The vast majority of people out there live a good life where they work, care for their family, and pretty much mind their own business. However, that doesn’t stop many thousands of people every single year from being charged with criminal offences, and many of them wind up in jail. Sometimes things just happen, or perhaps a charge is levied against an innocent person. Regardless of the circumstances, you have a right under Canadian law to a lawyer, and this is a right you should exercise.
What can a criminal defence lawyer bring to the table? The law is so complicated that few if any untrained people can navigate these waters alone. Here are some of the reasons to hire a criminal lawyer.
Reasons to Hire a Good Criminal Lawyer
An Examination of the Evidence
One of the first reasons you need a good criminal attorney in your corner is that the actual trial starts a long time before you arrive in court. Your lawyer is going to file for discovery from the prosecution, which means, by law, the prosecution has to turn over all evidence for examination. From here, your lawyer works with you to plot out the best criminal defence for you, with the hopes of showing your innocence in court. This is something a good lawyer provides first and foremost.
Help Ensuring a Plea Deal
Not everyone is innocent of their criminal charges, though surely everyone would like to claim so and simply walk away. Though if you have committed the offence with which you’re charged, it’s good to have a competent criminal defence lawyer in your corner, as they can mitigate the damage. They will work with the prosecution to make a plea deal. They will help to bring up solid character points for you, ensuring that the damage is mitigated greatly.
Improving Your Chances
There’s an old saying in the west, “The person who represents himself has a fool for a client.” Just ask yourself a question or few. Do you know the law? Can you make a proper objection, or compile witness lists, or ensure that an alibi is solid? Can you plot out a defence that’s sure to leave a reasonable doubt with a jury of your peers? This isn’t some TV show; this is real life. To improve your chances while in court, what a criminal lawyer provides is someone whose sole job it is to improve your odds.
Expertise and Investigation
Another thing a good lawyer brings to the table for your defence is the expertise. They know the law; they can cite parallel cases; and they can help cross-examination of witnesses and object to prosecutorial overreach. Good lawyers also give you a line of investigation. “Proving” your innocence is technically something you don’t have to do, though, if you are innocent, showing you are is a guaranteed way to walk free of the charges. So it’s in your best interest to have a good criminal lawyer put their investigative team to work to show that you’re innocent.
A Push Back Against Prosecution
While it is true that in a nation like Canada, a person is innocent until proven guilty under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, a person on trial for a criminal offence will still be found guilty without assistance from a lawyer. This is because the Crown has the burden of proof to show that a defendant is guilty, which is something they do almost all the time without anyone to push back against the prosecution. So no matter what the offence is, you need a good criminal defence attorney if you’re hoping to maintain your innocence in a court of law.
None of us want to end up in a court with charges looming over our heads. Prison is a very scary place, and the fact is that even having a charge on your record can severely limit your job prospects, keep you from receiving custody of children, and more. So if you’ve been charged with any criminal offence, then you owe it to yourself to retain the services of a reputable, competent local attorney.