Here at Dutko Law, we offer criminal attorney services in Kutztown and the surrounding areas. Our country has a long and proud history of upholding the rights of the innocent, and we try to do our part as well as criminal defense attorneys. Dealing with a criminal charge can be one of the scariest and serious experiences of your life. Your very freedoms our country values above all else are at stake, as well as your reputation and future financial prospects. However, our justice system is designed to give the innocent a voice. Here are some tips for making dealing with a criminal charge less stressful, as well as ensuring you get the best legal representation possible.
Understand the consequences of conviction
Defendants in this country are dealing with a largely unknown problem as it relates to the veracity of our justice system; about 90-95 percent of all criminal cases result in a plea deal. Why is this a problem? Our courts function on an adversarial justice system. Such a system does not rely on inherent feelings or authority of who is right to determine justice, but rather the arguments made by each party (which is why a qualified lawyer is so important). By leveraging fear of a wrongful conviction, prosecutors are able to get defendants to waive their right to trial the vast majority of the time.
Unfortunately, for you as a defendant, this means that there could likely be a very serious choice for you to make. If you are offered a plea deal, but decide to fight for your innocence, a guilty conviction will most likely result in the most serious punishment possible. In contrast, if you are offered a plea deal, and decide to take it, you will be considered guilty for the crimes you admit to, and will serve out the sentence regardless of innocence.
Your attorney is important
Many people wonder why they can’t just get a public defender for their criminal charge. This can be a bad idea for a few reasons. First, a public defender is much more likely to advise you to take a plea deal. They typically have extremely high case loads, and very little time to work on a case. So even if they do work with you to prove your innocence, they will have less time and resources to put forth at your disposal.
When searching for an attorney, you want someone who is qualified to represent your case, has the time and resources to bare to ensure it gets their full attention, and who you trust to fight for your innocence. If you don’t already have a trusted, professional attorney on hand, this will likely take a bit of time and research. When making your decision, don’t forget to calculate cost into your decision, as attorney fees should be a serious consideration as well.
Write down your experience
Consistency is a major aspect of whether a testimony will be believed. In stressful situations, our brains have a bad habit of forgetting important information, or warping it over time into a pseudo memory. To avoid mistakes in remembering important information, make a point to write down anything pertinent to your case as soon as you get the opportunity to do so.
As you are writing down all this information, it is a good time to take stock of any potential witnesses or evidence that you could bring to bear in your trial. For most criminal cases, actual definitive physical evidence is lacking, so prosecutors rely heavily on witnesses and circumstantial evidence for most convictions. Anything that can elucidate your position for the jury will likely weaken the prosecutions case, if not exonerate you.
There is no getting around the fact that a criminal charge is one of the most stressful situations a person can go through. Luckily, if you keep calm and think through your situation, you can maximize your chances of proving your innocence. If you are looking for a Kutztown criminal attorney, reach out to Dutko Law today. For more information, please do not hesitate to give us a call. One of our representatives will be happy to answer any questions you have.