David Serna is without question the greatest criminal defense lawyer in New Mexico and we have had the great pleasure to have a chat with him about the role that a criminal defense attorney can play for their clients. There seems to be a lot of confusion around the roles that these men and women can play in the lives of their clients so we put a number of questions to him in order to get to the heart of the issue. If you have any burning questions about what a criminal defense attorney can do, this will hopefully answer them.
When Do You Need a Criminal Defense Attorney ?
David says that he answers this question all of the time about whether or not people need a criminal defense attorney and when they should call for one. The answer is very straight forward here, if you have been charged with crime then you need a criminal defense attorney and you should call one he moment that you have been charged with the crime.
One of the first things that a criminal defense lawyer will do for you is to ensure that the police have done their job in accordance with the law. Police must follow strict protocols when they carry out arrests, when they place the accused in custody, how they proceed to charge them and for how the accused is treated. A case can be thrown out for the most minor of infractions and this is why the criminal defense attorney will focus on ensuring that everything has been done to the letter of the law.
Support and Advice
For anyone who has been accused of a crime, guilty or not, it can be a difficult and confusing time. A defense lawyer can act as a rock during all of this, providing support and advice on a number of issues and making sure that any questions which the accused has are answered. Unless you are offers bail, the only person who you will be able to speak candidly with is your criminal defense lawyer which is why having one on your side is so important.
A plea bargain is the perfect scenario for a guilty party and it involves accepting the blame for a lesser charge in return for a lighter punishment. Let’s say that someone is accused of murder and faces life in prison, this may be downgraded to manslaughter which carries a lighter sentence, in exchange for information leading to the arrest of others. The is fo course an extreme example but it shows the importance of these deals. A plea deal can only be negotiated by a criminal defense lawyer and it provides the best case scenario for all involved. The court gets a guilty plea and can move on to other cases, and the guilty person receives a lighter sentence for a crime which they have committed.