A Guide to Legal Representation in a Criminal Case

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The legal system is complex at best, and of all the fields of law, criminal proceedings are perhaps the most important, as often, a person’s liberty is at stake. If you are ever unfortunate enough to be charged with a criminal offence, it is imperative to seek out legal advice as soon as possible, and in the event you do not know of a criminal lawyer, you have several options.

Legal Aid

In some cases, the accused person is not in a financial position to hire a lawyer, and the police will offer you free legal representation, which must be provided, by law, in the event a person is unable to procure a lawyer under their own steam. This is not exactly the ideal solution, and a better idea is to select a private lawyer and if you are unable to pay their fees, legal aid can be granted. If a lawyer is appointed by the police, you have no idea of the lawyer’s abilities, and while you may never need such a service, it makes sense to source a good lawyer who is available round the clock, and should you ever find yourself in a situation that involves criminal proceedings, you can make that all-important call and wait for their arrival. If, for example, a person wanted the best criminal lawyer in Perth, there is an established legal firm that has glowing reviews from satisfied clients, and with 24-hour availability, you can be sure of prompt attention.

Knowing your Rights

While no one plans to be charged with a criminal offence, it isn’t a good idea to wait until it happens before searching for information. Every Australian State must state a person’s rights on their website, and when a person is charged, their rights must be read to them by the arresting officer, and failure to do so could result in an acquittal. When the officer reads you your rights, the best thing to do is say nothing, except to acknowledge the charge, as anything you say can be used as evidence in a court of law. Aside from the right to remain silent, the accused person also has the right to legal representation, and this should be your number one priority, irrespective of the time of day. You are entitled to have your lawyer present during any interrogation, and he or she will advise you prior to answering, should they feel is necessary.

Response to the Charge(s)

Once you have been formally charged with a criminal offence, you and your lawyer must decide on your plea. If your lawyer feels there is insufficient evidence to convict, he or she might advise you to plead not guilty, yet this often results in a more severe penalty in the event the defendant is found guilty. There are many opportunities that a good lawyer can explore, and often, the sentence can be dramatically reduced with plea bargaining.

You might think there is no chance of you ever needing a criminal lawyer, but if you spend a few minutes searching online for someone local, you might be very glad you did one day.