If you’re ever faced with criminal charges, preparation is the key to avoiding a criminal record, expensive fines, and even prison time. And this type of preparation involves the expertise of a criminal defence lawyer.

But how important is a lawyer, anyway?

In short, they are your best link to maintaining your freedom. They represent you in court, comprise your defence strategy, argue against the opposition’s case, and so much more.

In addition to their duties, our criminal lawyers also feel it is important to ensure client care, contact, and communication is at the top of their list, to ensure we help our clients through what is a difficult and stressful period of their lives.

To learn more about criminal law, why you would need to hire a lawyer, and how they can help, this blog is for you.

Why is criminal law so important?

The criminal justice system comprises three main components: law enforcement, the court system, and the police. All three of these components work together to maintain a sense of law and order throughout society.

The criminal justice system also consists of professionals who are honest, educated, and highly qualified, such as our criminal defence lawyers in Melbourne.

It’s the job of these individuals to uphold the principles of justice so that society functions as it should.

Why would you need a criminal defence lawyer?

When you face a criminal charge, like assault charges in Victoria, for example, you face the full brunt of the criminal justice system. It means that you have committed a crime against the state and you will be prosecuted by the police and the court.

Most people that choose to forgo representation will lose their case. Why? Because they are unprepared, unaware of their rights, legal technicalities, and how the court system operates.

The stakes are far higher when you face criminal charges. Your freedom could be on the line. If this is not reason enough to hire legal aid lawyers in Victoria, you could also lose your job. You could have a permanent criminal record, which could have a domino effect on many other aspects of your life.

What can a criminal lawyer do for you?

When it comes to hiring criminal solicitors in Melbourne, you need to know what to expect from them. Let’s take a look:

1. Simplify the complexity of the law

You might be unsure about the criminal law surrounding the charge you face, and what it means for you. This is where a criminal defence lawyer unpacks it all and explains it to you.

Your lawyer will steer you through the criminal law matter to help you better understand it, and the consequences you could face. Ultimately, this saves you a ton of stress and worry.

2. Reduce the risk of a disastrous outcome

Legal aid solicitors in Victoria are well-versed in representing your best interests, whether you’re guilty of a crime or not. Neglecting to hire legal representation does not help your risk. It actually increases your risk of an undesirable outcome.

Without a good criminal defence lawyer, you could be falsely accused, incorrectly charged, or found guilty when you’re innocent. You could end up spending time in prison, disqualified from holding a driver’s license, or holding down a job.

To summarise, a lawyer increases your chances of the best possible outcome, rather than one that could impact the rest of your life.

3. Provide support during police interviews

The police interview process can be intimidating and overwhelming. A criminal defence lawyer is there to help you through it and provide clarity on what to say, and how to interact with the police.

They provide much-needed information on your rights, and the support you need during a very crucial part of the criminal law process.

4. Ensure the best outcome at your bail hearing

A criminal defence lawyer also plays a vital role in ensuring you aren’t remanded in police custody for longer than needs be. In short, they will represent you at your bail hearing and ensure you’re released until your trial date.

It’s important to get things right the first time at your bail hearing. This is where a lawyer can help to prepare and present your bail application for the best possible outcome.

5. Assist with evidence representation

This is a hugely important aspect of a criminal trial. The rules of evidence presentation can be complicated. An experienced lawyer will devise the best possible plan of action to present your evidence as clearly as possible to the court.

Not only this, but they are well-versed in strategic cross-examination of witnesses, they know what questions to ask, and how to frame each question.

assault charges in Victoria

6. Expert identification of case weaknesses

Whether it’s weaknesses within your own case or the opposition’s case, a criminal defense lawyer will pick up on it. They are experienced in doing so well before a case goes to trial, too.

This means that they can find areas of inadmissible evidence that will affect the prosecution’s case, and ultimately, spell good news for your own.

7. Help you avoid going to trial

Now, it’s not always possible to avoid a trial when charged with a criminal offense.

However, our experienced criminal lawyers in Dandenong may be able to help you avoid a trial with a public interest submission.

What does this mean? In short, your criminal lawyer will know when it’s valid to make a public interest submission to the prosecution, based on why they should drop the charges against you.

If the outcome is a positive one, this means the charges fall away and you can avoid a trial.

8. Help you avoid prison time

Finally, and most importantly, a criminal defence lawyer may be able to help you avoid imprisonment, although this is not always guaranteed.

If you’re convicted after a trial and proceed to a sentencing hearing, your lawyer is well-versed in matters of sentencing law.

In summary, they can present the best possible plea mitigation that could work to your advantage, and help you avoid prison.

What makes a good criminal lawyer?

So, when it comes to choosing a criminal defence lawyer, what should you look for?

One of the most important factors to consider is whether they bring valuable experience to the table. Know-how and expertise could make or break for your case.

They should have a thorough knowledge of the criminal justice system and the inner workings of a criminal trial. They should also have a good knowledge of the possible charges you could face, and how to handle your case according to this.

Your lawyer is also there to provide a much-needed reality check for you. They should be upfront and honest about the reality that you could face, at all times.

In need of expert legal representation?

If you’re looking for a criminal defence lawyer in the state of Victoria, James Dowsley & Associates offers all the support you need during this stressful time in your life.

As criminal law experts, we offer some of the best legal representation in the state for a large assortment of offenses. Allow us to take on your case and represent your best interests. Get in touch with our team for more.

Call us anytime on (03) 9781 4900 or request a consultation.