Criminal law deals with cases where local, state or federal government seeks to punish someone for an act considered a crime. A criminal lawyer is required to represent someone who has been charged with a crime. A criminal charge can be levied on a person for either felonies or serious crimes like murder or rape, as well as misdemeanors like petty theft or jaywalking.
The process involved in charging a person with a crime and administering punishment is quite similar. An experienced lawyer will successfully deal with prosecutors in court and should be able to prove a client innocent.
In Atlanta, like all states, the Constitution provides criminal defendants with the right to an attorney, if the state is trying to deprive the defendant of his or her liberty. This means that the state has to appoint a lawyer for the defendant if one cannot afford a private lawyer.
Atlanta criminal lawyers should be familiar with all the legal provisions of the local, state and federal governments. The procedure for a criminal charge in Atlanta begins with an arrest or citation summarizing the reason for the arrest. Copies of these reports are sent to a prosecutor’s office who initiates and prosecutes criminal cases. After these prosecutors have gained enough evidence, the court proceedings begin.
When choosing an Atlanta criminal lawyer, there are many points to consider. The most important points are to know how much experience the lawyer has in criminal law, and the extent of the lawyer’s track record in trying similar cases. Another important point is to make sure that your lawyer considers all possible outcomes of your case. For instance, could arbitration or mediation resolve the case? Finally, what is an estimate of the total bill, and how will the bill be paid?
Information about Atlanta criminal lawyers is available in the yellow pages, through search engines like Google and Yahoo on the Internet and through advertisements of law firms. There are also attorney directories available on the Internet that provide comprehensive information about Atlanta criminal lawyers. Information is also available through the county bar association and other professional law associations like the American Bar Association. Friends and family members are other sources of information.