Top Criminal Defense Attorney Myths
When it comes to an understanding of the law, most people seem to think they know about criminal defense attorneys better than anything else. People have seen seasons of Law and Order or watched A Few Good Men and think that’s exactly how a defense attorney operates in the real world.
As exciting as those television shows and films can be to watch, it simply isn’t the case. Not only that, but this media does a great deal to create myths around criminal law that distorts the truth.
If you’re worried about your defense hearing because you watched some CSI the night before, fear not. We’ve collated some of the most common myths around criminal defense attorney and have done our bit to debunk them.
Read below before you attend your hearing, either in Baton Rouge, Livingston, or further afield, and you’ll be better prepared for the reality.
Here are some common criminal defense attorney myths that exist today.
Defense Attorney: All Criminal Defense Lawyers Are All the Same
When you’re watching the above programs, rarely do they go into detail on the specific background of the criminal defense attorney. This can lead many viewers to assume that being a defense attorney means you defend every kind of criminal case. This is false.
The Law Is Complex
The law is a very complex system; it’s practically impossible to be an expert on absolutely every part of it. Because of this, there are defense attorneys who have specific experience in various fields.
For example, if you’re defending a case where you’ve been falsely accused of domestic assault, you shouldn’t have a defense attorney who specializes in immigration law.
Many of the best attorneys specialize in several different forms of law, so they are well-versed to assist on a range of cases. But you can’t simply hire any random attorney to handle your case.
Similarly to this, not all attorneys are created equal. Though films and media show attorneys to usually be the same, the reality is that they are people too.
Every Attorney Is Different
Some attorneys will have had more experience than others or studied for longer (law school typically lasts at least three years in the U.S.). Because of this, the reality is that some attorneys are simply better at their job than others.
If you require a criminal defense attorney, you need to assess their personal experience and what they specialize in. Take a look at our previous blog for a thorough list of what to look for when hiring a lawyer.
You’ll Need to Testify to Prove Innocence
This is another myth created by TV shows and films. The courtroom scene makes for a gripping watch for viewers, doubly so if the defendant presents their case to the jury. But in real life, you do not have to testify to prove your innocence in a case.
You can, of course, but whether or not you should do so will be discussed with your criminal defense attorney. In some cases, it will be deemed beneficial for you to do so, but not always.
In the eyes of the law in the United States, you are innocent until proven guilty. As such, someone facing a criminal justice trial is not viewed as a criminal until proven otherwise.
This means that in some cases testifying could actually harm your chances of gaining the correct result. This is a delicate part of the law that will always be discussed with your criminal defense attorney before a decision is made.
I Don’t Need a Defense Attorney If I Intend to Plead Guilty
This is perhaps the most harmful of all myths when it comes to criminal defense law. Many people think if they are making a guilty plea that they don’t need to solicit the services of a defense attorney.
This simply isn’t the case. Whether you intend to plead guilty or not, you should always seek the proper advice of a qualified attorney. Even if you are adamant of your plea, an attorney can discuss the ways in which you could receive a lessened sentence.
There are also some attorneys who specialize in assisting cases where their defendant is pleading guilty.
It is ultimately reckless to enter into a courtroom without having at least met with an attorney to discuss your options.
Criminal Cases Will Always Go To Trial
This yet again stems from the popularity of courtroom scenes, but it isn’t true. In fact, it is even stronger support in why you need to work with a criminal defense attorney.
The vast majority of criminal cases in the U.S. are not settled in court but are instead settled through plea bargains. These are discussed and agreed between your defense attorney and the prosecution.
Because of this, just because you’ve been charged with a crime doesn’t mean that a court date is imminent. You must work with your defense attorney to approach the possibility of a plea bargain before considering a defense in court.
During this phase, it is vital to provide your attorney with all the relevant information so that they can appropriately assist you. With an experienced lawyer, in the majority of cases, you won’t need to settle the dispute in court.
What Do I Do If I Need a Criminal Defense Attorney?
If you need a defense attorney then you’re already in the right place. Carl Barkemeyer is an experienced criminal defense attorney in the Baton Rouge, Louisiana area.
To find out more about attorney Carl Barkemeyer’s experience and how he can help you, please contact our firm directly. It is essential if you are being charged with a crime, you seek the appropriate legal advice to properly defend yourself.
Carl is dedicated to defending those hit with felony charges to ensure that justice and fairness prevail in every case.