If you are facing a criminal charge you may be frightened and confused. This unsurprising since, depending on the charges faced, the consequences for a conviction can be harsh. While imprisonment and fines may be the first thing that comes to mind, collateral consequences such as having a criminal record, that could later harm your chance to get a job, could have a negative impact.
The stress associated with a criminal matter could also impact your relationships. Taking steps to build a defense against the charges may help to minimize the impact of the criminal charges. For most, the first step is to contact a criminal defense lawyer.
Understanding what is going on can help the accused as he or she navigates the criminal justice system. Among other things, a criminal defense lawyer can explain the charges you face and your options for a defense. They likely will be able to give you an idea about what plea bargains could be offered and what the consequences could be if you are convicted.
A good criminal defense lawyer will recognize that every case is unique. Accordingly, the best approach to take should be tailored to the specific situation. While a dismissal of charges or acquittal is the desired outcome for most, even when that is not possible a criminal defense lawyer can be of assistance. For example, he or she might be able to have a criminal charge reduced to a lesser offense. When someone is found guilty, they may be able to eliminate or reduce jail time or reduce the severity of the punishment meted out.
For many people facing a criminal charge there is a lot to lose. Because of this, if you are in this situation, it is vital you seek representation from a criminal defense lawyer in a timely manner.