If an individual has been arrested for a criminal offense, a criminal defense attorney is a vital asset who can help reduce the possibility of prison or jail. Although there are some individuals who choose to fight the charges on their own, a criminal defense lawyer can help reduce sentences and penalties. Here is why you need a criminal defense attorney when facing criminal charges: 

Specialized Legal Knowledge and Experience in Court 
An experienced criminal defense lawyer understands the legal process. They can access factors of a case based on experience and learning. When individuals choose to represent themselves during a criminal trial, they are at a disadvantage because they do not have the legal expertise that is seen with criminal defense attorneys. Criminal defense attorneys have extensive knowledge with sketches, photographs, polygraphs, video, and other evidence that can be used during a trial. 

Criminal defense lawyers can also provide individuals with assistance filling out paperwork. While some are under the assumption that they will receive help from the court filling out paperwork, this isn’t true, so self-representing defendants will have to fill out paperwork on their own. This will increase the chances of paperwork being filled out incorrectly. A criminal defense attorney will ensure that all documents are filled out properly and submitted in a timely manner. 

A criminal defense attorney can help a defendant by referencing past cases regarding the laws and statues of the crime. Individuals who represent themselves during a criminal defense trial will not have the resources to adequately research past cases. 

A Skilled Legal Team 
Most criminal defense lawyers have paralegals and legal assistants who help out during a case. This speeds up the legal process and enables a criminal defense attorney to carry out an in-depth investigation. 

Jury Selection 
When a criminal case goes to trial, a criminal defense attorney will assist with the jury selection process. They have experience looking for jurors who may be biased and may be able to have them removed from the case. 

Plea Bargaining 
A criminal defense lawyer has experience negotiating with prosecutors regarding plea bargains. In some cases, a criminal defense attorney can help the defendant secure a favorable plea deal that results in a reduction of charges. 

They Develop Solid Defense Strategies 
Criminal defense lawyers develop effective approaches and strategies to help their clients fight the charges. They can look at all the events and circumstances that surround the case and carry out independent investigations, make negotiations, and prepare for trial. Criminal defense attorneys also have access to experts who can provide assistance and testimony during a defense trial. 

They Protect Your Rights 
Given their legal expertise, criminal defense attorneys will ensure that your rights are protected. For instance, if an officer failed to read a defendant his or her rights during an arrest, the case could be dismissed because the defendant’s rights were violated. 

Support During the Process 
Navigating through the criminal defense process can be overwhelming, and when facing it without legal guidance, it can lead to disastrous outcomes for defendants. Defendants who choose to have a criminal defense attorney by their side will be able to understand the process better than a defendant who defends himself or herself. 

Legal Guidance 
Defendants who are going through trial with a criminal defense attorney will have legal guidance on what actions need to be taken for a successful outcome. Criminal defense attorneys can prep defendants for questioning and guide them through the process. 

When Should You Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney? 
The best time to hire a criminal defense attorney is as soon as you can after an arrest. When a criminal defense attorney begins working on the case early in the process, it increases the chances of a positive outcome.