The Risks of Using Inexperienced Counsel or Representing Yourself
When you’re under investigation for committing a crime, or arrested and charged, the fear and uncertainty can be paralyzing. You might hire the first attorney you meet, regardless of qualifications, or—worse yet—think you can represent yourself. The criminal justice system, however, is no place for beginners. It has a language all its own, and it can often feel like the cards are stacked against you. It’s essential that you get a proven lawyer who understands the intricacies of criminal law and procedure, who knows the courts and judges, and who can protect your constitutional rights.
Criminal Law and Court Procedure Require Specific Experience
Don’t think that because a lawyer has trial experience, he or she can effectively represent you in a criminal prosecution.
- The criminal justice system is a different world, with its own set of rules regarding what must be filed, when it must be filed, and who must receive a copy.
- Criminal law is based exclusively on written laws. An attorney with little or no experience in criminal defense will be starting at square one, learning the law and how it’s interpreted by the courts.
- Criminal cases have a different burden of proof—beyond a reasonable doubt—and an inexperienced lawyer may not understand what’s necessary to meet that burden. An experienced criminal defense lawyer knows what kind of evidence is most effective in creating reasonable doubt, and knows how to locate witnesses and find experts to testify on your behalf, if necessary. A proven criminal defense attorney also knows how to properly frame questions in court, both on direct and cross-examination, in order to present the strongest defense.
- Specific constitutional rights are afforded to criminal defendants, including the right to legal counsel, the right to a speedy trial, and the right to be free of unreasonable search or seizure. An attorney who has handled only civil matters likely won’t have a solid understanding of those rights and may not take the necessary steps to ensure that they were protected.
There May Be Flexibility in Sentencing
In the vast majority of criminal cases, there is some latitude with respect to penalties, should you be found guilty. An experienced lawyer knows whether the court might be inclined to lessen your punishment and strategies that may convince the judge to do that. You know an experienced criminal defense lawyer will make all efforts to mitigate the consequences.
An Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney Can Minimize Delays
Criminal court dockets are almost always full across Texas. An inexperienced lawyer may not understand the most effective ways to move your case forward, so that you can clear your name and get on with your life. A proven criminal lawyer will correctly handle all filings, so there are no errors to slow down the process.
An Experienced Attorney Will Have Access to Other Essential Resources
Mounting an effective defense in a criminal prosecution is a complex process. Often, you need a skilled private investigator to gather evidence, and you may need expert witnesses to testify regarding certain matters. An experienced criminal defense attorney is likely to have established relationships with investigators and expert witnesses.
Contact the Proven Criminal Defense Attorneys at Bailey & Galyen
At the law office of Bailey & Galyen, we understand the anxiety and confusion you can feel when under investigation for or charged with a crime. We offer a free initial consultation to every client. For an appointment with one of our experienced Texas criminal defense attorneys, contact us online or call us at 844-402-2992. We will take your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.