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Fighting for fair treatment

When you are charged with a crime, it is vitally important that you secure legal representation as soon as possible. Often, the idea of "lawyering up" can seem foreign to those who have not spent time dealing with the criminal justice system. For many of our more fortunate citizens, it is difficult to understand why a strong defense is necessary, when they generally find it easy to avoid trouble with the law. A more in-depth understanding of how you might approach your defense may help you understand why it is so necessary in first place.

Crafting a defense begins with the conversation you have with your attorney. That conversation will generally go one of three ways -- denying guilt, admitting guilt or claiming that the situation is not as it seems. It is crucial for you to be as honest with your attorney as you can be, so that he or she can have the best chance of navigating the justice system on your behalf. If you flatly deny guilt in the charges against you, then it will be necessary to craft a compelling defense for why you are not responsible for the charges. Otherwise, you will automatically face unjust consequences.

However, you may have actually done the things that you are charged with doing. This does not mean that you should roll over and accept whatever a prosecutor throws at you. The justice system is built around a system of negotiations, and a skilled attorney can help you find a way to pay your debt to society while protecting your rights and assuring that the sentencing is fair. Often charges are aggressive in nature, because prosecution expects to have them negotiated.

Finally, you may have a justification for your actions that recontextualizes the events that led to your charges. For instance, if you have been charged with breaking and entering into a home, it may be that you did open a back window and climb in the house, but you were doing so to feed your friend's dog without the knowledge of his parents, who were home early from a vacation.

Every scenario is different and requires a different strategy. What does not change, however, is that you deserve a solid defense, one which fights for your fair treatment and protects your rights.

Source: Findlaw, "Criminal Defense Strategies," accessed Jan. 05, 2017

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