Being accused of a criminal offense can be a frightening and confusing experience. In many instances, law enforcement will aggressively interrogate people who are facing allegations of criminal activity and may threaten them with jail time and other serious legal consequences that may represent the worst-case scenario that can occur in the event of a conviction. Fortunately for people who are accused of crimes, our legal system allows defendants to retain legal counsel to represent their interests and ensure that their legal rights are protected. There are many ways that an attorney can help a person who is facing a criminal case, some of which are detailed below. For specific advice or to retain legal representation today, call Philadelphia criminal defense lawyer Brian Zeiger today at 215-546-0340.
Your lawyer will make sure that your constitutional rights are observed
The United States Constitution  protects people who are accused of crimes in many ways. For example, the 4th Amendment of the Constitution places significant limits on the way in which law enforcement can investigate a crime by prohibiting unreasonable search and seizure. Additionally, the 5th Amendmen  provides that a person accused of a crime cannot be forced to incriminate himself or herself, a provision that has resulted in case law requiring law enforcement to advise people who are in custody and suspected of having committed a crime of their right to remain silent prior to questioning.
Importantly, in our legal system, these rights are not self-executing, meaning that violations will go unchecked unless the defendant brings them to the attention of the court. For example, in cases in which law enforcement obtains evidence in an investigation that violates a defendant’s 4th Amendment rights, the evidence can be suppressed, but only if the defendant moves to suppress that evidence. For this reason, it is important for people who have been accused of crimes to retain an attorney who has a comprehensive and in-depth knowledge of criminal law and procedure in order to ensure that their legal rights are protected.
You lawyer will advise you as to how to conduct yourself and act as your personal representative
In high-profile criminal cases that are being covered by the media, the court of public opinion can seem much harsher than any court of law. Unfortunately, public opinion often operates on the principle of “innocent until proven innocent,” a position that can have a detrimental effect on a person’s day to day life while a case is pending. When you hire an attorney, he or she will act as your personal representative and can control the flow of information regarding your case, in many instances.
An attorney can negotiate a favorable plea agreement on your behalf
The vast majority of criminal cases are resolved through a plea agreement in which the defendant agrees to plead guilty in exchange for conviction of a lesser offense, a suspended sentence, the prosecutor recommending a reduced sentence to the judge, or some similar arrangement. Prosecutors often do not want to deal with the uncertainty of going to trial, particularly when a defendant is represented by competent legal counsel that could potentially establish reasonable doubt in the minds of a jury. For this reason, retaining a legal counsel significantly strengthens a defendant’s bargaining position, meaning that people who are represented by an attorney often are able to secure plea bargains with much more favorable terms than people who choose to represent themselves.
Your lawyer will represent you in court
Some criminal cases will go to trial. Conducting a criminal trial is an extremely complicated matter, subject myriad procedural and substantive rules that are extremely difficult to understand for a person without significant legal training. As a result, it is crucial for anyone that is considering taking their case to trial to retain an attorney that is familiar with representing criminal defendants in court in order to maximize their chances of obtaining a favorable result.
Contact a Philadelphia criminal defense attorney today to retain legal representation
Anyone that has been accused of any type criminal offense should contact a Philadelphia criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. In many instances, the early intervention of a skilled lawyer can have a substantial impact on the way that a criminal case is ultimately resolved, and may even result in a formal case never even being filed. Pennsylvania attorney Brian Zeiger is a seasoned criminal defense lawyer that provides zealous and aggressive representation to each client he takes. To schedule a free consultation with Mr. Zeiger, call our office today at 215-546-0340.