Many people are quick to contact a criminal defense lawyer after they commit a crime, but did you know that you also need an attorney if you are wrongfully accused of a criminal act? The judge and jury may overlook some of the case's evidence or fail to realize that it doesn't directly implicate you, and that's bad news if you're expecting to walk out of the courtroom with no consequences.
Whether you're facing time in prison or just need to clear your name in case potential employers perform a background check, here are three great reasons to hire a skilled criminal defense lawyer to prove your innocence.
Wrongful Imprisonment Happens
You barely know the victim, and you were nowhere near the scene of the crime when it occurred. That means you have nothing to worry about, right? Not exactly. A judge won't necessarily believe you when you profess that you're innocent, which is why you need an attorney to let the judge know that the accusations against you are absolutely ridiculous.
Exact statistics regarding wrongful convictions do not exist, but reports show that there are times when an innocent man -- or woman -- pays the consequences for another person's crime. To make matters worse, Canada's government isn't legally obligated to foot the bill for any of the issues that stem from your wrongful conviction. Rather than putting your faith in a legal system that is far from flawless, enlist the help of a criminal defense lawyer who knows the ins and outs of the Canadian legal system.
The Judge Views You as an Accomplice
If your significant other or a close family member commits a crime, you might be shocked when you find out what they did. Unfortunately, you might be even more shocked when you discover that the courts want to charge you as an accessory to the crime. It can be difficult to convince the courtroom that you had no idea your loved one was guilty, so it's important to seek legal representation as soon as you learn that you are a defendant in a criminal case.
Even if the court doesn't believe you helped commit the crime that your loved one is being prosecuted for, you can still get in trouble if the judge feels you helped the guilty party in any way. Here are a few things that you should never help a criminal do:
- Hide evidence
- Create a false alibi
- Borrow a vehicle to flee the country
- Pay for plane tickets, storage units, or anything that may help your loved one avoid prosecution
If you've done any of the things above or have been accused of helping your loved one commit a crime, don't hesitate to talk to an attorney. It's vital that you protect yourself if you want to avoid being charged as an accomplice.
You Need Charges Dropped Completely
It's no secret that a criminal record can have a huge impact on your life -- and not in a good way. When you're accused of a crime, the accusation remains on your criminal record for quite some time. The amount of time depends on the age when you were accused of the crime and the severity of the offense, as well as whether the judge granted a pardon or suspension of the records. If you travel to the United States, you may also be able to request a waiver so that you are not banned from the country.
If you don't work in the legal field, it can be difficult to figure out which type of service to request after a court finds that you are innocent. A patient, well-educated lawyer can carefully explain the difference between each option and help you figure out which one to request.
If you're facing criminal charges for a misdemeanor or felony that you didn't commit, hire a criminal defense lawyer Langley residents trust. A reputable attorney understands how serious false accusations can be and will work hard to show the judge that you definitely aren't guilty of the alleged crime.