All criminal offenses are not the same. Consequently, the defense strategy used by a criminal defense attorney should not be the same for all crimes. In fact, the defense strategy should always be tailored to the type of offense and the facts of the case. Likewise, you should hire an attorney with experience defending the type of charges filed against you instead of an attorney who focuses on other types of criminal cases, or even other areas of the law. For example, if you have been charged with a violent crime you need a violent crime lawyer to represent you to ensure that your rights are protected and you have the best defense possible in your case.
What Is a “Violent Crime?”
It may seem to be a self-explanatory term; however, the term “violent crime” actually has a formal definition used by the federal government. In the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, violent crime is composed of four offenses: murder and non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. Violent crimes are defined in the UCR Program as those offenses which involve force or threat of force. For purposes of finding the right attorney to represent you we will just assume that a violent crime includes those specifically mentioned in the UCR and any other criminal offense in which violence was used or threatened.
You Need an Attorney Who Focuses on Criminal Defense
As a general rule, violent crimes are serious felony offenses that carry with them serious penalties if convicted. In other words, if you have been charged with a violent crime, you are probably facing the possibility of a lengthy term of imprisonment if convicted in your case. Therefore, your choice of attorney is crucial. This is not the time to hire an attorney who has a “general practice.” When you are facing serious criminal charges you need an attorney who has chosen to focus his or her practice on criminal defense work primarily, if not entirely. Criminal laws are complex, and subject to change as cases are decided that impact those laws. Only an attorney who spends the majority of his/her time handling criminal cases is likely to keep up with those changes and really understand those laws.
Why You Need a Violent Crime Lawyer
Hiring an attorney who practices criminal defense work primarily, if not exclusively, is a must if you have been charged with a serious criminal offense, such as a violent crime. Furthermore, if you want the best defense possible you should go one step further and hire an attorney who has extensive experience handling violent crime cases because defending a violent crime is not the same as defending a white collar crime or some of the lesser offenses, such as petty theft or possession of marijuana. One of the most important ways in which violent crime cases are usually different is that they typically involve a victim. Preparing for, and defending, a case that involves a victim is much different than preparing and defending a case without a victim. Your attorney has to get an idea early on how the victim is going to impact the case. Some victims want nothing to do with the prosecution of the case while others play an active role. Some victims make excellent witnesses while others appear inherently unreliable or even unbelievable. Finally, some victims are forgiving and open to the idea of a plea agreement while others will only settle for the maximum possible sentence for the defendant. Because of the integral role a victim often plays in the prosecution of a violent crime it is imperative that the attorney representing you have the experience and skills necessary to know which categories the victim in your case calls into. For this reason alone it is best to hire a violent crime lawyer to represent you if you have been charged with a criminal offense that qualifies as a “violent crime.”
If you are currently facing criminal charges in Nebraska, it is certainly in your best interest to consult with an experienced Nebraska criminal defense attorney right away. In Nebraska contact Petersen Criminal Defense Law 24 hours a day at 402-509-8070 to discuss your case with an experienced criminal defense attorney.