In law there are two basic types of off lawsuits: criminal and civil. Civil lawsuits are lawsuits between two private parties, often two people. Criminal lawsuits are lawsuits brought by the state or federal government against an individual or group. Civil cases are initiated by the victim, and criminal cases are initiated by the government through a prosecutor. Criminal lawyers are those who defend the plaintiff in criminal lawsuits.
If you've been falsely accused of a crime, it's likely you don't think any price is too high to pay for your freedom. But, when money does matter, it's important not to sacrifice the quality of your criminal attorney just to meet a budget.
If you are truly innocent, it's very likely a good criminal attorney can get you off. Going for a discount rate wouldn't be wise, but there are ways to keep costs at a minimum or even recoup them after a win in court. As long as you insist on finding a criminal attorney that displays some basic, but very important, traits, you should be okay with your hire even if his or her rates are less than others.
What Criminal Lawyers Do
Criminal lawyers represent their clients in lawsuits that are initiated by the government. Their clients are individuals or groups who have been accused of acts that are crimes of some sort. It could be a misdemeanor, which is a less serious crime like drunk driving, or it could be a felony, which is a serious crime like murder that could end in jail time or even the death penalty. Many people think of felonies when they think of criminal lawyers, but criminal lawyers also represent plaintiffs who are facing misdemeanor charges.
Criminal Lawyers Early in a Defense
Many people who are being charged with a crime wait to hire a lawyer. Perhaps they think the charges will be dropped, or maybe they think that the potential punishment does not warrant the cost of hiring a lawyer. They may think they can represent themselves in an attempt to save money. Whatever the reason, this is a dangerous idea, because criminal lawyers can often be of the most help early in the process.
One way that a lawyer can help is by negotiating a dismissal of the case. Lawyers know how to spot potential weaknesses in the prosecutor's defense. Sometimes by presenting these weaknesses to the prosecuting attorney, they can help to negotiate a dismissal of the charge before the charges are officially filed.
A lawyer can also help a plaintiff by helping to negotiate a plea bargain. This involves an admission of guilt in return for a lessening of the potential consequences and an avoidance of the courtroom appearance. Many people charged with misdemeanors can avoid much of the expense of a court case by plea-bargaining.
Plaintiffs who are involved in crimes that are part of an ongoing investigation can use a criminal lawyer to help negotiate a lesser sentence in return for cooperation in the investigation. For instance, if a plaintiff knows information about another aspect of the crime that could help the prosecutors capture a high-profile criminal, the prosecutor may be willing to drop some charges in return for that information. A lawyer knows how to approach the police or the prosecutor to present this proposition.
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