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Written by Canterbury Law Group

What is Criminal Defense?

What is Criminal Defense?

A defense attorney serves as the defendant’s adviser, guardian, and confidant in the complex criminal court system. (At least, that’s how it’s meant to work.) Court-appointed attorneys, who are paid by the government, and private attorneys, who are paid by the defendant, are the two types of defense attorneys.

Some criminal defendants have the financial means to engage a private criminal defense lawyer. The court may appoint counsel to represent criminal defendants who cannot afford an attorney (about 80% of all criminal defendants) (assuming certain qualifications are met). These court-appointed counsel are either government-paid public defenders or so-called “panel attorneys,” who are local attorneys picked from a pool. A small percentage of criminal defendants (about 2%), known as “pro se” or “pro per” defendants, represent themselves in court.

What is the definition of criminal defense law?

Criminal defense law refers to the legal safeguards provided to someone accused of committing a crime. Government prosecutors and law enforcement organizations have a wealth of resources at their disposal. The balance of power within the court system would become tilted in favor of the government if the accused were not adequately protected. As it is, fair treatment for criminal defendants often hinges on the skill of their defense attorney as much as it does on the law’s fundamental protections.

Defense attorneys understand how to employ constitutional provisions to their clients’ benefit. All criminal cases, for example, are based on evidence acquired by the government. Physical evidence, witness accounts, confessions, drug and alcohol tests, and so on are all examples of this. The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution (applied to states by the 14th Amendment) prevents the authorities from gathering evidence through excessive searches and seizures. If they do, a defense attorney will request that the evidence be suppressed so that it cannot be utilized at trial.

Many more protections are provided by the Constitution in the sphere of criminal defense law. According to the Fifth Amendment’s “double jeopardy” provision, someone who has been tried and acquitted of a crime cannot be charged with that crime again. Criminal defendants have the right to a public trial and, in many situations, the right to have their guilt or innocence decided by a jury under the Sixth Amendment. It also gives you the right to confront opposing witnesses and use the court’s subpoena power to compel favorable witnesses to appear.

What is the Role of a Criminal Defense Lawyer?

Criminal defense lawyers (both private and court-appointed) conduct research, investigate the case against their clients, and attempt to reach agreements with their opponents (prosecutors). Bail may be decreased, charges may be reduced, and sentences may be reduced as part of these agreements. Deal-making has grown in prominence and has become a crucial part in unclogging the criminal justice system as a result of a number of circumstances, including political and public pressure, overcrowded jails, and congested court calendars.

Criminal defense lawyers also interrogate witnesses, assist in the formulation of a plea, analyze the prosecutor’s case, evaluate potential penalties (and the possibility of a specific judge imposing such a penalty), review search and seizure procedures, ask witnesses, and gather evidence. A lawyer for the defense can also advise on the immigration implications of a plea, conviction, or criminal record.

Defense attorneys also give more personalized services by providing a realistic assessment of the likely results and assisting the defendant in dealing with the frustrations and fears that come with being thrown into the criminal court system. Of course, if a plea deal cannot be reached, the defendant is represented at trial by the defense lawyer.

Legal Representation Costs

When it comes to legal representation, the defendant’s financial situation and ability to afford private counsel are critical considerations.

Private criminal defense attorneys bill by the hour (expect to pay $150 or more per hour) or by a fixed or set price. They are not allowed to charge contingency fees, which are payments that are contingent on the case’s outcome. The court may appoint a government-paid public defender or panel attorney if the defendant is poor (unable to pay private counsel).

Some people—but not many—have enough money to hire a lawyer without it being a financial burden. Getting legal representation, on the other hand, is sometimes more difficult for those who fall somewhere in between these two groups.

The bottom line for courts is that once a destitute defendant faces a jail or prison term, the entitlement to free (government-paid) defense counsel generally kicks in. If incarceration is not a possibility—for example, if a judge announces on the record that she will not sentence the defendant to prison—then the defendant may not be entitled to free legal representation (depending on state law).

It’s important to note that the right to free legal representation does not imply the freedom to choose your own lawyer. A defendant who has been appointed counsel usually does not have the same freedom as a paying defendant.

Is Hiring a Private Lawyer Better Than Hiring a Court-Appointed Lawyer?

Defendants may assume that private counsel have an edge over the overburdened public defender’s office or panel attorneys who are paid a low fee. Do private attorneys, on the other hand, provide greater representation than court-appointed, taxpayer-funded defense counsel?

Many private lawyers have previously worked as prosecutors or public defenders. According to research comparing the outcomes of having a private attorney with a court-appointed attorney, the consequences for defendants are generally the same. According to one study, defendants represented by private lawyers and those represented by public defenders had identical conviction and sentencing rates (although those represented by panel attorneys fared worse). Because of confounding issues, such statistical evidence is not always reliable or obvious. Clients represented by private counsel, for example, are more likely to have little or no prior criminal records, but indigent defendants are twice as likely to be repeat offenders. What’s also unknown—and one of the criminal justice system’s biggest unknowns—is whether private attorneys can negotiate better plea offers than court-appointed counsel.

Ultimately, the expertise, talents, and devotion of the individual attorney on hand—whether a public defender, panel attorney, or private lawyer—are the best indicators of the quality of the counsel.

Representation of Oneself (Pro se)

It is undeniable that having a lawyer represent you is virtually always the best option. Despite this, some criminal defendants choose to represent themselves in court. The judge, not the defendant, makes the final judgment on whether or not a defendant can self-represent. The defendant’s competency must be determined by the judge. This is because, even if the defendant is insistent about not accepting the services of a court-appointed attorney, a defendant who cannot provide a competent defense will not be given a fair trial. A judge will examine the following elements while deciding whether a defendant can go pro se:

The gravity of the offence, the defendant’s language abilities and education, whether the defendant understands the nature of the proceedings, and whether the defendant is knowingly waiving his right to counsel are all factors to consider.

Locating a Lawyer

Look for a private defense lawyer that specializes in criminal defense and practices in the jurisdiction (city or county) where the accusations are pending. A local lawyer will be conversant with the local judges and prosecutors. Learn more about things to look for in a private criminal defense attorney in this post.

If you don’t have enough money to hire an attorney, you’ll need to ask for court-appointed counsel (either before or during one of your initial court appearances) and complete out our financial resources form.

Need A Criminal Defense Lawyer In Scottsdale or Phoenix?

Canterbury Law Group’s criminal defense lawyers in Phoenix and Scottsdale will defend your case with personal attention and always have you and your best interests in mind when offering legal solutions. Call today for an initial consultation! We handle criminal defense cases in all areas of Phoenix including Mesa, Tempe, Chandler, Maryville, Apache Junction, and more.

We are experienced criminal defense attorneys and will fight for you to obtain the best possible outcome. Our firm will rigorously represent you, so you can get on with your life. Call today for an initial consultation! 480-744-7711 or [email protected]

*This information is not intended to be legal advice. Please contact Canterbury Law Group today to learn more about your personal legal needs.

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Written by Canterbury Law Group

What Happens if You Get Caught with Coke?

What Happens If You Get Caught with Cocaine

In the United States, it is unlawful to possess cocaine for recreational purposes in any form. Arrest, driver’s license suspension, court fines, obligatory rehabilitation programs, and jail are among the legal and financial consequences of possession.

Cocaine is classed as a category II drug by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Cocaine is a stimulant drug that produces euphoria and is highly addictive. The criminal penalties for possessing and distributing schedule II restricted substances vary by state and are mostly determined by the amount of the substance in a person’s possession at the time of arrest.

State-level criminal sanctions for cocaine differ depending on the amount in a person’s possession, how the substance was obtained, and the demonstrated intent of possession. Misdemeanor charges for little amounts and significant criminal charges for large amounts, intent to distribute, and trafficking are among the penalties. Probation, court penalties, and brief terms of jail are common punishments for misdemeanor offenses. Depending on the seriousness of the offense, felony convictions can result in up to 20 years in jail.

Specific cocaine offenses, such as trafficking, are punished as federal felony offenses under the Federal Controlled Substances Act. These infractions can result in fines ranging from $1 million to $50 million, as well as jail sentences ranging from 20 years to life. Individuals who have been convicted of at least one prior trafficking offense face extra penalties ranging from $2 million to $75 million, as well as concurrent life sentences.

Possession of Cocaine Is Legal

Cocaine has a few medical applications as a Schedule II banned substance. Cocaine’s limited medicinal applications, however, do not include its usage as a prescription medicine. As a result, possessing cocaine for non-medical purposes is prohibited. Furthermore, every state in the United States considers the distribution, manufacturing, trafficking, or any other interaction with cocaine to be a criminal felony.

If you’re caught with cocaine in your possession, you could be charged with a state misdemeanor, felony, or federal felony, all of which carry substantial legal and financial consequences.

Cocaine Quantity Possessed

The amount of cocaine in a person’s possession impacts the categorization and severity of the charges that will be brought against him or her if they are detected. While state-level cocaine possession penalties are based on the amount of cocaine in possession, federal offenses are based on the nature of the criminal act and the individual’s criminal history. Each state has its own set of rules for the use, possession, and punishment of restricted substances. If you have any questions about specific state laws, you should see an attorney.

Prior Criminal Records

The severity of the legal and financial penalties that an individual faces is heavily influenced by their criminal history, as well as the amount of cocaine and intent of possession. For persons with a history of drug-related offenses, the penalties for each charge of possession are harsher than for first-time offenders. Individuals with a history of non-drug-related offenses are likewise susceptible to harsher punishments in possession instances. At the federal level, a person’s criminal past has a compounding effect in cocaine possession prosecutions. A first conviction for any amount of cocaine possession brings a $1,000 minimum fine and up to a year in prison, while a second conviction carries a $2,500 minimum fine and two years in prison.

Court-ordered Rehabilitation

Cocaine-related offenses carry harsh punishments under the law. Individuals can have their charges and punishments reduced or eliminated as part of pretrial intervention programs if they volunteer to participate in and complete court-ordered rehabilitation programs. Drug treatment courts, according to the National Association of Drug Court Professionals, are the “…single most successful intervention in our nation’s history for leading people living with substance use and mental health disorders out of the justice system and into lives of recovery and stability.”

Getting Caught With Cocaine In Your System

There are a number of charges associated to the illicit use of cocaine, in addition to the statutory prohibitions on possession, trafficking, and distribution of cocaine. Furthermore, if random drug testing programs identify cocaine usage among people on probation, in pretrial diversion, or in other drug-related situations, they are likely to face far harsher punishments than for the original offense. Cocaine can be detected in people using urine, blood, and hair follicle testing, despite its short half-life of about an hour. Cocaine remains detectable in urine for two to four days after usage, in blood for up to ten days, and in hair follicle tests for up to 90 days.

Need A Criminal Defense Lawyer In Scottsdale or Phoenix?

Canterbury Law Group’s criminal defense lawyers in Phoenix and Scottsdale will defend your case with personal attention and always have you and your best interests in mind when offering legal solutions. Call today for an initial consultation! We handle criminal defense cases in all areas of Phoenix including Mesa, Tempe, Chandler, Maryville, Apache Junction, and more.

We are experienced criminal defense attorneys and will fight for you to obtain the best possible outcome. Our firm will rigorously represent you, so you can get on with your life. Call today for an initial consultation! 480-744-7711 or [email protected]

*This information is not intended to be legal advice. Please contact Canterbury Law Group today to learn more about your personal legal needs.

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Written by Canterbury Law Group

Never Take a Plea Bargain

Never Take a Plea Bargain

Facing criminal charges is stressful. You want to tell your side of the story, but the District Attorney offers you to enter a guilty plea as charged. You want to get this case over with as soon as possible. You should not accept a plea deal without the advice of an attorney.

Resist Making a Snap Decision

At Arraignment, the District Attorney or prosecutor may offer a plea deal. If you make a snap decision and agree now, you might regret it later. Many criminal convictions have collateral consequences with a long-term negative impact. 

First Plea Deal is Seldom the Best

A criminal defense attorney can get a better offer later in the case. As the case proceeds, the State will take a closer look at the evidence. The closer the case gets to a trial, the more likely the State will consider further options when proving the case beyond a reasonable doubt in front of a jury.

Understand Collateral Consequences

When the District Attorney offers a plea deal, it might include a fine or jail time.. The plea deal does not address the collateral consequences. A criminal defense attorney will go over the pros and cons of any plea deal with you so that you can fully understand the ramifications of your decision..

You Have the Right to a Trial

It’s vital to comprehend when facing a criminal charge that you have the constitutional right to a trial. At trial, the State must prove to a finder of fact that you committed the crime as charged beyond a reasonable doubt.

Need A Criminal Defense Lawyer In Scottsdale or Phoenix?

Canterbury Law Group’s criminal defense lawyers in Phoenix and Scottsdale will defend your case with personal attention and always have you and your best interests in mind when offering legal solutions. Call today for an initial consultation! We handle criminal defense cases in all areas of Phoenix including Mesa, Tempe, Chandler, Maryville, Apache Junction, and more.

We are experienced criminal defense attorneys and will fight for you to obtain the best possible outcome. Our firm will rigorously represent you, so you can get on with your life. Call today for an initial consultation! 480-744-7711 or [email protected]

*This information is not intended to be legal advice. Please contact Canterbury Law Group today to learn more about your personal legal needs.

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What Happens When You Plead Guilty To a Felony?

What Happens When You Plead Guilty To a Felony?

Following a negotiated plea of guilt, a court hearing will be arranged so the judge can be informed. Regardless of whether the judge accepts or wants satisfactory changes, the judge will hear the plea of no contest or guilty and sentencing will proceed often at the next scheduled hearing. Read on to learn more.

Judges Review

Many judges will accept plea bargains if they consider the sentence to be fair but may also consider if the defendant is a repeat offender and if there is community outrage regarding the crime.

The Judge will ensure the defendant is aware of the rights they are conceding, and they comprehend the offense for which they are being punished. This includes admitting and understanding the charges, understanding what the plea fully involves and knowing that by pleading they forsake the right to counsel if they are represented, a right to a trial by jury, the right not to self-incriminate and not to cross examine.

Judges Questions

Normally the judge has a comprehensive list of questions to ascertain if the plea is knowing and intelligent. Usually, defendants follow counsel from their attorney and answer in the affirmative to the questions, so as not to harm the plea-bargaining process.

Not Knowing And Intelligent Pleas

When a defendant enters a plea and does not appear or lacks counsel when reviewed having made a knowing and intelligent plea, there may be grounds for the striking of the conviction from the record of the defendant. This may be vital as offenders tend to be sentenced more harshly with each offense.

Need A Criminal Defense Lawyer In Scottsdale or Phoenix?

Canterbury Law Group’s criminal defense lawyers in Phoenix and Scottsdale will defend your case with personal attention and always have you and your best interests in mind when offering legal solutions. Call today for an initial consultation! We handle criminal defense cases in all areas of Phoenix including Mesa, Tempe, Chandler, Maryville, Apache Junction, and more.

We are experienced criminal defense attorneys and will fight for you to obtain the best possible outcome. Our firm will rigorously represent you, so you can get on with your life. Call today for an initial consultation! 480-744-7711 or [email protected]

*This information is not intended to be legal advice. Please contact Canterbury Law Group today to learn more about your personal legal needs.

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Written by Canterbury Law Group

Plead Guilty or Go to Trial?

Plea Bargains

When a criminal defendant makes the decision whether to plead guilty or go to trial, he or she often has much more to consider than whether he or she is actually innocent. Read on and learn more.

Pros of Pleading Guilty

  • Resolving the case more quickly than if he or she waited a year or more for a criminal trial.
  • Another advantage of pleading guilty is the expense for a lawyer is generally less when the lawyer does not have to go to trial. 
  • When a criminal defendant pleads guilty when represented by legal counsel, he or she usually does so through the process of plea bargaining. 

Cons of Pleading Guilty

  • Innocent people may be subjected to criminal punishments, such as having to go to jail and pay fines for crimes that they did not commit.
  • In some jurisdictions, there is a statutory minimum sentence that the prosecutor cannot get around. 
  • If the Judge does not like the sentence that was suggested by the prosecutor and the criminal defense lawyer, they can generally reject it and impose a longer sentence.

Pros of Going to Trial

  • Going to trial buys the criminal defendant more time to prepare his or her defense and spend time with family before potentially going to jail.
  • Going to trial and receiving an acquittal is the only way for an innocent person to have justice. 
  • Another benefit of going to trial is that the criminal defendant receives all of the benefits of the United States Constitution. 
  • Police misconduct or a failure to follow rules can get evidence suppressed so that it is not used against the criminal defendant at the trial.

Cons of Going to Trial

  • Juries are often difficult to predict. 
  • A defendant also faces the maximum penalty for a crime.

Need A Criminal Defense Lawyer In Scottsdale or Phoenix?

Canterbury Law Group’s criminal defense lawyers in Phoenix and Scottsdale will defend your case with personal attention and always have you and your best interests in mind when offering legal solutions. Call today for an initial consultation! We handle criminal defense cases in all areas of Phoenix including Mesa, Tempe, Chandler, Maryville, Apache Junction, and more.

We are experienced criminal defense attorneys and will fight for you to obtain the best possible outcome. Our firm will rigorously represent you, so you can get on with your life. Call today for an initial consultation! 480-744-7711 or [email protected]

*This information is not intended to be legal advice. Please contact Canterbury Law Group today to learn more about your personal legal needs.

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Forced to Plead Guilty When Innocent

Plea Bargains

Can you make a plea deal even though you cannot state truthfully that you committed the crime? Fortunately, there are alternative plea arrangements available that will allow you to take advantage of a plea agreement without lying to the court.

No Contest (Nolo Contendere)

One option available to a defendant who cannot admit guilt is to negotiate an agreement that allows the defendant to plead “no contest” instead of “guilty.” If you plead “no contest,” you do not admit guilt or claim you are innocent. You simply acknowledge that the prosecution has enough evidence to prove you committed a crime and you agree not to contest the charges. You’re not simply entitled to enter such a plea, however. The prosecution must agree to a “no contest” plea, the judge must allow it.

Alford Plea

Another option available to a defendant who cannot admit guilt is an Alford plea. When a defendant enters an Alford Plea, he pleads guilty but asserts his innocence while acknowledging that the prosecution likely can prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. An Alford plea is not as common as a “no contest” plea but it is still available to defendants and used in a small percentage of criminal cases. Like a “no contest” plea, an Alford plea is only permissible if the prosecutor agrees and the judge allows it. 

Negotiating an Alford or “No Contest” Plea

Because the prosecutor must agree to an Alford or “no contest” plea before you can use it, the defense must negotiate this issue in advance. The defense first must make sure that the prosecutor will agree to the alternative plea. In felony cases, the parties often sign a written plea agreement before going to court. The fact that the defendant will be pleading “no contest” or entering an Alford plea should be included in the written agreement.

Source: https://www.criminaldefenselawyer.com/resources/can-i-plead-guilty-a-crime-i-didnt-commit.htm

Need A Criminal Defense Lawyer In Scottsdale or Phoenix?

Canterbury Law Group’s criminal defense lawyers in Phoenix and Scottsdale will defend your case with personal attention and always have you and your best interests in mind when offering legal solutions. Call today for an initial consultation! We handle criminal defense cases in all areas of Phoenix including Mesa, Tempe, Chandler, Maryville, Apache Junction, and more.

We are experienced criminal defense attorneys and will fight for you to obtain the best possible outcome. Our firm will rigorously represent you, so you can get on with your life. Call today for an initial consultation! 480-744-7711 or [email protected]

*This information is not intended to be legal advice. Please contact Canterbury Law Group today to learn more about your personal legal needs.

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What Happens When You Accept a Plea Bargain?

Plea Bargains

A plea deal is a negotiated agreement in a criminal case. The defendant and prosecution agree to settle the charges without a trial. There can be many benefits of taking the deal, but pleading guilty means giving up your rights in court. Read on to learn more.

Some of the benefits of plea deals for defendants include:

  • Reduced criminal charges
  • Predictable outcomes
  • Reduced sentencing
  • Probation or deferred prosecution
  • Faster resolution

In a plea bargain hearing, the judge will explain the charges to you and make sure you understand what will happen when you plead guilty or no contest. If the judge accepts the plea bargain, the judge will instruct you to admit guilt under oath. When this occurs, you are waiving your rights, including:

  • The right to a jury trial
  • The right to the assistance of counsel
  • The right to a speedy trial
  • The right to confront witnesses
  • The right to remain silent and avoid self-incrimination

Other consequences of accepting a plea deal may include: 

  • Immigration consequences, such as deportation
  • Registering as a sex-offender
  • Civil confinement, such as being confined to a psychiatric hospital
  • The loss or suspension of a professional license
  • Gun ownership restrictions
  • Loss of benefits

Although once you agree to a plea deal you cannot usually retract your agreement if you meet the following: 

  • Ineffective assistance of counsel
  • Coercion to accept the agreement
  • Ignorance of the consequences

Need A Criminal Defense Lawyer In Scottsdale or Phoenix?

Canterbury Law Group’s criminal defense lawyers in Phoenix and Scottsdale will defend your case with personal attention and always have you and your best interests in mind when offering legal solutions. Call today for an initial consultation! We handle criminal defense cases in all areas of Phoenix including Mesa, Tempe, Chandler, Maryville, Apache Junction, and more.

We are experienced criminal defense attorneys and will fight for you to obtain the best possible outcome. Our firm will rigorously represent you, so you can get on with your life. Call today for an initial consultation! 480-744-7711 or [email protected]

*This information is not intended to be legal advice. Please contact Canterbury Law Group today to learn more about your personal legal needs.

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Written by Canterbury Law Group

Plea Bargains

Plea Bargains

Plea bargains, also called negotiated pleas or just “deals,” are the way most criminal cases end up. Read on to learn more.

For these reasons and others, and despite its many critics, plea bargaining is very common. More than 90% of convictions come from negotiated pleas, which means less than 10% of criminal cases end up in trials. And though some commentators still view plea bargains as secret, sneaky arrangements that are antithetical to the people’s will, the federal government and many states have written rules that explicitly set out how plea bargains may be arranged and accepted by the court.

Charge Bargaining and Sentence Bargaining

Lawyers and judges often divide plea bargaining into two types: sentence bargaining and charge bargaining. (Plea bargaining can, however, be broken into additional categories.)

Sentence bargaining is a method of plea bargaining in which the prosecutor agrees to recommend a lighter sentence for specific charges if the defendant pleads guilty or no contest to them. Charge bargaining is a method where prosecutors agree to drop some charges or reduce a charge to a less serious offense in exchange for a plea by the defendant.

When Are Plea Bargains Negotiated and Made?

In most jurisdictions and courthouses, plea bargaining can take place at virtually any stage in the criminal justice process. Plea deals can be struck shortly after a defendant is arrested and before the prosecutor files criminal charges. Plea negotiations may culminate in a deal as a jury returns to a courtroom to announce its verdict. If a trial results in a hung jury, in which the jurors are split and cannot make the unanimous decision required, the prosecution and defense can (and frequently do) negotiate a plea rather than go through another trial. And plea deals are sometimes reached after a defendant is convicted while a case is on appeal.

Pleading “No Contest” (Nolo Contendere) In Place of a Guilty Plea

A “no contest” or nolo contendere plea, in essence, says to the court, “I don’t choose to contest the charges against me.” This type of plea, often part of a plea bargain, results in a criminal conviction just like a guilty plea. And a no-contest plea will show up on a criminal record. 

The Consequences for Your Criminal Record

A guilty or no-contest plea entered as a judge-approved plea bargain results in a criminal conviction; the defendant’s guilt is established just as it would be after a trial. The conviction will show up on the defendant’s criminal record (rap sheet). And, the defendant loses any rights or privileges, such as the right to vote, that the defendant would lose if convicted after trial. Depending on the nature of the conviction and the defendant’s other interactions with the law, however, the defendant might be able to seal, or expunge, the criminal record.

Need A Criminal Defense Lawyer In Scottsdale or Phoenix?

Canterbury Law Group’s criminal defense lawyers in Phoenix and Scottsdale will defend your case with personal attention and always have you and your best interests in mind when offering legal solutions. Call today for an initial consultation! We handle criminal defense cases in all areas of Phoenix including Mesa, Tempe, Chandler, Maryville, Apache Junction, and more.

We are experienced criminal defense attorneys and will fight for you to obtain the best possible outcome. Our firm will rigorously represent you, so you can get on with your life. Call today for an initial consultation! 480-744-7711 or [email protected]

*This information is not intended to be legal advice. Please contact Canterbury Law Group today to learn more about your personal legal needs.

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How To Get A Better Plea Bargain

How To Get A Better Plea Bargain

When faced with the prospect of a long jail term, a plea bargain may be an option to reduce possible jail time, but you need to make sure you are getting the best possible outcome. Here are some questions to ask yourself in that situation. Read on to learn more!

Have I Talked To My Attorney?

This is the first step. An attorney has experience in plea bargaining and can ensure you get a good offer. You may feel you (or your friends or family) have sufficient legal knowledge. That said, an attorney will look at the evidence and decide if there are aspects of the charges that may be disputable. The lawyer may be able to tell if the prosecuting lawyer does not have a strong case and may be positioned to exploit that to your advantage. An attorney will fight for your rights in the face of adversity. The extra paperwork this creates for the prosecuting attorney may also make them more amenable to strike a favorable plea deal.

Is The Plea Offer Really Any Sort Of Bargain?

Remember that prosecutors have many cases and want to resolve them as soon as possible. They will want the plea deal negotiation to be as simple as possible – often to avoid the need of the trial. So, the prosecution may pitch a plea deal that is somewhat favorable to you to avoid a trial. However, your attorney will be able to see the strength of their case and going back and forth may be able to get you an even more favorable outcome.

Is This Offer Really In My Best Interest?

The prosecuting attorney may try to play the nice guy and make his plea deal seem attractive. But ask yourself, “Why?” He is not your friend or advocate and the case he has against you may be weak. That is why your attorney should be involved in the negotiations of a plea deal and can ensure the final arrangement is in your best interest. You may also be able to obtain an adjudication whereby you are not actually convicted but still must serve some form of probation or a lighter sentence than you otherwise would have.

When you accept a plea bargain you lose the right to appeal many of the facts and issues involved in your case – if you happen to be sentenced in a manner that is unfair, there may be no legal recourse. Judges normally accept the recommendation of a prosecutor. A plea deal means the jury may not have the opportunity to hear your side or hear evidence that may favor you. Prosecuting lawyers do not like to go to trial unless they must, so as the court date nears, the plea deal arrangements may become more generous.

Source

https://www.hg.org/legal-articles/when-should-you-accept-a-plea-bargain-in-your-criminal-case-30893

Need A Criminal Defense Lawyer In Scottsdale or Phoenix?

Canterbury Law Group’s criminal defense lawyers in Phoenix and Scottsdale will defend your case with personal attention and always have you and your best interests in mind when offering legal solutions. Call today for an initial consultation! We handle criminal defense cases in all areas of Phoenix including Mesa, Tempe, Chandler, Maryville, Apache Junction, and more.

We are experienced criminal defense attorneys and will fight for you to obtain the best possible outcome. Our firm will rigorously represent you, so you can get on with your life. Call today for an initial consultation! 480-744-7711 or [email protected]

*This information is not intended to be legal advice. Please contact Canterbury Law Group today to learn more about your personal legal needs.

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Written by Canterbury Law Group

How To Find A Criminal Lawyer

Do I Have to Talk to the Police

A good start is to go online and search for lawyers who practice criminal law located close to you.

  1. If you need financial help to hire an attorney, it is a good idea to contact a pro bono service or a lawyer who works with legal aid from your online search. Although you need to register (it is free) Legal Match is also a good website for finding reputable criminal lawyers.Remember, the state must provide and pay for an attorney on your behalf when you cannot afford to pay for an attorney. Usually, an attorney from the local Public Defender’s Office will be appointed to represent you in court.

    Considerations When Hiring A Criminal Lawyer

    • How much you can afford
    • The type of criminal lawyer you need to use
    • The location of the lawyer
    • Your comfort level of working with the lawyer
    • The career experience of the lawyer
    • The educational background of the lawyer

    When Should I Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney?

    When facing charges for committing a crime, you should contact a lawyer without delay. An experienced criminal lawyer can let you know defenses available and work on a legal strategy to assure the best possible outcome to your case. They will also inform you of your legal rights and ensure you are fully protected. They can also help you negotiate a plea bargain as well as answer questions and offer legal advice through the entire legal process. 

Need A Criminal Defense Lawyer In Scottsdale or Phoenix?

Canterbury Law Group’s criminal defense lawyers in Phoenix and Scottsdale will defend your case with personal attention and always have you and your best interests in mind when offering legal solutions. Call today for an initial consultation! We handle criminal defense cases in all areas of Phoenix including Mesa, Tempe, Chandler, Maryville, Apache Junction, and more.

We are experienced criminal defense attorneys and will fight for you to obtain the best possible outcome. Our firm will rigorously represent you, so you can get on with your life. Call today for an initial consultation! 480-744-7711 or [email protected]

*This information is not intended to be legal advice. Please contact Canterbury Law Group today to learn more about your personal legal needs.

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