Understanding the criminal justice process can help you be aware of a charge that is brought against you. Also, it can help you understand how to fight such a charge. If you are being charged with a criminal offense, you should retain a Connecticut criminal defense lawyer.
However, understanding at what point to retain such a lawyer in the process of your case is not always easy. You might wonder if it would be best to hire a lawyer as soon as possible. Or, you might wonder if you should wait until after you are arrested, or until your case goes to trial. Knowing when to hire a criminal defense lawyer can help you fight what you have been charged with.
In general, the first step in the criminal justice process is an investigation carried out by police officers. In some cases, there will be no time to hire a criminal defense lawyer during the investigation. This could consist of something as simple as a police officer observing a drug deal and making an arrest.
However, in some cases, the investigation can be much more involved. For example, an investigation to build evidence could last for months. This is because of the need to collect forensic evidence or question witnesses. If you know that there is an ongoing investigation against you, you should hire a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible in order to prepare for the potential of an arrest and a subsequent charge. If you are arrested, this means that the police have probable cause against you. Also, if you have already hired a criminal defense lawyer or hire one once you are arrested, your lawyer could try to fight the police officer’s claim that they have probable cause.
If you have not hired a lawyer by the time you are arrested, you should definitely hire one at the arraignment stage. This is the stage in the criminal justice process where you are formally charged in court. At this point, you need to make a plea of guilty or not guilty. You should have an attorney for this part of the process because you should discuss a strategy for your case with an experienced attorney before making a plea. In addition, you could negotiate a plea bargain, in which case you would want to have a lawyer present.
The bottom line is that you should retain a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Finding the right lawyer can also take time, so you should start the process immediately. If you want to hire a lawyer to help you through your case, they should have all of the facts as soon as possible in order to build a strong case for you.