If you’ve ever heard the words, “you have a right to remain silent,” you already know how scary it can be to find yourself inside the criminal justice system. Whether you have been arrested for the first time and don’t know what happens next, or you have a prior criminal history that could lead to more severe consequences if you’re convicted this time, it’s not a position anyone likes to be in. But having a good criminal defense lawyer who is on your side can make all the difference.

If you’ve been charged with a crime – or may be facing charges after an investigation – it’s time to talk to a criminal defense attorney. Contact our firm today to find out what services we offer and how we can help you prepare a defense for your case.

What Kinds of Cases Do Criminal Defense Lawyers Work On?

Criminal defense attorneys work in the criminal court system and take on cases that involve individuals being charged with offenses under criminal law. A criminal defense attorney could take cases ranging from theft and fraud to murder or organized crime. Many criminal defense attorneys have specific areas of interest and experience, so it’s a good idea to talk to anyone you are considering about what kinds of cases they usually work on. Below are some common criminal charges:

  • DUI
  • Drug offenses
  • Violent crimes, such as assault
  • Property crimes, such as theft or trespassing
  • Fraud

Can’t I Just Represent Myself?

Some people wonder if they can forgo having an attorney altogether and just represent themselves. This may be an enticing option if you are planning on pleading guilty or no contest or if you think the charges are relatively minor. However, this practice can carry a lot of risks, and it’s not a good idea to gamble with your future.

When you’re facing the criminal justice system and penalties that could range from jail time and fines to a permanent felony conviction on your record, it’s important to have knowledgeable representation. An attorney has the experience necessary to ensure that all of the procedures were followed in your case and that the charges and evidence are legitimate. If you try to represent yourself, you could end up missing key things that could have helped your case.

How Can a Criminal Defense Lawyer Help Me?

The criminal justice system can be a cruel conveyor belt, and once you’re on it, it can be difficult to get off. A criminal defense attorney ensures that there is someone who is focused solely on your interests and rights. It’s important to note that while the criminal courts are supposed to be fair and impartial, this doesn’t mean that everyone is on your side.

The prosecutors will try to use all of the tools and experience they have at their disposal to secure a conviction and the penalties that go with it. A criminal defense attorney helps even the playing field by ensuring someone is evaluating the case and the steps forward through the lens of what is in your best interests.

How Do I Find an Experienced Criminal Defense Firm?

While it’s possible to just look for a criminal defense firm online or in the yellow pages, there’s no way of knowing which firms are the most experienced or the right option for your particular case. Instead, it’s better to talk with friends or family members and ask for referrals. If you have a standing relationship with another type of attorney, such as a family lawyer, they may also be able to refer you to a colleague that practices criminal law.

When you’re meeting with potential defense attorneys, it’s important to ask questions about their education, experience, the types of cases they usually work on, and their conviction and acquittal rates. You may also want to ask how many of their cases go to trial versus how many are pled down.

Or you can call the Salt Lake City office of Benjamin Durham Law Firm at (385) 342-4300 to set up a consultation with a member of our legal team. We can go over the details of your case and let you know how we can help. You don’t have to face the criminal justice system alone, and we are here to guide you through every step of the process.