Many people do not know that not all is lost once a "guilty as charged" verdict has been arrived at in their trial. They imagine that nothing can be done to affect the sentence that will be handed to them. Criminal defence lawyers can still help you to get a more lenient sentence by presenting to court mitigating factors in your defence. This article discusses some of those factors.
Use this information to understand why it is very important to hire an attorney once you are charged with a criminal offence:
The criminal defence lawyer may present court with information about circumstances that you went through in the past that set you up to commit the crime that you have been found guilty of committing. For instance, the lawyer may tell court about how you were raised in a physically-abusive family so you were nurtured to look at physical violence as the right way to enforce discipline in the family. That mitigating factor can make the presiding judge to give you a lighter sentence and ask you to attend counseling.
Your criminal defence attorney can also present the mitigating factor that you show genuine remorse about the offence you are guilty of committing. For instance, he or she can remind court of how you broke down as you were being cross-examined about the events of the day when you committed the crime. By drawing court's attention to your remorse, the lawyer will help to secure a lighter sentence for you since he or she would have proved that you do not need a lengthy prison term to reform you into a better person.
Culpability of Your Victim
Another mitigating factor that your attorney can use to get you a lighter sentence is to draw the court's attention to the culpability of your victim. For instance, the lawyer can point out how the person you assaulted kept taunting you over something that provoked you. The taunts, coupled with the stress of the situation can be explained to have affected you to assault that person. While such information may not exonerate you from the crime, it can help to portray the victim as being active in driving you to commit the crime so the judge may give you a lighter sentence.
As you can see, a criminal defence lawyer can play a very important role in getting a lighter sentence. That is why it is very important for you to cooperate with him or her fully in the course of hearing your case.