Role of a Somerset Shoplifting Attorney
It is important for anyone facing shoplifting charges in Somerset to consult with a shoplifting attorney. A defense attorney can be of great benefit in all stages of the individual’s case, ensuring that the case gets off to a well-prepared and hopeful start, and seeing it all the way through to completion.
Advantages of a Lawyer
A qualified shoplifting attorney who is local and experienced can be very beneficial to their client. This benefit can become apparent as early as when the police are trying to gather evidence against the defendant. An attorney can help their client deal with making a statement to the officer. It may be that the attorney will advise them to not make any statements at all, so it is important for them to have an attorney there to have that conversation with them.
Another benefit will occur when the client is arrested. There is going to be a determination made about whether or not they should be released and whether or not bond is set. A seasoned attorney can argue to the commissioner or the judge about all the good reasons why the defendant should be released on their own recognizance. It can make the difference between walking out of the jail, just having received the charges or having to sit in jail for a couple of days before bond.
An attorney can help get their client released much faster by evaluating the evidence and trying to determine what is the best way to handle their case. They will understand what the elements of the offense are, and what the potential defenses could be. The best thing that an attorney will be able to do is help the defendant be prepared to mitigate their charges. An experienced attorney will know when it is right to plead not guilty and go to trial versus when it is the right time to do a plea and try and mitigate the consequences. During all of those steps, it is important to be working with an experienced attorney.
Benefits of Local Experience
An individual who is charged with shoplifting in Somerset will want to work with a local attorney, because a local attorney will have numerous contacts with the local judge, the police officers, and with the prosecutors. A local attorney is going to have much more familiarity with what a judge would do with a particular set of facts. If an attorney walks into the courtroom and has never had a second time theft case with this particular judge they will have no idea what to expect, but a local lawyer will know how that judge works.
The other benefit to having a local attorney is that, hopefully, the individual is hiring someone who knows the prosecutors, and has a good working relationship with them.
An experienced attorney is going to maintain professional relationships with the prosecutor’s office and with the police officers. By maintaining a good working relationship, the defense attorney may be able to convince the prosecutor to see something their way and to be more willing to see flaws in the state’s case. They are not going to be willing to do that if the defense attorney has a reputation for being unethical or is difficult to talk to. But they might be willing if they are talking to somebody who they know has been honest with them in the past, somebody whose credibility is strong. It is important to have a strong reputation with the prosecutor’s office and with the judges, too.
Role in the Arraignment
At the arraignment, a decision is usually made as to whether or not the defendant can be released on personal recognizance or whether the defendant will have to post bond. An attorney can be valuable in persuading the commissioner or judge that the defendant can be released on their own recognizance. An attorney would bring up all the relevant points, like how long the defendant lived in the community, what are their ties to the community, how much family lives there, and all of those different aspects that can be helpful in determining the result of the arraignment.
When to Contact a Somerset Shoplifting Attorney
Anyone charged with shoplifting in Somerset should contact an attorney immediately or as soon as they have an opportunity. Even if they have not been charged yet, they should contact an attorney. If they are sitting in a police officer’s interrogation room and they have been advised of their Miranda warnings, they should ask to speak to an attorney. This could make the difference between not speaking to the police officers or speaking to the police officers and saying something that is going to be used against them later in court.