You have just been arrested and you are considering whether to represent yourself or hire an attorney. Although, you have the right to represent yourself, it is best that you hire an experienced criminal defense attorney. There are several reasons why hiring a criminal defense attorney is the smart move. One of the most important reasons, is that your attorney may be able to significantly lessen your sentence and the actual conviction. For example, if you have been charged with a Felony, an attorney may be able to get that plead down to a misdemeanor or even a violation, similarly, if you have been charged with a Misdemeanor, your attorney may be able to get that plead down to a violation (like a traffic ticket) or even to a conditional discharge, which may mean you have no criminal record at all.
It is important to know that in all criminal cases, you have two general choices: (1) you can take your case to trial or (2) you can “plea bargain” your case. Each choice has its pros and cons and your attorney will discuss the different strategies associated with each choice. However, if you decide to plea bargain your case, your attorney will be able to extract the best deal for you, which means, a lesser sentence. A lesser sentence could mean less jail time, no jail time or a lesser fine.
A seasoned criminal defense attorney is trained to argue the facts and circumstances that will work in your favor when presenting your case to the District Attorney’s office. The attorney will point out the weaknesses in the District Attorney’s case and will also point out why you are a good candidate for a lesser sentence. It is important to know, that the District Attorney’s office generally does not want to negotiate with defendants who represent themselves.
Furthermore, an experienced criminal defense attorney knows the “unwritten rules” that apply in each court. Every court is different and therefore, every potential plea bargain is different. For example, it is widely known that in Nassau County it is more difficult to obtain a plea bargain on a DWI then it is in New York City.
Each plea bargain must be approved by the District Attorney’s office and then the Judge has the ultimate discretion on whether to accept the plea bargain, or not. Your criminal defense attorney will know what each Judge will accept as a “good plea bargain.”
Finally, although a plea bargain will get you a lesser sentence, there will still be certain consequences to pleading guilty to the lesser charge and sentence. An experienced criminal defense attorney can explain the consequences to you. If you represent yourself, the District Attorney’s office is prohibited from giving you legal advice, including, what the consequences of your plea bargain may be.
David Badanes is an experienced criminal defense attorney. If you have been arrested and need aggressive criminal defense representation, Contact the Badanes Law Office today by calling 631-239-170 2, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Badanes Law Office is located in Northport and appears in all Suffolk County courts.