What Is A Criminal Defense Attorney And When Do You Need One In San Jose, CA?
April 5, 2023 | Ahmed & Sukaram, Attorneys at Law
A criminal defense attorney is a lawyer who defends someone charged with a crime. The Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees the right to an attorney in criminal trials. If you cannot afford to hire a lawyer in San Jose, CA, the court will appoint a defense attorney.
While some people may choose to represent themselves in criminal court, this is not a good idea. It’s best to consult with an experienced legal professional who can help keep you out of jail or mitigate the consequences of a conviction.
What Does A San Jose Criminal Defense Attorney Do?
A criminal defense lawyer in San Jose, CA represents their clients in criminal court and prepares their defense. This may sound simple, but criminal defense attorneys have many different responsibilities.
Most criminal defense attorneys in the San Jose area will:
- Advise clients of their rights, the charges, and the potential penalties
- Investigate the case, and locate witnesses and helpful evidence
- Review discovery
- Conduct preliminary hearings
- File and argue motions on behalf of their clients. This includes bond motions, motions to suppress, motions to exclude evidence, and motions to dismiss
- Negotiate plea deals with the prosecutor, if applicable
- Represent clients during a jury trial by questioning witnesses, entering evidence, and arguing for acquittal to the jury
- If convicted, argue for alternatives to incarceration or a lesser sentence
- Appeal criminal convictions to the California Court of Appeals
Depending on your charges and the outcome of your case, a criminal defense attorney may represent you for weeks, months, or even years.
When Should You Hire A Criminal Defense Attorney?
Anyone facing criminal charges in San Jose needs a criminal defense attorney, even if they are innocent. You should consider hiring a lawyer as soon as possible after your arrest. Criminal charges can have serious consequences, including prison time, probation, and monetary penalties.
Furthermore, a criminal conviction can impact your life long after serving your sentence. A felony (and certain misdemeanors) may inhibit your ability to get a job, find housing, secure loans, vote, and own a firearm. A criminal defense attorney can help you avoid and mitigate the long-lasting consequences of a conviction.
Qualities Of A Good Criminal Defense Lawyer
There are many indicators of a good criminal defense lawyer that you should look out for when talking with prospective attorneys.
Legal Knowledge And Experience
A good criminal defense lawyer will have a strong knowledge of the law and experience handling cases similar to yours. Sometimes the best defenses are built on legal loopholes and technicalities. You want a lawyer that can identify those defenses and argue them on your behalf.
An experienced lawyer will be more likely to know what does and does not work in the courtroom. They may know the prosecutors, judges, and police in your jurisdiction. You do not want to risk hiring a lawyer fresh out of law school to handle your case when jail time is on the line.
Strong Communication Skills
The best lawyers are strong communicators. This means that they can effectively communicate with their clients, the prosecutors, and the judges. Not only can they explain complicated legal concepts, but they are also empathetic and passionate about your case.
Attention To Detail
Criminal defense lawyers must be detail oriented to win. Their job is to keep track of deadlines, stay organized, and poke holes in the prosecutor’s theory of the case. If your lawyer seems disorganized or like they are forgetting details, it might be a sign that they aren’t the best fit.
Lawyers must be persuasive in criminal court. Defense attorneys need to persuade judges, prosecutors, and juries. If they can’t, then they won’t be effective at defending you.
The best criminal defense lawyers are comfortable speaking in public. If they aren’t, this is a huge red flag. You need a lawyer that is willing to stand up for you in court. This means arguing on your behalf to judges, juries, and in full courtrooms. If your lawyer is scared to speak in public, they will be less likely to do what is necessary to get you acquitted.
Contact an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer for Help With Your Case
If you’ve been charged with a crime in San Jose, you should contact a criminal defense lawyer right away. They can protect your rights and ensure the prosecution treats you fairly. Contact Ahmed & Sukaram, Attorneys at Law to schedule a free consultation.
Ahmed & Sukaram, Attorneys at Law – San Jose Office
1625 The Alameda, Suite 405, San Jose, CA 95126
Ahmed & Sukaram, Attorneys at Law – Redwood City Office
600 Allerton St Suite 201G, Redwood City, CA 94063