Many individuals do not seek the services of an attorney until they have been arrested, charged with a crime, and brought before the court. Although it would have been beneficial for the accused to hire an attorney before facing charges in a courtroom, an experienced criminal defense attorney can still “play offense” and build a successful defense for his client.
To create a successful defense, your attorney will immediately investigate the criminal charges against you. A proactive defense attorney will not wait to react to the district attorney’s office, but will contact the DA to discuss your case in an attempt to negotiate a reduced sentence or to lessen the severity of your charges. For example, according to NY Criminal Defense Lawyer Thomas J. Melanson, if you are arrested on a felony, “your attorney can speak with the assistant DA and hopefully work out something less than the felony you’re charged with before the case is presented to the grand jury.”
Your attorney will strive to negotiate terms with the prosecution before your case is presented to the grand jury in case the court or the DA’s office has a policy in place against reducing charges once they indict on certain charges.
The most common type of negotiation made between a defense attorney and the prosecution on your behalf is a plea bargain. There are two types of plea bargains: sentence bargains and charge bargains. In sentence bargaining, you, the defendant, agree to plead guilty or no contest if the prosecution agrees to a lighter sentence, whereas in charge bargaining, you, the defendant, agree to plead guilty or no contest if the prosecution agrees to drop one or more charges or reduce a charge to a less serious offense. Your attorney will advise you as to what type of negotiation is best in your unique situation.
No matter what your legal concerns may be, the sooner you take the proactive approach and contact a skilled, experienced criminal defense attorney, the sooner your attorney can begin building a strong defense to successfully resolve your legal concerns.