Though most people’s concept of a local criminal defense attorney probably comes from watching courtroom dramas on television, a lot of what occurs in a criminal defense case takes place behind the scenes. A good attorney can help you avoid punishment by striking a deal. That may mean a plea bargain that reduces a sentence, or that could mean turning over evidence in return for a reduced punishment. Many prosecutors refuse to work with individuals who represent themselves, but most are willing to work with your defense attorney.
In the event you’re sentenced, a good criminal defense attorney can work on your behalf to negotiate sentencing terms. These negotiations could be the difference between you serving time hundreds of miles from your family or in a neighboring town. An attorney may also be able to work out a sentencing program that limits your time in the criminal justice system in return for staying in a drug rehabilitation program or another solution.
Gathering evidence and taking statements from witnesses is a time-consuming endeavor and one that requires experience to do well. Criminal defense attorneys also generally have one other tool in their pockets--the ability to find and hire investigators. Because they’ve done it before, your attorney can easily hire the best and most experienced investigators. And the best investigator is much more likely to find evidence to exonerate you than a private investigator that just hung his shingle out last week.