When you are charged with a crime in Indianapolis, hiring a capable defense lawyer can be one of the best steps you can take to protect your future. But how, exactly, does a criminal defense attorney help your case?
It’s understandable to have questions about how charges possibly get reduced or dismissed if it’s your first encounter with the justice system. Still, experienced criminal defense lawyers in Indianapolis use various tools and techniques to get the best possible outcomes. From strict evidence review to fierce negotiation with the prosecutor, the tools a defense lawyer uses to help your case can help you beat your charges, get your punishments reduced, and get back to your life sooner.
1. Excluding Evidence
One of the fastest ways to get criminal charges thrown out is to force the prosecution to exclude key evidence they plan to use against you. A defense lawyer can do this through a variety of motions and legal arguments. But the most common method is a motion to suppress.
A successful motion to suppress will exclude a particular piece of evidence from the criminal proceedings against you. Suppress the right evidence, and the prosecutor may no longer have a viable case.
Of course, you can’t just ask the court to suppress any negative evidence. You must have a good reason. If the police violated your rights by, for example, illegally searching you, the evidence they found would be a good candidate for a motion to suppress.
2. Protecting You From Self-Incrimination
When you hear someone in a movie say, “I plead the Fifth,” they are talking about the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Among other things, this protects you from being forced to incriminate yourself.
What does that mean for you? You are allowed to refuse to answer questions from the police. And you are allowed to refuse to testify in your trial. The prosecution cannot use your refusal to testify against you or even make a negative comment about it in court.
Your criminal defense lawyer can assess the details of your case and help you use your Fifth Amendment rights to your advantage. Refusing to testify can often be a strategic move in a criminal case.
3. Ensuring Charges Are Fair
When you are charged with a crime, the prosecution has to file charging documents that detail the accused’s crime. Your lawyer will review these documents with care to ensure that every detail is accurate and the charges are fair.
They will point out any mistakes, stretches of the truth, or similar issues. Then, they will try to leverage these issues into reduced or dismissed charges.
4. Looking for Discharge & Diversion Opportunities
Certain charges may be eligible for Indiana diversion programs. In a diversion program, you admit that there was reason to believe you committed the crime, complete a period without getting into trouble, and meet a few other requirements from the court. After that, your case is dismissed. And you are not convicted.
A discharge is similar to a diversion. The critical difference is that you have to admit guilt for the crime you’ve been charged with. Still, if you uphold all the terms of the agreement, your case is dismissed without a conviction.
Whether you can enter one of these programs is up to the prosecutor. But your defense lawyer will know which types of charges typically qualify.
5. Negotiating With the Prosecutor
One of the essential skills a criminal defense lawyer has is negotiation. Sharp negotiation skills are a powerful tool in helping defendants escape harsh criminal punishments.
In addition to pushing for diversion or discharge, we can also use the details of your case to negotiate for reduced charges, plea agreements, sentencing limits, and more. A great negotiator can secure the best possible outcome for your case.
Reach Out To an Indianapolis Defense Lawyer
Being charged with a crime can be one of the most stressful times in your life. But you don’t have to face it alone. A determined and experienced Indianapolis criminal defense lawyer will have the tools to help your case. For you, that means reduced stress and a better chance of keeping your freedom.