In Leesburg, attorneys who practice criminal defense law provide vital legal counsel to clients who have been accused of committing a crime. They have the education and experience needed during the criminal process, although defendants should still develop a foundational understanding of how that process works before hiring a Leesburg attorney.
Once the police make an arrest, they draft and send a report regarding the arrest to the prosecutor, who makes the decision whether or not to prosecute the criminal act. These reports contain basic summaries of the events leading up to the arrest, including details like dates, location, time, and witness contact information. The report could potentially include the information on whatever Leesburg attorney is representing the accused.
When prosecutors decide to initiate criminal proceedings against the accused, they can decide to file charges regarding all of the crimes the police suspect the individual committed, or to instead file charges for more or less serious crimes than those leveled by the police in Leesburg. Attorneys acting as prosecutors should communicate from there on out primarily through the criminal defense attorney for the accused.
As Leesburg attorneys can advise their criminal defense clients, the U.S. Supreme Court has held that indigent defendants who cannot afford to hire their own attorneys are as entitled to adequate legal representation as those who hire their own Leesburg attorneys to represent them. Those defendants represented by attorneys who do not do a reasonably good job defending them could potentially have cause later for a new trial.
The right to adequate representation does not mean that defendants have the right to perfect legal representation–if such a thing even exists. In order for a new trial to be granted due to an ineffective Leesburg attorney, the representation would have to be sufficiently shocking to convince a judge to throw out the guilty verdict because of an attorney’s incompetence. The following are examples where judges have done just that:
- A Leesburg attorney leaving the courtroom with only a law student intern in charge of the defense;
- A Leesburg attorney acknowledging that the defendant was guilty of a lesser crime during closing argument–but had not cleared that tactic with the defendant beforehand, and
- A Leesburg attorney failing to properly challenge two potential jurors who claimed during the voir dire process that they could not remain neutral if a defendant refused to testify.