A Criminal Attorney In Fredericksburg performs many roles throughout the representation of someone accused of criminal conduct. When they are made aware that a client is subject to possible future arrest, either because a long term white collar investigation becomes known or the client is a suspect in a violent crime, they seek to prevent charges from being brought. In a white collar investigation, they will help the client talk to the police or prosecutors, present their side of the story, and clear up any misunderstandings that may make innocent conduct seem criminal. Following a violent crime, they will try to head off arrest by presenting evidence of any alibi or defenses such as self defense.
If a client is still arrested despite these efforts or is arrested before the attorney is contacted, the next step for a Criminal Attorney Fredericksburg will be to appear at arraignment. During arraignment, a judge will decide whether the defendant should be held in jail or released. The lawyer’s job is to argue that the client has every reason to return to court and that they present no continuing danger to the community and therefore, the court should release them with little or no bail.
Shortly following arraignment, a preliminary hearing may be held. During this hearing, the prosecution is required to present minimal evidence to show there is a reason to potentially try this case. Although the odds are low, the defense attorney will seek to attack this evidence and obtain a dismissal of charges. Failing that, they will at least have information to use at trial.
After the preliminary hearing, there are often months or even years of delay, especially if the defendant was released. During this time, a Criminal Attorney Fredericksburg will seek to gather any evidence showing the defendant’s innocence or undermining the credibility of the prosecution’s evidence. The defense attorney will also enter into plea negotiations with the prosecutor and attempt to obtain a favorable deal for their client’s consideration.
If a case proceeds to trial, the defense lawyer’s job will be to vigorously cross examine the prosecution’s witnesses in an attempt to prevent them from meeting their burden before putting on the defense’s own witnesses. If the defendant is convicted, the lawyer will then be responsible for arguing that the defendant should receive a light, no jail sentence.