If you’ve been charged with a crime in Arizona, you might be feeling overwhelmed and unsure of what to do next. One of the most important decisions you can make is choosing a criminal defense attorney to represent you. Here, we’ll explain the role of a criminal defense attorney in Arizona, provide tips for selecting the right attorney for your case, and discuss the importance of a strong defense.
The Role of a Criminal Defense Attorney in Arizona
A criminal defense attorney is a lawyer who represents individuals and organizations charged with crimes. In Arizona, criminal defense attorneys have several duties and responsibilities, including:
- Advising clients on their rights and options under the law
- Negotiating plea bargains with prosecutors
- Developing a defense strategy
- Representing clients at pre-trial hearings
- Interviewing potential witnesses
- Examining the evidence
- Representing clients at trial
- Filing appeals if necessary
There are various stages of a criminal case, and the role of the criminal defense attorney will vary depending on the stage. For example, during the pretrial phase, the attorney may work on negotiating a plea bargain with the prosecutor. If the case goes to trial, the attorney will present the defense’s case in court, cross-examine witnesses, and argue for the client’s innocence.
In Arizona, criminal defendants have several options available to them. These include pleading guilty and accepting a plea bargain, pleading not guilty and going to trial, or pleading not guilty by reason of insanity. Your criminal defense attorney will help you understand your options and advise you on the best course of action for your case.
Choosing a Criminal Defense Attorney in Arizona
When it comes to selecting a criminal defense attorney in Arizona, it’s important to choose someone who is qualified and experienced. Here are some tips for finding the right attorney for your case:
- Look for an attorney who is licensed to practice law in Arizona.
- Check with the Arizona State Bar Association to see if the attorney has been disciplined.
- Consider an attorney who has experience handling cases like yours.
- Research the attorney’s track record and read reviews from past clients.
- Make sure the attorney is familiar with the local court system and judges.
It’s also a good idea to meet with several potential attorneys before making a decision. This will give you an opportunity to discuss your case and ask any questions you may have.
The Importance of a Good Defense in a Criminal Case
If you’re facing criminal charges in Arizona, it’s important to understand the consequences of a conviction. These can include fines, jail time, and other penalties. Having a strong defense can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case.
A good defense lawyer can help reduce the charges against you or result in a not-guilty verdict. It’s essential to work closely with your criminal defense attorney to develop a solid defense strategy. This may involve gathering and presenting evidence, calling witnesses, and challenging the prosecution’s case.
Comparison of Public Defender vs Private Criminal Defense Attorney
There are several key differences between hiring a private attorney and using a public defender:
- Cost: Private attorneys charge for their services whereas public defenders are provided by the government at no cost to the defendant. Note – You often get what you pay for.
- Availability: Private criminal defense attorneys and their staff are generally easier to contact and communicate with, whereas public defenders have massive caseloads. You may only speak to them when you appear in court together.
- Experience: Private criminal attorneys typically have more experience and specialized expertise than public defenders, who may have a heavier workload and less time to devote to each case. The public defender job is often held by a newer attorney who hopes to gain more experience by working as a public defender.
- Relationship: Hiring a private attorney allows you to build a more personal relationship with your lawyer, which can be beneficial in terms of communication and trust. With a public defender, you will not have as much time to get to know your lawyer and build that relationship.
- Flexibility: Private defense lawyers have more flexibility in terms of their caseload. They have no incentive to take a plea deal that isn’t the best deal they can get you. On the other hand, the pressure of their massive caseloads makes public defenders more motivated to push you to accept a lessor plea deal just to get your case off their desks.
It is often your wallet that will make the decision to retain a private criminal attorney or public defender. If you cannot afford a private attorney, the public defender will do a reasonably good job representing you. However, when your freedom, family and livelihood are at stake, there is no substitution to an experienced criminal law specialist.
Help When You Need It
If you’ve been charged with a crime in Arizona, it’s crucial to seek out a qualified and experienced Board-Certified Criminal Law Specialist. Your attorney will help you understand your rights and options under the law, represent you at trial, and work with you to develop a strong defense. Remember to do your research and choose an attorney who is familiar with the local court system and has represented other defendants charged with the same crime.
Arizona criminal defense attorney, Howard Snader is a Board-Certified Criminal Law Specialist with more than 30 years of experience and a long track record of success. If you are facing criminal charges in Arizona, contact Howard Snader for a free consultation today.