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Having the law in your favor is great. But having a criminal defense attorney in your corner when you need one is even better. If you’re facing criminal charges or think you might be, it’s essential to have an attorney on your side from the get-go. Even if you’re innocent and confident that you won’t be charged with anything, having legal representation ready to go can help ease your anxiety and avoid negative consequences. And even if the worst does happen and you are charged with a crime, a good defense lawyer can make all the difference in how things turn out. A knowledgeable attorney will know how to best protect your rights and get the best possible outcome under the circumstances. Here are five signs that it’s time to reach out to a criminal defense attorney in Orange Beach, Alabama.
You’re Charged With a Crime
If you’ve been charged with a crime, you’re definitely in need of a criminal defense attorney. You might be charged with any number of offenses, from minor traffic violations to serious felonies. Most crimes fall into one of five categories:
- Assault and battery (intentional or reckless injury or threat to another person)
- Destruction of property
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Theft or robbery (illegal use of another person’s property)
- Murder or manslaughter (killing another person)
If you’re charged with a crime, it’s extremely important to speak to an attorney as soon as possible. At the first appearance hearing, the judge will set a bail amount that you have to pay to stay out of jail while your case is pending. The amount is determined by the judge based on the nature of the crime and your criminal record. Fortunately, having an attorney by your side during this process can help you get a lower bail amount—or avoid having to post any bail at all.
The Police Are Watching You
If the police are watching you, it’s usually for a reason. You may know you’re innocent, but the police may be building a case against you. If you’re being watched, you should trust your gut and hire a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. If you’re under surveillance, there’s a good chance the police will try to get you to incriminate yourself. They may attempt to ask you questions related to the investigation or offer you a deal in exchange for your cooperation. Even if you’re innocent, you don’t want to risk saying something that could be damaging or even mistaken for an admission of guilt. An experienced defense attorney will know how to respond to questioning and deal-making so you don’t say something that gets you in more trouble.
Your Job Is at Risk
Having a criminal record can be a death sentence for your career. If your job is in jeopardy, you need an attorney. If you’re a full-time employee, your company may fire you as soon as you’re charged with a crime. Part-time employees or contractors may be let go immediately. If you’re a contractor or other self-employed worker, you may lose your clients and find it impossible to generate new business. Your attorney can try to negotiate a deal with the prosecution so they’ll request that the judge seal your record and keep it off your work record.
You Feel Like You Have No Options
If you feel like you have no options, you may be in denial. It’s understandable to try to protect your ego, but you need to get real. If you’re facing serious charges, your attorney can request a reduced sentence at the beginning of the trial. If you’ve already been convicted, you can request a motion for a reduction of sentence. An attorney can also try to negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecution, where you plead guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for a lighter sentence.
The Charges Are Very Serious
If you’re facing a very serious charge, you may be in denial about the potential consequences. You may be thinking that you’re innocent and nothing bad will happen as a result of your actions. It’s important to be realistic about your situation and remember that the prosecution doesn’t have to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. All they have to do is prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. If you’re charged with a serious crime, you have to consider all your options and protect yourself. A good defense attorney can help you do both.
If you’re charged with a crime, it’s best to seek legal representation as soon as possible. A good attorney can help you keep your record clean, minimize any consequences, and even get the charges dropped entirely. You deserve the best possible outcome, and having an experienced attorney in your corner is the way to get there.