A criminal conviction can impact your entire life. Not only does a conviction include penalties such as incarceration and significant fines, but there’s also the fact that you’ll have a criminal record that can potentially follow you around for the rest of your life. The unfortunate truth is that a criminal record can set you up for a lifetime of struggles and discrimination.
In almost any criminal case, the number one question on the mind of the defendant is “How do I get out of this?”. The first step is realizing that no matter what charges you’re facing, you don’t have to go through this process alone. A criminal defense lawyer can guide you through the process and help you avoid a criminal conviction on your record. Here’s how.
Saying No to Self-Representation
When a person is arrested on charges for a crime, they are made aware of their Miranda Rights – which include the right to have an attorney present or to have one provided should they be unable to afford one on their own. Most people facing a criminal conviction realize that importance of legal counsel, yet some feel that they can handle the task on their own and opt for self-representation.
Self-representation is rarely the best move for your freedom. An experienced lawyer has spent years of their life learning about and practicing law. They are well versed in the different tactics that can help to secure your innocence, such as diversion.
Diversion is a strategy that puts a case on hold for a specified amount of time during which the defendant must complete a set of conditions presented by the prosecuting team. These conditions might include anything from restitution to community service. If at the end of the diversion period the accused has met all the requirements, it is agreed upon that the case will be dismissed with no evidence on the defendant’s criminal record. Working with an experienced lawyer is essential for negotiating the terms of a diversion agreement.
There is a process involved in securing a criminal conviction that often begins long before a person is charged with a crime. There is a period of investigations and court filings and it’s during this time that a criminal defense attorney has the greatest power in influencing the prosecution’s actions. One example of this is alternative sentencing.
Alternative sentencing is a strategy that can not only help a defendant avoid incarceration, but in certain cases it can eliminate the possibility of a conviction and lifelong criminal record. Unless a prosecutor knows they have a rock solid case, chances are they’re going to be open to negotiation – especially in cases of less serious crimes.
A defense lawyer can suggest alternative sentencing, which often requires a guilty plea, however, the negotiation includes sentencing outside of the standard jail time – like work release or house arrest. One of the biggest benefits of alternative sentencing is that keeping the crime off your criminal record is something that can be negotiated up front.
Proven Defense Strategies
While the above strategies can help you avoid a criminal record, the best tactic for avoiding a conviction in the first place is to hire an experienced attorney that’s skilled in defending and winning criminal cases just like yours. The right defense team will know exactly how to minimize your chances of conviction, so you can go back to living your life. If you’re in need of legal representation, call Elden Law for a free consultation. We’re the defense attorneys that can protect your freedom.