Exercising your right to an attorney
The category of violent crime covers many different offenses from robbery to rape, and each case is unique. Assault cases often include two parties who know each other, and many of these cases can stem from tempers getting out of hand during a heated disagreement. When the circumstances surrounding the case seem pretty cut and dried, it can lull defendants into a false sense of security in which they may begin to believe that they don’t need an attorney.
However, not having legal counsel during criminal proceedings can put the defendant at a huge disadvantage, especially in the case of violent crimes. Felony charges are very serious. If you plead guilty or are convicted during a trial, that conviction stays with you for the rest of your life, impacting your job prospects and various other aspects of your personal life.
During a criminal case, there are many different steps, from the arrest and police questioning to entering a plea. Without proper legal counsel, it can be very easy for defendants to make decisions at the beginning of the process that may negatively affect the outcome. The law is complicated, and it is quite common for defendants not to be aware of all of the various aspects that can affect their cases.
From whether the defendant was read his or her Miranda rights to whether a weapon was discovered during an illegal search and seizure, a criminal defense attorney knows the questions to ask you about your case to find out if there is anything you can use to aid your defense.
Source: Alabama Judicial System, “Alabama Rules of Criminal Procedure Rule 6. Right to counsel: appointment of counsel.,” accessed June 18, 2015