Once you have been charged with a crime, your first major decision is whether to hire a lawyer in your case. There is no question that you should retain an attorney to represent you. Your legal rights and perhaps even your freedom are at risk. You are then faced with a choice of whether to hire a private criminal defense lawyer or a public defender. It is worth the investment to get your own private lawyer. Public defenders are simply too overloaded and under-resourced to fight as effectively as a private lawyer can.

Private Criminal Defense Attorney in Appleton, WI

Getting Your Own Attorney Can Increase the Chances of a Better Result

Hiring an attorney will have a direct impact on your criminal case. While getting a lawyer does not guarantee that the case will go your way, it does give you a better chance of getting the best possible outcome. Your lawyer’s obligation is to provide you with competent representation. They will use their skill to provide you with the strongest possible defense, no matter how serious the charges you are facing.

The choices that you make in your criminal defense case today can affect your life for years to come. For example, you may not know that pleading guilty to certain crimes could leave you with a permanent criminal record. Your choices could affect whether you are sent to prison and how much time you may serve. It is crucial to make the right decisions.

Criminal Convictions Will Have a Large Impact on Your Life

When you have been charged with a crime, you are facing a number of consequences, including:

  • Incarceration
  • The ability to get or keep certain jobs
  • A change to your custody situation
  • Your loss of ability to carry a firearm
  • Potential deportation (if you are not a legal resident of the United States)
  • The loss of certain government benefits

However, you are at a distinct disadvantage to the prosecutor’s office. The government devotes a large amount of resources to law enforcement. In turn, the prosecutor likes to rack up a record of winning convictions in cases. The prosecutor uses their immense amount of resources to put everything that they can into your case. When you are facing charges, you can expect that the prosecutor will do everything in their power for as long as it takes to convict you.

Your Lawyer Stands Up for Your Legal Rights

In any criminal case, you have legal rights that include:

  • To be free from an unreasonable search and seizure
  • To have counsel and for them to be present when law enforcement is trying to talk to you
  • To confront those who are testifying against you
  • A public trial without unnecessary delay
  • Due process in your case

Nobody is going to stand up for your legal rights for you. Defendants may not even know that their rights have been violated. Your lawyer’s presence may keep law enforcement from violating your rights. If they do, a lawyer could even move to have charges dismissed or a conviction overturned.

Your Lawyer Carefully Scrutinizes Evidence and Challenges it When Necessary

Then, your case depends on the evidence that prosecutors are able to gather and use against you. If law enforcement lacks evidence, they should not be able to win a conviction in front of a jury.

First, the Constitution (and how courts have interpreted it) limit what law enforcement can do to gather evidence. If you have been subject to an illegal search or an illegal arrest, a lawyer will likely take action in court. They may be able to persuade a judge to suppress evidence that was illegally seized. In some cases, prosecutors may not be able to move forward if they lose key parts of their case.

Second, there are state and federal rules about when evidence can be used in court. For example, the prosecution cannot use something that is considered hearsay. Your attorney would need to object to certain testimony and evidence in court, and the judge would make a ruling as to whether the evidence is admissible. Rules of evidence are very technical, and you need an attorney who has an in-depth knowledge of the rules and can object to impermissible evidence on the spot.

Do Not Delay Hiring an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney

It is critical that you hire an attorney early in the case. The prosecutor is watching what you do closely. There may come a point where you may decide to work towards a plea bargain. Your attorney would need to negotiate to get you the best possible deal. Here, the strength of your defense is crucial. If your attorney has shown the prosecutor that they will vigorously defend you, then you may have more leverage in negotiations.

Perhaps the lawyer’s most important role is acting as your guide to the legal process. You are the one who has the ability to make decisions in your case. Your lawyer will give you advice and their professional opinion, but the ultimate call in every case is yours. However, you may be unfamiliar with the legal process and what options are available to you. If you are left to your own devices, you can make an early mistake from which you cannot recover.

You need to know what is happening in your case and what certain developments mean. Legalese can be difficult for anyone to understand, so you need advice translated into Plain English. Your lawyer is continuously available to you during your case to answer questions and provide you with advice.

Contact an Appleton Criminal Defense Lawyer Today

You should not wait an extra minute to contact an attorney after you have been arrested or charged. There is too much that can happen in the interim that can harm your defense. The attorneys at Hogan Eickhoff offer free initial consultation where we will discuss your case and let you know about your legal options. You can contact us online, or you can call us today at (920) 450-9800 to schedule a free consultation.