Whether you are charged with a felony or misdemeanor, if you are facing any jail time, hiring a criminal lawyer is important. Misdemeanors are less serious crimes but can carry a maximum jail sentence of a year. On the other hand, felonies are more serious and the defendant faces stiff jail time and fines. In fact, some people charged with felonies may need a lawyer to get a bond. Misdemeanors usually have pre-set bonds but some felonies do not. The lawyer must file a bond motion and a hearing date will be set.
At the bond hearing, lawyers present evidence that the client has a job and family in the area and, therefore, is not a flight risk. Criminal law firms like website employ lawyers with years of experience, something really important in a criminal case. Lawyers who are familiar with the jurisdiction know the prosecutors and judges at the courthouse. This is helpful for knowing which prosecutors to approach for a plea deal or other negotiations. Lawyers are often able to negotiate sentences that result in little or no jail time.
Criminal lawyers get to work on cases immediately. They have investigators that go out and find witnesses to verify the defendant’s version of the case. Criminal law firms in Buffalo teach lawyers to work on alternative theories of a crime, which are key to introducing reasonable doubt. Generally, the arraignment is the defendant’s first court appearance, where they must plead not guilty or guilty.
Further, the lawyer files motions to make sure the defendant’s rights are protected. One of the important motions is a request for reciprocal discovery. This motion asks the prosecution to share all the evidence they have, and in return, the defense turns over any evidence it uncovers. Additionally, lawyers may file a speedy trial motion, which in most jurisdictions means the prosecutors must try the case in less than a year. Otherwise, it can take up to two years before serious felonies come to trial. Knowing that their rights are protected helps all defendants rest a little easier.
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