Despite Virginia seeing a reduction in crime, there are still thousands of people arrested for committing a range of criminal offenses. If you find yourself facing criminal charges in the state of Virginia, it can seem overwhelming and scary. Instead of facing your criminal defense on your own, consider hiring a private criminal attorney. These are skilled lawyers that you hire on your own instead of using a public defender or representing yourself.
Several benefits come with hiring private criminal defense representation.
1. Understand the Process
The legal process can be lengthy and confusing. There is more to it than receiving charges and going to court. Your lawyer can walk you through the legal process and help you know what to expect. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can explain how a particular court and judge works so that you know what to expect. This helps you to understand the gravity of your situation without over or under-estimating.
Your attorney will explain your options and file motions with the court on your behalf. This can ensure you take advantage of any possible alternatives to trial that could result in a more favorable outcome. There are several motions that your attorney may file on your behalf, many of which are key to a successful defense.
- Motion to dismiss
- Motion to suppress physical evidence or witness testimony
- Motion to change venue
- Most to release evidence
2. Deep Knowledge of the Law
Reading and deciphering the law can be a tedious and difficult process if you are not accustomed to reading this type of writing. Your criminal defense attorney is skilled at understanding the law and explaining it. They work with these laws daily and have an intimate understanding of them and how the court interprets them. Instead of training to gain the knowledge necessary to defend yourself, work with a lawyer who already has the knowledge. You can then focus on helping with your defense instead of deciphering and learning the criminal and procedural laws.
3. Negotiating Power
You may have the ability to negotiate for a lower criminal charge, and thus, a reduced punishment. Many prosecutors will not work directly with a defendant who represents themselves. This removes the ability to negotiate for the accused and limits their options. Additionally, a skilled criminal attorney will know what to negotiate for and how to go about requesting it. Depending on your criminal history and the specifics of your case, there may be deferment programs available to you. This could give you a better chance at a more favorable and less severe charge.
In some cases, the attorney may not be able to negotiate the charges. However, they could represent you during the sentencing. Based on your criminal history and the circumstances surrounding your current charges, your attorney may be able to negotiate for a reduced sentence.
4. Establish a Criminal Defense
Top criminal defense attorneys know how to build an effective case for their clients. This includes gathering physical evidence, finding witnesses, and hiring experts to provide an analysis of the facts. The more work that is done to prepare a solid defense, the easier it is for your attorney to weaken the prosecutor’s case against you. Your attorney can also present evidence that weakens the prosecutor’s case against you.
A credible witness testifying on your behalf can strengthen your case while weakening the strength of the prosecutor’s case. Experienced attorneys know who can provide expert and credible testimony to strengthen your defense.
5. Private Attorney vs. Public Defender
The public defender’s office has a much larger caseload than a private legal office. Sometimes, a single public defender could have multiple hundreds of cases. It is physically impossible for them to have a significant amount of face time with each person they represent. With a smaller caseload, your private attorney can dedicate more time to your case and building your defense. Private attorneys also have more resources behind them to gather evidence and hire experts.