Tampa, FL – Criminal charges have consequences that may include fines, probation, community service, lost jobs, jail time, and more. Because these punishments can seriously affect someone’s life for years to come after an arrest, it is important for anyone who will end up in criminal court to seek out services from a criminal lawyer who is skilled and experienced. Criminal defense lawyers are able to review the case, ensure the state has not made any mistakes, and possibly get charges reduced or dropped if possible.
Reviewing the arrest and initial charges
There are some instances where police do not have probable cause to make an arrest. There are also other situations where police arrest someone for an action that is not actually a crime. If a person has been arrested illegally or charged with an offense that is not listed in the state’s statutes, then the case may be dismissed. This normally happens during an initial bond hearing, but the issues can also be raised at a later time.
The collection of evidence and search and seizure law
A large part of criminal defense is ensuring that evidence was collected legally and properly. The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects defendants from illegal seizures of evidence or searches of their person and property. If the defendant’s attorney believes that any evidence that will be used in the state’s case has been collected illegally, they can file a motion to have it excluded.
Many criminal cases end with the defendant accepting a plea deal rather than going to trial. However, prosecutors need to manage their caseload, and it is in their interest to be willing to negotiate to close cases and move on. Defense attorneys can use this fact to their advantage by negotiating for a lesser sentence. In many cases, if a defendant is willing to take a no contest plea, the state will seek less jail time, smaller fines, and other conditions that make the sentence less severe.
Representation at trial
If a defendant wants to have a trial, the defense attorney will have to prepare and take a number of steps to try to get a not guilty verdict from the jury. This includes an opening and closing statement, examination of witnesses, presentation of evidence, and arguing any relevant motions. When there are errors or procedural problems during the trial, the attorney has to note this as well for the purposes of appealing the verdict if necessary.
Learning more about criminal defense issues
USAttorneys.com contains listings of criminal defense lawyers, as well as attorneys who practice in every other area of the law. Anyone who wants to find a local lawyer easily in Tampa and other cities around the country can browse the directory to get help.