Things You Should Know
The average person has some idea of what happens in a criminal case. Now, if you have been criminally charged I would like to explain the important concepts of a criminal case and enumerate some possible serious scenarios of which you should be aware.
The primary things a lawyer must-do for all criminal cases (from DWI to federal cases) are to conduct a primary investigation, negotiate with the prosecution, come before a judge, and if the case goes to trial persuasively tell the client's story to a jury.
Let me emphasize the importance of conducting a proper investigation. Whether it is a DWI or a murder case relying on the opposing side to gather the facts of the case is tantamount to malpractice. An essential activity, investigations include looking for evidence, testing the evidence, preserving evidence, and litigating to get evidence.
Investigations and The Role of The Police
At some point, the police may be a neutral party prior to an arrest. However, in most cases where there are serious allegations once a person is arrested the police becomes a vested witness aligned with the prosecution. There are good and bad police officers and in some cases, the police may break the law and there may be some crucial evidence that may be suppressed. It is the duty of the defense attorney to conduct a thorough investigation independent of the police to test the prosecutor's evidence. Once the evidence is gathered by the defense, then negotiations with a prosecutor can begin.
Negotiating with The Prosecution
In some cases the evidence for a non-guilty verdict is obvious and the prosecutor dismisses the case without much of a fight. Other times there is evidence against a defendant, but it isn't strong. The prosecution can then be convinced to drop the charges or pursue lesser charges. In cases where the evidence points to guilty, it is the attorney's experience and the relationship with the prosecution that gets a good sentence for the defendant.