond service or petitioning the judge to reduce bail amounts.

Plea Bargaining

A large majority of criminal cases never reach the trial stage. As opposed to standing trial, the defendant (with the assistance of their attorney) will meet with the prosecuting attorney to enter into a settlement agreement known as a “plea bargain.” In exchange for pleading guilty for the crime, this agreement provides a more lenient sentence than the one the defendant faces should they go to trial. A criminal defense attorney will provide the defendant with their professional opinion on whether to plead guilty or stand trial. Should the defendant decide to take the plea bargain, the attorney will then help to negotiate the terms of the agreement in the best interests of their client.

Standing Trial

Should a plea bargain not be agreed upon or discouraged,, the defendant will be required to stand trial and face judgement before a jury. In order to be declared “not guilty,” the defendant will require a persuasive and coherent argument that illustrates how the defendant has been falsely accused or how the state has failed to meet it’s considerable burden. The attorney will then circle back to this argument throughout the trial, creating a narrative that resonates with the jury members and creates reasonable doubt of the defendant’s guilt. Developing a compelling theory and effectively presenting it before a jury is the goal of every criminal defense trial lawyer.

If you’ve been accused of a crime, make Hurtado Law Firm your first call at 239.367.3670.