Role of Criminal Defense Lawyer In the Pre-Trial Phase - Ashe Law Offices

While courtroom dramas love to focus on the exciting antics of the courtroom, most of the work that goes into resolving a case actually happens before you even get to trial. A strong defense attorney can even resolve a case or get it entirely tossed out before anyone sets foot in a Maine courtroom. This article explores the impacts the early involvement of an experienced defense attorney can have on the outcome of your criminal case, including:

  • Two key reasons to get a criminal defense attorney involved early in your Maine criminal case.
  • Three pretrial techniques your lawyer may use to resolve your criminal case before charges are even filed.
  • Why you need skilled representation even if you plan to plead guilty (and why you might want to reconsider that plea).

Why Is it Important To Have A Criminal Defense Attorney Involved Early On In A Case?

Every criminal case is different, but there are some factors that can make a difference in each and every one. Having an experienced lawyer involved as early as possible is certainly one of them.

In some cases, an attorney will be able to get the case resolved before any charge is even filed against you, but only if you contact them immediately. This is especially true for a lawyer with extensive local experience. How is this possible? A local criminal defense attorney may notice an irregularity in a case and can contact the prosecutor directly to convince them not to move forward with the case. This could mean no criminal charges even get filed against you, which can be helpful for many job opportunities.

Furthermore, having an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side will often offer peace of mind during what is otherwise an extremely difficult time. Being charged with a crime is overwhelming and stressful. Knowing that you have a defense attorney on your side could be the difference that lets you sleep at night instead of lying awake, fretting, terrified of the directions your life might take.

Finally, a skilled criminal defense attorney will know how to put the time they gained by hiring them early on to great use. They can make evidentiary requests and preservation requests early on in the process. Then, if the evidence is not accurately preserved and records are not maintained, your attorney can make arguments that your rights were violated in the requests to preserve evidence.

But these strategies and others can only be implemented if the attorney is on board early enough in the process.

Is There Anything That Can Be Done To Help Resolve My Case At The Pretrial Stage?

Another way the rapid intervention of a lawyer can be impactful in your case is by making sure you do not do anything that would disadvantage or undermine your defense. When a client calls an attorney after two or even three interviews with law enforcement before or after being charged, there is often a lot less an attorney can do to help them.

This is a tragically common mistake and often happens when people do not understand their Miranda rights or the goals of the police. You might think that if you did not do anything wrong, you can talk to the police. Unfortunately, the police may think you did do something and will use any tiny discrepancy in what you say against you.

Law enforcement will attempt to paint you as a liar, and you may not necessarily know what information they are operating with or what assumptions they are making. It is never safe to assume you know what you can tell the police. Some of the things you say may be the “evidence” that gets you charged, and an attorney can prevent that.

As a result, having an attorney involved early is essential, especially if you are thinking of pleading guilty.

Can I Represent Myself If I Plan To Just Plead Guilty?

Can you represent yourself? Possibly. Should you do so? Almost certainly not. You want a qualified attorney to look at your case objectively from all possible perspectives, not just your own.

The legal process often begins with a charge but ends in any number of different possible ways. A lawyer's job is to influence that legal process to the greatest extent possible from beginning to end to secure the best result for you.

Whether you are guilty or not is a legal conclusion, not a moral or ethical one – and it is a conclusion you are not qualified to make. Even if you feel like you did whatever is being described, that does not necessarily mean that you should go to court, plead guilty, and face the consequences, whatever those may be.

The other problem with self-representation is that the consequences cannot be undone. If you have agreed to something you end up regretting later, it is most likely too late to fix it, especially when you have already pled guilty.

Should I Go Ahead And Plead Guilty If I Know I Won't Win My Case?

Very, very few people are in a position to accurately assess whether or not you can win your case. You are not an attorney; you have hopefully never been through the court process before and you are unlikely to know what winning that specific case could even look like.

There are plenty of cases in Maine every year where the objective facts do not look good for a defendant, but they end up winning them anyway with the help of a strong attorney. After all, you do not always win cases based on what may or may not have happened – even when the state has overwhelming evidence, your lawyer can work to show the prosecutor that the facts are not exactly what they think they are.

At the end of the day, the average person simply isn’t qualified to know if they can or cannot win their case, what winning would even look like, and the consequences of pleading guilty. Therefore, you should always reach out to a defense attorney, have a consultation, and only consider your options once you fully understand them. For more information on Hiring A Criminal Defense Attorney In Maine, an initial consultation is your next best step.

William Ashe, Esq Attorney - Criminal Defense Lawyer in Ellsworth Maine - Ashe Law Offices
Call Now To Speak With Attorney Ashe: (207) 813-2935

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