In a Tricky Situation? Here’s Why You Need a Criminal Defense Lawyer. : ThyBlackMan

Sunday, September 15, 2019

In a Tricky Situation? Here’s Why You Need a Criminal Defense Lawyer.

May 17, 2019 by  
Filed under Business, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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( Whether you’ve committed a crime or been accused of committing a crime, there’s no doubt about it: you need a criminal defense lawyer in your back pocket. There are many different types of crimes, from assault to battery to robbery, and no matter what crime you’re up against, the right legal representation can help you in ways you may not even realize.

Even petty crimes can cost time and freedom if not handled correctly. This is especially true in cities like Milwaukee, where the overall crime rate is a whopping is 96% higher than the national average (click here to learn more about legal representation in this region).

You may feel comfortable with the representation assigned to you, but it’s important you do your due diligence and research your own criminal defense. Here’s why you need a criminal defense lawyer if you’ve been accused of a crime:

Jail Time Negotiations

Even if you are convicted, your can cut your jail time down with great legal representation. Criminal defense lawyers aren’t just working towards a case win or dismissal: they also want to work towards the best possible outcome when the odds are stacked against you. If jail time is a serious possibility, your lawyer will help negotiate on your behalf to trim some time off your sentence.

Keep Your Job

You could lose your job if you’re dealing with a serious charge on your hands. Your lawyer’s job is to help defend your integrity so you don’t miss any days of work, and don’t lose your job in the process. After all, finding a job with a criminal record is extremely difficult. Just 55% of ex-prisoners reported earning any wages at all during the first calendar year upon release. Many of those prisoners grew up in poor, minority-dominating neighborhoods and already struggle to support themselves and their families.

“I was rather young when my crime happened,” Gerald Alvarez told Business Insider, as he described his experience leaving prison after two years. “I feel like I’ve done my time, but yet, to this day, it still haunts me. Just to transfer jobs, or anything of the sort. Everyone says, ‘Oh, if you have a felony, we’re not interested… When it’s over, it’s over. I have no 401(k). I have no pension. I have nothing. All I’ve been looking for is a job with a pension. Something I could do for 20 years or something, and at least be able to retire.”

Clear Your Name

It’s important for you to clear your name is you’re falsely convicted of a crime. Without this clearance, the crime will be listed on your permanent record, which presents a slew of other challenges. One study found that around 10,000 people are wrongfully convicted of serious crimes each year. And around 4% of all people sitting on Death Row are likely innocent of the crimes they’ve been accused of.

False identity may be a reason why you could be wrongfully convicted, and a criminal defense attorney will work hard to prove your innocence in those cases. For instance, it’s not uncommon for a criminal mischief charge to arise out of mistaken identity. A person may have been falsely recognized by a surveillance camera. A criminal defense attorney will examine your case, and identify alibis and missteps that work in your favor.

Walk You Through the Process

Navigating the legal system is very tricky and complicated—especially if you have no experience. You may find that attorneys assigned to your case are simply churning it through the mill among a basket of others, and don’t care about taking their time to really help you understand the law, legal jargon, and the complexities of your case. One misstep in the trial process could quite literally cost you your freedom. Knowledge is power, and the more you know, the better equipped you’ll be to handle your situation.

Lower Your Fines

You can completely cover the costs of some lawyers when you’re able to cut major fine costs. Just as a lawyer would negotiate for less sentence time, they’ll put in the same work to negotiate on your behalf for lower fines. If you’re facing large charges, this could be a major win for you. In states like New York, “simple” criminal mischief crimes can cost a pretty penny. Criminal mischief crimes are the lowest on the totem pole, and include crimes like vandalism, tampering with alarms, or disturbing the peace—but carry their own weight in terms of dollars.

Staff Writer; Larry Wall

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