Yes. If you have been accused of a crime, you need a criminal defense lawyer in your corner from the very beginning of the case. A criminal defense lawyer can help you in many ways, including the reasons given below. If you need help, contact Harris Law Firm right away.
A Criminal Lawyer Will Protect Your Rights
Criminal suspects have far more rights than they even realize. For example, criminal suspects:
- Do not have to give statements to the police, even when they are taken to the police station and held in custody.
- Do not have to consent to a polygraph exam.
- Can request the help of a lawyer, which should cut off all police questioning until the lawyer arrives.
- Do not have to consent to give a blood sample.
It is up to the state to find evidence that you are guilty of a crime. You are not required to hand that evidence to the police on a silver platter. Instead, you can make life very difficult for the police by invoking your right to silence and right to an attorney.
Of course, the police can still get around some of these roadblocks. For example, they can get a warrant giving them permission to take a blood sample from you. But this is time-consuming, and the police must show that they have probable cause that you have committed a crime in order to obtain the warrant.
Unfortunately, few criminal defendants understand their rights. When you hire a criminal defense lawyer, he or she can speak up for you and force the state to follow the law.
A Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help You Get Bail
Instead of languishing in prison until your trial, you could be out of jail and with your family. However, you need to convince a judge that you are not a flight risk and therefore deserve bail. Bails is a sum of money you pay to secure your attendance at future hearings and the trial. If you skip town, you forfeit the money.
Judges closely analyze whether you are a flight risk using a variety of factors, and a good defense attorney can convince a judge to set the bail amount low. In some cases, you might not need to post any bail money. Instead, the judge will release you on your own recognizance, meaning that your promise to show up to court is good enough.
A Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Negotiate with the Prosecutor
Most criminal cases never get to trial, because the defendant accepts a plea deal. In some situations, a plea deal is the best possible outcome. You might be able to plead guilty to a greatly reduced charge which can save you time in jail and money.
Unfortunately, prosecutors are not in the habit of handing suspects favorable pleas. You need a criminal defense attorney by your side who can convince the prosecutor that he has a weak case and needs to make a deal.
In some situations, your Mississippi criminal defense attorney might even convince the prosecutor to drop the charges—allowing you to walk off scot-free.
Your Criminal Defense Attorney Can Suppress Evidence
When the police violate your rights while gathering evidence, you can ask a judge to throw the evidence out of court by filing a motion to suppress. A skilled criminal defense lawyer will understand how to toss devastating incriminating evidence, such as:
- Witness identifications because lineups or photo arrays are unduly suggestive.
- Contraband (like drugs) because the police did not have probable cause or permission to search you or your belongings.
- Incriminating statements because the police did not give you required Miranda warnings or because your confession was involuntary.
- Unduly prejudicial information, such as the fact that you committed this type of crime before.
- Offensive character evidence, such as the fact that you have criminals in your family, or that you have a reputation for being a criminal.
Without this evidence, many prosecutors will not know how to bring a case against you. They might dismiss the charges, or gamble at trial and lose. At the Harris Law Firm, we carefully canvass the entire factual record to see whether the police have violated your rights, and we keep prosecutors from introducing prejudicial evidence at trial.
A Criminal Defense Attorney Can Defend You in Front of a Jury
Sometimes a trial is unavoidable, in which case you will want an experienced criminal defense attorney to represent you. Although some defendants think they can defend themselves, a trial is no laughing matter. You will need someone who knows:
- How to pick an unbiased jury that will give you a fair shake.
- How to prepare witnesses to testify on your behalf.
- How to cross-examine the state’s witnesses to show inconsistencies and gaps in their testimony.
- How to challenge the reliability of physical evidence and test results.
- How to tie together all of the evidence to show that you are not guilty of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt.
A good trial attorney also needs to know all of the tricks prosecutors use to get convictions based on shaky evidence. For example, a prosecutor might comment on your refusal to take the stand and testify—a clear violation of your Fifth Amendment right to remain silent. By objecting to these comments in a timely manner, your trial attorney preserves the issue so that a higher court can review it in case you are convicted. In many cases, these higher courts order new trials or even throw out convictions altogether, all because the prosecutor made some prejudicial error.
Accused of a Crime? Speak with a Mississippi Criminal Defense Attorney Today
After being picked up for a crime you did not commit, you might be feeling afraid and confused about where to turn. Fortunately, Harris Law Firm offers a free consultation to clients to learn more about the services we offer. We defend suspects accused of many crimes, such as traffic violations, DUIs, sex crimes, and violent crimes. Please reach out to us today by calling 877-714-4171 to schedule your meeting.