The best thing a person can do for themselves if they have been charged with a crime is to immediately contact an experienced lawyer in that particular area. There are some attorneys who claim to have specialties in DUI, for instance, or others who have experience or claim to have experience in white collar crime or various other areas. Find a lawyer that has experience in criminal law and continues to stay educated and involved with the type of case that you have. A good criminal defense attorney is versed in all of those things, but it’s important that the person do their diligence in hiring a lawyer that really tries to continue to stay educated in that particular area and has good experience in that area. That’s the biggest thing that you can do right from the get go, because an experienced and knowledgeable attorney, a criminal defense will meet with the client and start preparing not only just defenses but also mitigation to represent, if you will, the image of the defendant. When a person is arrested or a case is brought to the district attorney’s office, a city attorney’s office, or U.S. attorney, it is a snapshot of an event. All it is, is a presentation to a prosecuting agency as to who this person is, and it’s being presented by a detective. In reality, it’s a snapshot of an event and a one-sided presentation by a law enforcement agency. A good attorney will not only prepare for the legal issues that they are going to be confronted with early on in the process, like bail, the beginning of preparing defenses, and examination of evidence, and the preparation of attacking that evidence, but they will also start presenting and creating the whole picture as to who this defendant really is. That’s important because there are opportunities long before court to start shaping not only the defense, but the defendant, and presenting that information to prosecutors so that they have that in mind when they are determining what type of charges to file, whether it’s a felony or a misdemeanor, and what thought processes might be available for alternative forms of dealing with the case. This might include something called an office hearing, deferred entry of judgment, or diversion. Various types of ways of handling criminal cases that ultimately could lead to “dismissal” without having to go through the formalities of certain evidentiary hearings or having cases heard in court. It’s very important that a person hire a lawyer who is not only familiar with how to try cases in front of juries, how to argue those cases to judges, how to manipulate the system to the best result possible for a defendant in the form of a “Not guilty” verdict, but also how to deal with the defenses and shaping the picture of the defendant as a complete picture of his accomplishments and what this person has done over the course of their life. The attorney should also present anything that may have led to the circumstance that the defendant is in right now in order to try to shape a dismissal through negotiations, so the most important thing is getting an experienced attorney on board right away.
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