Do I Need A Lawyer To Represent Me Even If I Am Innocent?
Yes. The government, whether state or federal, has the goal or prosecuting crimes and securing convictions. In most jurisdictions, the police, the prosecutor and the judges all have offices in the same building. It is imperative that you have an experienced criminal defense attorney to advocate on your behalf to ensure that your innocence is shown. While our criminal justice system is far better than that of many other countries, it is still flawed because it requires people to play a role in order for it to operate. You cannot just hope that everyone involved for the police and the prosecution will automatically recognize your innocence. You must present a defense for yourself and that starts with engaging the services of a criminal defense attorney that is experienced with taking cases to trial.
Oftentimes, people will hire the cheapest lawyer they can find or the one that promises to resolve their case quickly via plea. However, the best way to ensure success in a criminal justice system is to show the prosecution that you are ready, willing and able to go to trial and that if you proceed to trial, the government may lose. So, you need a lawyer that has been there before and is not afraid to take on a government. At some point, it may be the United States v. just you. You should have a great defense attorney fighting on your side.
Why Do I Need An Attorney If I Simply Intend To Plead Guilty?
Even if you plan to plead guilty in a case, you still need an attorney because there are very important steps that will happen regarding your plea of guilty. First and foremost, it is still important to have an experienced attorney to review the case, review the evidence against you and ensure that the government can prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. If, after that analysis and advice from an attorney, you still intent to plead guilty, there is an important part of the process that involves sentencing. Most jurisdictions, if you’ve entered a guilty plea to a felony, will have sentencing guidelines that will be prepared by the probation department and will be used by the court in determining the appropriate sentence. Having an experienced attorney that is knowledgeable in sentencing guidelines goes a long way to ensure that the guidelines for your case are calculated properly so that you do not face a harsher guideline range than you should.
It’s also an important aspect to have someone advocating on your behalf at a sentencing hearing to present evidence on your behalf, whether mitigating evidence or an explanation as to why you’ve appeared before the court so that a judge can have a fully informed view of the case as well as you in determining the appropriate sentence.
When Should I Hire An Attorney In a White Collar Crime Case?
You should hire an attorney in a white-collar criminal case as soon as possible, as soon as you have any inclination that you may be the target of a federal investigation or any kind of involvement with local law enforcement that may result in white-collar charges being brought against you. Most federal white-collar investigations proceed for many months or years before the defendant or any of the targets are aware that they are under investigation. So, once you become aware of it, you’re usually months behind the government and what they already know about the case. You have to start building your defense very, very quickly and that starts with engaging the services of an experienced trial attorney as soon as possible. There’s no benefit in waiting until the case proceeds further in the court to engage a lawyer on your behalf. You need to have counsel as soon as you reasonably can.
What Are The Collateral Consequences Associated With a White Collar Crime Conviction?
Collateral consequences primarily involve all of the negative consequences of being a convicted felon, which includes your loss of your right to vote, your right to bear arms as well as some other rights or abilities such as being able to receive financial aid. In terms of employment, it depends on what type of employment a person is looking for but most employers now are going to run a background check or criminal history check as a part of the employment process. While it depends on where you’re applying if they have a no tolerance position, having crime, especially white-collar crimes on your record can be large detriment in securing employment especially if you have a crime such as embezzlement. That’s speaking to a potential employer that previously in an employment situation where you were entrusted with money or funds on behalf of your employer or client, you misappropriated those funds.
The consequence is even if you are able to successfully get through a case and avoid active jail time and end up only on probation, that conviction or even having those charges on your record can have the negative consequences down the line in terms of employment, your ability to vote, possess and transport firearms or impact you if you are charged with further crimes in the future as they will likely raise your sentencing guidelines and also be used against you when the court is determining whether or not to grant you pretrial release or bond.
For more information on Legal Counsel For White Collar Crimes, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (703) 552-2462 today.
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