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When Do I Need to Hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer?

A criminal defense lawyer can be the difference between freedom, severe penalties, and a jail term for criminal offenders. Criminal charges, either minor or major, are serious legal matters. The charges attract serious consequences and penalties, including jail terms, criminal records, damaged reputation, and more. Unlike other legal issues, criminal charges warrant professional legal advice from a qualified attorney.

Engaging the services of a criminal defense lawyer will help you understand the charges, available defense options, plea bargains, and possible outcomes of the case. That said, you should engage criminal defense lawyers if you are charged with either of the following cases.

Assault and Battery Charges

The outcome of assault and battery criminal charges significantly varies depending on the nature of the crime. While some cases are straightforward with predictable outcomes, others are complicated. This explains the importance of having a lawyer by your side anytime you have assault charges pressed against you. Some of the bright defenses that your attorney can use to secure your freedom or reduced penalties include;

A Case of Self-Defense

Most lawyers prefer this strategy when representing clients with assault and battery charges. However, to prove that the crime happened because of self-defense, the lawyer should prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were facing danger or harm, you didn't provoke the accuser, and you had no chance of escaping the situation.

Defending Property

The attorney can also claim that you were defending a property when the crime occurred. However, the attorney will have to prove that the accuser illegally invaded your property or illegally held the property. Fortunately, the law allows individuals to exercise necessary force when defending their properties, provided there is no ownership dispute.

Defending Third-Parties

This strategy is not the same as self-defense. With this, your attorney will have to prove that the accuser was impending harm to the other person. However, proving this matter in the court has the same threshold as that of self-defense.

Voluntary Consent

Some jurisdictions allow the use of voluntary consent as a defense strategy in assault and battery charges. In such states, the accused can claim voluntary consent if the accuser voluntarily consented to a particular action involving some violence. The accused is liable for assault and battery charges if the actions went beyond the initial consent.

Drug Charges

The federal government and states outlaw several illicit drugs. Cocaine, meth, and heroin are common outlawed drugs in nearly all states. You can face serious penalties if you are caught in association with these illegal drugs, by cultivation, possession, trafficking, or distribution. If you find yourself in such a mess, your best bet is hiring a criminal defense attorney. The lawyer can negotiate a plea deal, especially if you are a low-level offender. However, you will have to help the authorities in catching serious offenders or traffickers.

That aside, your attorney can leverage alternative strategies to defend you from drug-related charges. Among them include fronting that law enforcement personnel undertook an illegal search and seizure, the seized items were not your property, there is missing evidence from the seizure, or you were forced to hold another person's belongings.

Financial Crimes or Fraud

Fraud is a serious financial crime that involves obtaining money from another person falsely. It always involves some deceit, dishonesty, or broken trust, which distinguishes this crime from other forms of robbery or theft. Common examples of fraud include credit or debit card fraud, wire fraud, forgery, and insurance fraud. These criminal cases are often categorized as white-collar crimes.

That said, if you find yourself entangled in such crimes, you should hire a criminal defense attorney specialized in white-collar offenses. You should consult your lawyer before giving responses to criminal investigators. Without consulting an attorney, you can incriminate yourself during the interviews unknowingly.

Homicide Charges

Homicide and murder charges are closely related and confusing terms, as they involve loss of life. However, homicide is often not regarded as a crime due to the circumstances surrounding the occurrence. Homicide can occur during state-sanctioned execution or incidences of self-defense, resulting in death. However, homicide can be considered a criminal offense if prosecutors prove to the jury that there was intent and negligence from the accused.

That said, if you are facing similar charges, hiring a criminal defense lawyer can mean the difference between harsh sentences and freedom. The attorney's strategies range from proving that it was an accidental death or purely self-defense without intent.

Hire the Best Criminal Lawyer

Legal matters are confusing and complicated. As such, hiring an attorney is prudent as they are well-versed in the court systems and procedures. Apart from the charges mentioned above, you should consider a criminal defense lawyer's services when facing theft and alcohol charges as well. With such urgency, you should consider several factors before hiring a criminal lawyer. For the best representation, visit Beles & Beles Law Offices.