September 26, 2012

Hiring A Criminal Attorney

By Abraham Avotina

Say you find yourself being stopped on your way out of the supermarket. The accusation is theft. You didn’t mean to, but left with some soda under your cart. Obviously it is your job to verify that everything in your cart is paid for, however, we all make mistakes and that is all it was. You are finding yourself a bit concerned about what will happen next. Your personal circumstances will determine what happens next, but you will probably get a citation and a court date. Once you are escorted out of the store and asked not to return for a year, you realize this is not good. What will happen at court? What kind of effect would this charge have on your life? A criminal attorney may be able to help you both with the court appearance and with calming your nerves.

Meeting with a criminal attorney should be your top priority. He or she can help you determine what your worst-case scenario looks like. Better than that, this person can help protect your freedom. For instance, if you got a felony conviction you could no longer own firearms, drinking would be prohibited during any probation, and no bank will hire you. In some cases, a charge can even mean you can’t keep your current job or get a new one in the field you’re looking for. If you had to fill out applications, you would have to put down that you had a conviction, and this could mean you get passed up for positions.

A lawyer would have access to evidence built up against you. S/he would fact find on his or her own, as well as building a case that casts doubt on whether you were guilty. Your attorney would also have the legal know-how to appeal your case if you were found guilty. In cases of guilt they may be able to argue on your behalf for a plea deal. A plea deal may be to take a lesser charge so as to avoid jail time or preserve your civil liberties.

No matter the charge, having someone on your side who understands the law is helpful. You may benefit simply because this person sees a way the security officer did not do his or her job right. For instance, if the loss prevention department stopped you before you left the store, they may be able to point out how you lacked intent. Rules for loss prevention must be followed, and when they aren’t it can be grounds for dismissal. Mostly, however, a criminal attorney ensures you understand the charges and receive a fair trial.

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