Criminal defendants often have inaccurate information about the process of defending themselves against a conviction. Correcting many of the more common notions that can impact a defendant's judgment is one of the first steps that should be taken to help improve a person's chances of successfully defending themselves against these charges.
Myth: First-Time Offenders Always Get Off Easy
There is an unfounded assumption that a first-time offender will always be given a very light or nonexistent punishment. However, there is no obligation for this. Rather, it is typically up to the discretion of the prosecutor as to how aggressively they wish to pursue the crime. For this reason, individuals should never assume that their lack of a criminal history will get them out a charge.
Myth: A Criminal Defense Attorney Will Always Be More Than You Can Afford
The costs of defending yourself against a criminal charge can be extremely high, but individuals should avoid assuming that there is no way for them to defend themselves against these charges. Criminal defense attorneys are usually fairly experienced with working with clients that have limited finances, and this can make it possible to find an attorney that works on payment plans or that has other options to make paying for representation easier.
Myth: Admitting Guilt Is The Best Option If Did The Crime
When a defendant actually did the crime that they have been charged with committing, they might assume that simply admitting guilt will be the best option. However, admitting guilt can have major consequences as it can limit your ability to receive a lesser sentence. For example, it may be possible to negotiate with the prosecutor for a lesser charge so that the punishment will be lighter. Also, there may be procedural errors or other mistakes that could strengthen your case that you may not be aware of or fully understand. When you are facing a criminal charge, you should always discuss the situation with a criminal defense attorney so that you can more effectively assess your options.
Myth: An Innocent Person Will Never Need To Hire A Criminal Attorney
The assumption that an innocent person will not need to hire an attorney has led to many individuals getting into far more serious trouble than necessary. Whenever a person suspects that they may be the target of an investigation or a criminal complaint, professional representation should be retained. For those that are innocent of the charges that they face, this can help to ensure that their innocence comes to light rather than being railroaded into a conviction.
Contact a criminal defense lawyer for more help.