Our country’s criminal justice system is comprised of individuals and agencies working together to investigate crime on the streets and dole-out justice in the courtroom. When someone is arrested this powerful system goes to work against them in an effort to obtain a criminal conviction. If you’ve heard of the “wheels of justice,” you may understand how this system can grind a person to a pulp in the process. But having a talented and hard-working Bryan-College Station criminal attorney on your side – one who understands the bureaucracy – one who knows the written and unwritten rules – and one who speaks the language of the prosecutor – will help to level the playing field. Below we have listed just a few ways a criminal attorney can assist in your defense. If you have questions, or if you would like to discuss your situation, please call us to schedule your 5-step case review.
7 Ways a Criminal Attorney Can Help You
Your defense attorney will protect your rights and look-out for your best interests by:
1. Investigating the charges against you. Your Bryan-College Station criminal attorney can visit the scene of the alleged crime, interview witnesses, review official reports and other documents, and examine the physical evidence. While the goal of the police investigation is to obtain evidence to use against you in a criminal prosecution, your defense lawyer’s investigation serves a very different purpose. Your lawyer will investigate with an eye toward finding holes in the evidence, gaps in proof, inconsistencies, and other discrepancies that may give rise to reasonable doubt in the prosecution’s case;
2. Scrutinizing the police officers’ conduct. Did the officers’ conduct in connection with your arrest and gathering the evidence against you violate your constitutional rights? If so, your criminal attorney can pursue a motion (a formal request) to have the trial judge “suppress,” or throw out, the unlawfully obtained evidence before your case goes to trial;
3. Standing between you and the government. The laws and procedures governing a criminal case are complicated. Unless you have studied and are trained in the law, it’s impossible for you to understand all your rights or when those rights were violated. Your defense attorney can help you assert your constitutional rights and stand up to an overzealous prosecutor;
4. Developing a theory of defense. Did you act in self-defense? Do you have an alibi? Are the charges against you based on the claims of an unreliable eyewitness? Does the prosecution have a weak case, lacking sufficient evidence to prove the charges against you “beyond a reasonable doubt?” Depending on the facts of your case, your attorney can help you formulate and present a coherent theory of defense;
5. Representing you at trial. Your attorney serves as your advocate in the courtroom and will work on your behalf to select the jury, object to improper evidence and testimony, cross-examine the prosecution’s witnesses, and present your defense to the jury;
6. Helping you make the big decisions required of a criminal defendant. Should you accept a plea offer or go to trial? Should you testify at your trial? A experienced criminal defense attorney can offer wise counsel, based on experience, to help you make the many strategic decisions you must make as your case winds its way through the criminal justice process; and
7. Communicating with your family. Your journey through the criminal justice system is likely to be hard on your loved ones, too. Your family will be worried about you. Your criminal defense attorney can serve as an intermediary between you and your family and the criminal justice system, helping to ease their anxiety.
Stephen Gustitis is a criminal defense lawyer in Bryan-College Station. He is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He is also a husband, father, and retired amateur bicycle racer.