Many people facing criminal charges for the first time entertain the idea of defending themselves in court. Though every American has a right to defend themselves, few succeed. America’s legal system was just not designed to support self-representation. Over two hundred years of laws, bills, precedent-setting court cases, and each state’s unique approach to lawmaking make an amateur approach to law nearly impossible.
If you face a serious criminal charge, you can build a better defense with an attorney familiar with Texas’ criminal laws. A lawyer will leverage their extensive experience protecting a defendant’s rights to represent their client in court.
What does a criminal lawyer do?
Defending yourself requires much more than showing up and telling your side of the story. Courtroom lawyers spend years studying case law, practicing interview techniques and honing their public speaking abilities.
Lawyers who excel in criminal defense work to master the following legal areas:
- Plea bargains: Defense lawyers excel at negotiating with prosecutors, often trading a guilty plea on a lesser charge for reduced sentencing. Plea bargains are often the best-case scenario for alleged criminals.
- Sentencing: Criminal defense lawyers know which crimes offer commutable sentences, like exchanging a DUI charge’s minimum jail time for an equal amount of time in a substance abuse program.
- Expectations: Lawyers familiar with criminal defense can provide an educated perspective on how your case is going. Your defense attorney has likely been through this before and can offer a realistic assessment.
- Rules and Regulations: An experienced defense lawyer will innately understand the courtroom’s written and unwritten rules to ensure a speedy and effective process.
- Texas-specific laws: Texas, like every state, has plenty of unique nuances and exceptions within its state laws. A local lawyer knows the courthouse personnel, their expectations and how to navigate Texas state legislature.
- Consequences of a guilty plea: Some defendants may want to plead guilty right away and bravely face the consequences of their actions. Though noble, a defense lawyer will make sure you fully understand a consequence of a guilty plea and how that may impact your life going forward.
- Witness testimony: A criminal defense lawyer is also well-practiced in witness interviews and cross-examination. Questioning a witness requires a careful and deliberate strategy that defense attorneys understand well.
Consider hiring legal counsel today
If you are facing a criminal charge, you will want to secure a defense lawyer right away. An attorney not only improves your chances of winning a case but can secure reduced sentencing and fines and protect your reputation.