You’re caught going a few miles over the speed limit. Getting involved with the law for minor infractions is one thing but being charged with a criminal offense is a big deal. It means being in for a lot more than an annoying court appearance and fine. Criminal charges are serious. They can be life-changing and stay on your record for years. Without proper representation, you may find yourself facing serious jail time. If you are charged with a serious crime, the first thing you need to do is hire a good criminal attorney.
Duties and Role of a Defense Attorney
The term is self-explanatory. As the name implies, it is the defense attorney’s job to defend you from the charges and see that your rights are preserved along the way. You are entitled by law to an attorney whose role includes a variety of actions, including:
- Conducting research and analyzing a case to determine a probable outcome while devising an effective strategy to defend your clients in court
- Representing clients at arraignments, hearings, and court trials
- Interpreting laws for clients and helping them to understand their legal options
- Presenting evidence to a judge and jury should the case go to trial
- Developing strategies to resolve cases as favorably and cost-effectively as possible for clients
- Constructing arguments and representing clients in all criminal proceedings
What to Look for in an Attorney
A good attorney constantly keeps abreast of new developments in the legal field. In many instances, they attend professional meetings and seminars to keep up with the latest changes in legislation concerning the defense of clients charged with criminal offenses.
- Education Requirements
- Bachelor’s degree
- Juris Doctor (JD) from an accredited law school
- State bar admission
- Legal Skills
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills
- Strong research and public speaking skills
- Superior decision-making and problem-solving skills
- Ability to work autonomously or with a team of attorneys to develop case strategies
- Adaptable, with strong attention to detail
- Aims to resolve cases as quickly and favorably as possible
- Prepares and drafts legal documents, including legal briefs and appeals
- Negotiates plea deals, punishments, and settlements
Court Appointed Attorneys
You may not have the financial means to afford a private attorney. If that’s the case, the court will appoint one. Contrary to popular assumptions, court-appointed lawyers meet all the essential legal requirements. However, it is to your benefit to seek out the best representation possible.
What Do Defense Attorneys Charge?
The average cost for a felony defense is between $10,000 and $20,000. In Rhode Island, charges run between $150 and $450 an hour. Given what is at stake, good representation can mean the difference between long jail terms and, in some cases, suspended or abridged sentences and the best outcome of all, acquittal.
We Thrive on Criminal Defense
If you live in Rhode Island or Southern Massachusetts and are accused of a crime, don’t panic—Calvino Law Associates are here to help. Our expert criminal law attorneys will thoroughly review the details of your case and fight for the justice you deserve. Call us at (401) 205-3733 or use our online contact form. We serve Providence, North Kingstown, and the surrounding areas in Rhode Island.
373 Elmwood Ave.
Providence, RI 02907