If you face criminal charges, you may feel a range of emotions, including fear and confusion. It is quite common to feel bewildered in the face of the criminal justice system, especially for first-time offenders.
Many people make mistakes, and this does not mean they are bad people or hardened criminals. Every criminal defendant deserves a strong and strategic defense as they move through the criminal justice system. Criminal charges can bring harsh consequences, and a strong defense is the best way to work toward avoiding or mitigating the negative effects of a conviction.
Ensure you get a strategic defense
Given the high stakes surrounding your criminal charges, the first thing you should definitely focus on is how to approach your charges with a strategic defense. You likely have a wide range of questions about various legal aspects of your case, as well as the logistical details about how to proceed. You should not move forward without a qualified criminal defense attorney to advocate on your behalf and ensure the protection of your rights. Your attorney will work with you to examine the factors of your particular charges and plot out the best strategy for moving forward.
One way to find a qualified criminal defense attorney is to check on his or her background. For example, a board certified criminal defense attorney is one qualification that can make an important difference.
Understand the basics of your charges
Each criminal case is different, and that means you should inform yourself about the specifics of your charges so you know what you are up against. White-collar crime, such as tax evasion, for example, will carry penalties that are likely quite different than those that could result from a drug charge conviction.
It is important not to generalize your charges or assume your case will follow preconceived notions. Avoid accepting what people tell you about your charges without understanding the facts. Do not fall into the trap of accepting a plea bargain if your attorney is not advising you on how to proceed. As you move forward, ensure you understand everything happening and the decisions you need to make and how they affect your future.