This is one of the most common questions and myths that criminal defense attorneys hear from prospective clients. While we understand that not everyone has the money to retain a private attorney to fight for them in criminal court; you should try to hire one prior to arraignment (and give them time to reach out to the State) if possible because the benefit to you can be huge. Why is that? See, an arraignment is the beginning of every criminal case. It is where the state announces whether they are filing charges against you and what charges they’re filing.
Now, you have to be selective and hire someone you trust as not every lawyer that you hire prior to the State making its filing decision will reach out to them, conduct initial investigation and fight for you in an attempt to get the State to not file charges or to file reduced charges. Getting the State to file reduced charges may not seem like an outright victory, but its effects can be extremely valuable because oftentimes where you start can determine and affect where you will finish.
The saddest thing I see day in and day out in criminal court is people that show up to arraignment without a lawyer and just take pleas to close their case without understanding what consequences the plea will have, without analyzing the evidence that the State has against them and if they can even prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. This is extremely common in misdemeanor cases. While it may seem that you’re good to go and this will all be behind you, I cannot begin to tell you how many people seek us out because a plea they took so many years ago is now preventing them from becoming a U.S. Citizen, getting a job, loan or professional license.
If you’re charged with a felony and subscribe to this method of thinking, you must really like gambling with your life. While you will be assigned a public defender at arraignment and not have to go it alone, you are missing out on the chance of having a private criminal defense lawyer reach out to the State before arraignment in an attempt to not have charges filed. In addition to this, chances are that a thorough criminal defense attorney will have reviewed some of the evidence, spoken with the State and will be able to advise you as to whether a plea offered at arraignment is worth considering.
A criminal charge can affect everything you try to do in life moving forward. It is extremely important to enlist the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney that knows the players, the process and focuses primarily on criminal defense in Miami.
If you or someone you love has been arrested in Miami, don’t delay. You don’t have time to waste! Call our office, (305) 707-7345, to schedule your 4-Point Case Evaluation and Strategy Session.
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