Finding a Stalking Lawyer in Somerset
In Somerset, a person charged with any crime, particularly stalking, should consult with a Somerset stalking lawyer because most people do not have a working understanding of the criminal justice system. Therefore, an individual who has been charged with stalking likely will not understand the elements of the crime, who has the burden of proof, or the evidentiary procedure, all of which are necessary in preparing an adequate defense.
Thus, it is very important for any person who has been charged with a crime to hire an attorney. In circumstances involving the specific crimes of stalking and harassment, an attorney can know how to argue that the state has not proven a course of conduct. This argument is very important to a successful defense and requires some knowledge of the law.
Qualities to Look For
While researching criminal lawyers, a person should definitely be looking for an attorney who has been practicing for some number of years and is familiar with the prosecutors and judges in Somerset. Additionally, he or she should look for an attorney who practices a substantial number of criminal defense cases.
Attorneys can be trained and concentrate on very specific portions of the law. For example, some attorneys concentrate their practice in the area of real estate, some attorneys do wills and estates. However, attorneys with such practices areas are not necessarily the kind of attorneys that an individual would want in a criminal matter because a qualified criminal defense attorney is a litigator, someone who frequently has trials in the courtroom and understands the rules of evidence and the rules of procedure that are unique to criminal cases.
Because of this, a person who is researching criminal lawyers should look for an attorney who has significant experience with criminal cases. Moreover, it may also be helpful to have a criminal defense attorney who has previously worked as a prosecutor. A lawyer with this background would better understand what the prosecutor on opposing counsel is thinking and what he or she must prove. This knowledge and experience can serve as a real benefit to the criminal defense lawyer and his or her client’s case.
Information to Have Available
While first speaking with an attorney about stalking charges, an individual should be prepared to provide all of his or her charging documents to the attorney so that the attorney may review the documents. Ideally, this first meeting will be conducted face-to-face so that the attorney can review and ask questions about these documents during the meeting. The charging documents are essential as the attorney will likely want to review the charges and determine the manner in which the state intends to prove the elements of each offense.
If an individual has been charged with stalking despite the fact that he or she was not even in the same location as the victim at the time of the alleged offense, the individual should provide the lawyer with any records or documents that support this claim. Often, this is known as alibi evidence and may result in the charges being dropped before trial if the defense attorney is able to approach the prosecutor with strong evidence that shows that the defendant could not have been the one committing the crime. Although such circumstances are rare, they do occur. Thus, any alibi evidence should be provided to the defense attorney as soon as possible in order to allow the defense attorney ample time to convince the prosecutor to consider dismissing the case prior to court.