What to Expect When You Work With a Criminal Defense Attorney

Criminal Defense
What to Expect When You Work With a Criminal Defense Attorney

November 23, 2021

The criminal justice system is authoritarian, confusing, and frightening to those who are facing charges for the first time. Police and prosecutors will tell you that you can accept a plea for the charges that will reduce your obligation to the state. However, without knowing the evidence against you, the strength of the prosecution’s case, and the legal requirements that must be met to prove those charges, you have no way of knowing whether the plea is fair or not. Nonetheless, you are bargaining with your life. The stakes could not be any higher.

For that reason, Fort Wayne criminal defense attorneys handle cases for those who have been charged with serious crimes. We even handle cases for those who have been charged with traffic infractions when the stakes are high enough. Because you are at such a knowledge disadvantage to police and prosecutors, you need an experienced advocate who understands the law, knows a bad deal when he sees it, and will ensure that the state meets their burden of proof under the law.

What do criminal defense attorneys actually do?

When police file charges against a citizen, the prosecutor reviews the charges to determine if they are strong enough to try in court. If not, the prosecutor has the option of either voluntarily dismissing the charges, or reducing the charges in exchange for a guilty plea. The prosecutor assumes that the charges against you are true and then uses all available evidence to prove the truth of those charges beyond a reasonable doubt.

Your defense attorney’s job is to assume that your statement is true and disprove the prosecutor’s narrative of events. To accomplish this, we go over the evidence against you, research the officers involved in your arrest, research the process of the arrest to make sure it was legal, and determine what a good plea deal would really look like if any is warranted.

Most cases do not go to trial, with prosecutors “winning” the majority of the cases before the charges ever see a jury. Defense attorneys generally want to avoid trial because jurors tend to assume the veracity of authorities over criminal defendants. But prosecutors do not like to go to trial either because it costs the state resources. Prosecutors generally try to avoid juries because they can be capricious and expect too much from the state in terms of proof. But defense attorneys lose the majority of cases they try in front of a jury, often because the state refuses to accept a plea in the case. That happens when the criminal conduct is particularly egregious, or the defense sees no upside to accepting a plea.

So in 90% of all cases, the prosecution and defense will agree on a plea deal. In the 10% of cases that go to trial, the prosecution wins the majority of them largely because they have control of the narrative and ample evidence to prove it. The defendant must then choose whether or not to roll the dice or accept the plea. Without years of experience and training, it is impossible to determine if the plea is a good deal or not.

Talk to a Fort Wayne, IN Criminal Defense Attorney

If you are facing criminal charges in the Fort Wayne area, call the criminal defense attorneys at The Bellinger Law Office today to schedule an appointment and allow us to begin building your defense immediately. 

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Robert H. Bellinger



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