A good criminal defense attorney is highly trained in a specialized area of law. That can be wide ranging areas of criminal law or very specific areas of criminal. What you can hope for from a criminal defense attorney is sound advice, legal representation, and good communication. When you are charged with a crime, a criminal defense attorney performs many roles but there are limits to what they can do. In this blog, will discuss some things that your criminal defense attorney cannot do for you. Either because you must do those things for yourself, or they are just not possible.
A criminal defense attorney cannot change the facts of your case
Usually, a criminal defense attorney obtained after someone has been charged with a crime. At that point, whatever happened already happened. We cannot go back and create and alibi, change a statement that has already been made, or alter or change physical evidence just because it is bad for your case.
Similarly, when we are given criminal discovery, it is from the point of view of the investigation from law enforcement. We have been told by clients “something is not right in the discovery; you need to fix that”. We cannot change the discovery; at best we can attempt to show a different point of view at trial.
A criminal defense attorney cannot force anyone to do anything
There are many people involved in a criminal case. A defendant and his criminal defense attorney are only two parties in the criminal process, and they are the parties with the least amount of control. Plea offers come from a prosecutor; rulings come from a judge. A criminal defense attorney cannot make a prosecutor give a certain plea offer, and we cannot make a judge make a certain ruling.
The best we can do is try to convince a prosecutor or a judge, using a well-reasoned legal argument. It is also impossible for us to predict what a prosecutor or a judge is going to do because they are people with their own thoughts and minds. At best we can guess, and you are not well served with guesswork.
A criminal defense attorney cannot speed up the progress of your case
Criminal defense attorneys do not control the docket, scheduling, availability of courtrooms or judges, or any of the other various factors that will decide how quickly cases get resolved. Chances are your criminal defense attorney is not the person causing delays in your case. What is most likely, is that your criminal defense attorney wants this resolved as soon as possible as well. There is nothing that hiring a certain attorney will do to speed up your case.
Your criminal defense attorney is a well-trained professional, but he/she is not a magician.