Can a Defense Lawyer Rochester Help You If You’re Guilty?

Can a Defense Lawyer Rochester Help You If You’re Guilty?

Can a Defense Lawyer Rochester Help You If You’re Guilty?

Even if you are guilty of an offense, can a defense lawyer Rochester help? Absolutely. Your “guilt” or “innocence” does not affect your Sixth Amendment right to counsel. [1] If the Bill of Rights application depended on our own sensibilities, we would all be in serious trouble. Additionally, you have more than a right to a lawyer. You have the right to a good lawyer. A client’s status does not affect an attorney’s obligation to represent that client zealously. [2]

Moreover, the only issue that matters in this area is what the state can prove beyond a reasonable doubt. That’s the highest burden of proof in New York law. As outlined below, several defenses are available, which at least reduce the amount of evidence available. The less evidence the prosecutor has, the harder it is to prove guilt.

Moral Guilt

Many people cannot overcome their sense of moral guilt, and that’s okay. However, before you plead guilty, you should always partner with a defense lawyer Rochester. Guilty or innocent, we all deserve fair treatment. Only an attorney ensures fair treatment in a criminal law process, which is designed to take advantage of unrepresented defendants.

Legal Advice from a Defense Lawyer Rochester

All crimes have direct and collateral consequences. Judges are legally required to inform defendants about the direct consequences of their pleas. However, they are not required to inform them about the collateral consequences.

For example, most felony convictions have harsh consequences for noncitizens. A felony conviction could trigger deportation proceedings. But the judge says nothing about this possible consequence during a plea hearing. Most people only learn about these consequences when it is too late to do anything about them.

A defense lawyer Rochester advises defendants about all the repercussions of their pleas. Attorneys also advise people about sentencing options. In most cases, probation is preferable to jail time. But for various reasons, some people are not good candidates for probation. In these situations, a few weeks in jail might be better than many months of court supervision. Other disposition options are available as well, whether the defendant is “guilty” or not.

Possible Defenses With the Help of a Defense Lawyer Rochester

An attorney also evaluates your case and identifies legal defenses. These defenses usually have nothing to do with moral guilt or innocence.

Procedural defenses are often available. For example, before officers seize illegal drugs or weapons, they must have a search warrant or probable cause. Furthermore, police officers must observe the Fifth Amendment and other limitations when investigating crimes and/or making arrests. The Fifth Amendment does more than protect your right to remain silent. It also gives defendants the right to refuses tests, such as field sobriety tests and lineup appearances.

These procedural rules continue as trial approaches. Prosecutors have a legal obligation to share potentially exculpatory evidence with defense lawyers in Rochester. Lawmakers significantly expanded these requirements in 2019 and again in 2020. [3] Trial by ambush is no longer legal in New York.

Frequently, there are substantive defenses as well. Frequently, the state does not have enough evidence to obtain a conviction. The classic example is an eyewitness who was somehow legally incompetent to testify, perhaps because of bias or failure to wear prescription eyeglasses.

Disposition Options

If the defendant is charged with a nonviolent crime, pretrial diversion is usually an option. If the defendant pays restitution and completes some program requirements, prosecutors dismiss the case. Guilt or innocence is irrelevant. Pretrial diversion is available to anyone who qualifies.

Most prosecutors are overworked. Therefore, they are usually willing to make favorable deals to avoid trial. This plea bargain could include a lesser sentence or a reduced charge. If such options are available, it makes sense to take advantage of them.

Deferred disposition is a third option. The defendant pleads guilty, but there is no legal adjudication of guilt. Instead, the judge places the defendant on probation. If the defendant successfully completes community supervision, the judge dismisses the case.

This alternative is very good for people who want to confess their guilt but want to avoid harsh punishment.

Count on an Experienced Attorney

Guilty or not, you need legal representation in a criminal case. For a free consultation with an experienced defense lawyer Rochester, contact the Law Office of Frank Ciardi. We routinely handle matters in Monroe County and nearby jurisdictions.

 

Sources:

[1] https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/sixth_amendment

[2] https://www.americanbar.org/groups/professional_responsibility/publications/model_rules_of_professional_conduct/model_rules_of_professional_conduct_preamble_scope/

[3] https://www.courtinnovation.org/sites/default/files/media/document/2020/Discovery_NYS_Revised_2020.pdf