If you are facing criminal charges, then you will need to work with a criminal defense attorney to ensure that you are treated properly in the courts. Criminal defense attorneys help people who are accused of crimes to ensure that they get a fair hearing and that the law enforcement officers followed the correct processes during the court proceedings.
Finding a Law Firm to Represent You
If you are looking for a lawyer to represent you during a criminal defense case in Minneapolis, MN, you should know that you have a lot of choices. You can contact a lawyer yourself if you have the funds to do so. If you don’t have the funds then you may be appointed a defense lawyer by the courts. Public defenders tend to have a very high caseload. If you are able to hire your own lawyer in Minneapolis then you may find that you get more individualized attention, although any law firm that is representing you will work to the best of their ability to ensure that your rights are protected.
How Defense Attorneys Work
Your defense attorney will interview you to learn as much as they can about the case. They will ask questions about what happened and will gather as much information as they can to ensure that they understand the chain of events and have an idea of the issues surrounding the case.
They will investigate to work out if the police followed the proper processes, and they will work to determine whether the evidence is clear and admissible. They will want to know if there are any extenuating circumstances, or if there is anything that should be considered in the case.
Defense attorneys consider the evidence that is available and will try to consider whether there are any legal theories or precedents that could work to prevent the conviction of their client.
Criminal defense attorneys work to keep their clients informed and maintain confidential correspondence with their clients, aiming to communicate clearly about the case so that they have an understanding of the progress of the case, and the likelihood of conviction.
Choosing a Jury
Another thing that defense attorneys do is assist with the jury selection process. They may have jurors taken off the case if they believe that there is a reason that they may be biased against their client. The removal can be ‘for cause’, or simply because of intuition. It is their job to ensure that the jury is likely to vote fairly.
A lawyer may advise the accused that they should negotiate with the prosecutor, and engage in a plea bargain. This is not always recommended, but in some cases, it could help to reduce the severity of potential penalties.
Where the case is contested, the attorney will fight for the client at the trial, cross-examining the prosecution’s witnesses, and examining the witnesses for the defense, putting a convincing case to the jury and, if there has been a plea bargain accepted, presenting cases to minimize the penalties faced by the accused.