A criminal defense attorney helps his or her clients when they are confronted with accusations of criminal activity. Here are some things to think about.
When an individual is accused of criminal activity, they need to get a hold of a competent criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. These lawyers specialize in defending their clients and may work from a private practice or be a public defender. A public defender is a court appointed legal representative who is employed by a governmental agency.
It is the constitutional right of every U.S. citizen to be offered legal defense even if they can’t afford it. This is where a public defender would step in. Private practice may be large firms of multiple attorneys or a small practice consisting of one or two lawyers.
There is a wide range of crimes a person may be charged with that will require the expertise of one of these skilled professionals. Some examples of charges include:
Assault: Assault is when one person physically strikes or harms another person. A more serious instance of this is when it includes a deadly weapon such as a gun, knife, rock or almost anything that could seriously hurt someone.
Burglary: Burglary is when a person robs a house or commercial establishment when no one is occupying the space. It does not necessarily include breaking and entering. It can be slipping in through an open door with the intention of stealing or doing other unlawful deeds.
White-collar crimes: White-collar crimes are those that usually include paperwork or computers. Some examples include tax fraud, extortion, keeping fraudulent financial books, securities fraud, pyramid schemes, money laundering, credit card theft and more.
Drug related: Possessing, selling, manufacturing or transporting illegal drugs are all issues that require the representation, protection and advice of a lawyer. The amount and type of the substance will have a bearing on the penalties and ramifications. Now that marijuana is legal in certain states for medical purposes, the laws concerning cannabis have changed substantially. Federal laws are different from state regulations, making it that much more complex.
Homicide: Homicide includes murder that was done on purpose as well as that which was accidental. Vehicular homicide is when a victim has been killed due to negligence in an automobile accident.
Robbery: Robbery is different from burglary in that there are victims present when the theft occurs. This can be armed robbery with a weapon present or non-armed.
Damage of property: Damage to property is a crime and includes breaking, destroying or defacing items in some way. Graffiti is an example of damage to property.
DUI: Driving under the influence of intoxicants is a criminal offense which requires an attorney. A person may think that driving drunk is not such a big deal but it is a crime. Operating a vehicle while drunk or stoned can potentially produce property damage, assault and homicide. It is a serious offense.
A criminal defense attorney can make a difference between freedom and incarceration for an individual. If a person is accused of a crime, they need an expert legal representative on their side as soon as possible.