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A Step-by-Step Guide to Building a Strong Criminal Defense

Criminal charges can result in many penalties. Anyone charged with a crime must do all they can to protect their reputation and avoid a guilty verdict. Felony charges can result in fines of up to $10,000 and incarceration of months or years. Even misdemeanor charges can lead to fines and jail time. It is necessary for anyone experiencing this issue to have a plan in place.  

Contents

#1. Assemble a Team

Anyone charged should immediately gather friends, family, employers, and neighbors that know you know are on your side. A  criminal defense relies on the defendant having solid relationships and leading a reputable life. Support from loved ones and business associates allows the judge and the jury members to see the defendant as a person and now a villain. Also important is having a legal team with experience in criminal law.  

#2. Know the Law

Up to 95 percent of all criminal cases in federal and state courts do not go to trial. Sometimes the prosecution drops the charges. In other instances, the defendant pleads guilty to the crime or to a lesser offense to reduce their sentence. Some people may want to consider this option if they lack witnesses or do not want to extend the situation by waiting for a court date.

The defendant will know what the prosecution offers and what the defense recommends. The choice to accept a plea deal or go to court remains with the defendant. If someone wants to prove their innocence, a court trial or fighting to have the prosecution drop the charges are the best options.

#3. Document Your Version

Anyone accused of a crime in the United States will have an opportunity to explain their story. Explain the details of the event to the legal team. Be honest and complete with the description because they will assemble the narrative to present to the jury.

How the story goes will depend on the involvement of the defendant. Some people participate in events but do not commit the crimes included in the charges. Sometimes, bystanders or people protecting themselves become mistakenly accused. It is also possible for people uninvolved with any of the actions to become charged. Whatever situation the defendant is in, they need to have a clear and consistent message regarding their version of the incident. 

#4. Gather Relevant Evidence

Evidence is not only for the prosecution. The defense must gather everything possible to prove the defendant’s version of the case. Evidence can include cell phone records, receipts, photographs, videos, and medical records. Interviewing witnesses is a vital part of this step. The legal team must have experience with interviewing people. There are multiple types of witnesses, and each type needs a unique approach for accurate responses.

#5. Keep Things Focused

Stick with the planned strategy and follow all instructions. Avoid any communication about the event, like interviews or discussing the n social media or friends and family. Dress and behave in court as instructed and answer questions as carefully and succinctly as possible.

Criminal charges can derail a life, but careful preparation helps avoid guilty verdicts. Follow an established plan and remain committed to consistency. Many people facing criminal charges retain their reputations and avoid penalties by implementing a detailed and organized defense.

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