When Should I Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney?

Being charged with a crime exposes a defendant to severe consequences such as possible jail term and having an indelible criminal record. A criminal defense attorney understands the criminal justice process and can handle a variety of criminal cases such as felonies, misdemeanors, white-collar crimes, drug charges and state and federal crimes. Any form of criminal arrest warrants the need for a qualified criminal defense attorney who offers legal advice to protect the defendant’s rights and ensures the most favorable outcome of the case.

Although it may seem premature, it is important to hire a criminal defense attorney as soon as one is arrested and criminal charges are imminent. The attorney will help navigate the criminal justice process during the following stages:

Investigation

This is the initial stage often involving interrogation of witnesses and collection of any forensic evidence. In most cases, while the investigations proceed, a person may not have time to contact an attorney. However, if the person is the subject of a criminal investigation, a criminal defense attorney comes in handy in preparation for a possible arrest.

Arrest

An arrest can be made under varying conditions including as a result of a probable cause in which there is reasonable suspicion that a specific crime was committed. At the time of the arrest, the accused person is notified of their right to a defense attorney. A criminal defense attorney is useful at this stage to challenge the claim to a probable cause.

Before arraignment

In situations where an accused person is released soon after being arrested, a defense attorney is required to facilitate a proper understanding of the charges prior to arraignment in court. The defendant will understand the possible punishments if found guilty and weigh the pros and cons of battling the charges or entering into a plea bargain.

Arraignment

During the arraignment, a formal presentation of charges is openly done in a court of law. A criminal defense attorney is critical at this stage to help the accused to plead guilty or not. Having discussed the case strategy beforehand, the defendant will need an attorney to negotiate a plea bargain. This is where the defendant may plead guilty to a crime, which is lesser than the original charges, in exchange for a reduced sentence.

Being under investigation for a crime or being charged with a crime can be a haunting ordeal. While some legal issues can be handled alone, the role of an experienced criminal defense attorney in the criminal justice process cannot be ignored. Whatever the situation may be, a criminal defense attorney is needed by anyone who intends to dispute criminal charges.

If you’ve been charged with a crime in Michigan, you need a criminal defense attorney who will fight to protect your interests. Get Hilf & Hilf on your side today for immediate action. A criminal charge can follow you around for years. It can affect your ability to gain employment, purchase a home or car, even ruin relationships. When your freedom is at stake, Hilf & Hilf provides proven legal strategies that gets you the results you need in order to move on with your life.

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