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What can a criminal defense attorney do for me?

When you have to defend yourself against charges accusing you of participating in a crime, you need the best defense possible. Working with an attorney is part of the process, so understanding what your attorney can do for you is important.

Criminal defense lawyers have a few different jobs. First, they should be working with you and the prosecutor on the case to determine if they can reach a deal with the other party. For instance, you may be able to get a plea bargain or have your sentence reduced in exchange for information or a confession.

Your attorney may also help you get a reduced or altered sentence. Here's a good example: If you were caught doing drugs, then instead of going to prison for a short three-month stint, your attorney could request that you get access to a drug treatment facility for that time period instead, helping you stay out of prison. If you're facing a 10-year sentence for violence, you might be able to get that changed to five years in prison and five under house arrest.

Your attorney will know the likelihood of your case succeeding or failing based on the evidence you have and the evidence against you. Because attorneys work on many cases, they may be able to help you better understand how your case will be seen and what expectations are realistic. On top of this, your attorney can help you navigate the difficulties of the United States legal system, so you can make sure to follow all rules or to keep all obligations as necessary.

Source: FindLaw, "What You Can Expect from the Best Criminal Defense Lawyer -," accessed Nov. 05, 2015

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