Knowing that one has the right to a criminal defense after an arrest can help someone to more effectively assert their rights. The more serious the charge, the more important basic civil rights may become. Murder and manslaughter are generally among the most severe charges possible in South Carolina, and they can be capital offenses.
Someone who is aware of their right to remain silent and the right to legal representation might refuse to speak with the police at first and instead consult with an attorney about their situation. Knowing to bring in an attorney is obviously of the utmost importance, as those facing criminal charges or police investigation without legal representation can make seemingly tiny mistakes that can drastically alter their legal options and protections.
Unfortunately, many people rush to contact the first defense attorney they can, possibly because that individual helped a family member in the past. Not every defense attorney has experience taking a case to trial, and that experience is of the utmost importance if someone wants to fight back against murder or manslaughter charges in South Carolina.
A criminal trial is a very technical process
It takes weeks of preparation and research to put together an effective defense strategy when someone faces criminal charges of any sort. Charges that could lead to lifelong incarceration or other severe penalties, like homicide and manslaughter charges, require a very thorough and careful defense preparation process. The prosecution has a heavy burden, and a defense attorney needs to know how to counter their evidence and challenge their narrative in court.
Attorneys that do not have experience taking a case to trial could fail to develop a defense that will actually work for their clients. They may have experience negotiating plea deals but may lack the ability to present a compelling case in court and to actively counter the prosecutor when necessary to effectively defend their client. Given that an estimated 94% of state-level felony convictions are the result of guilty pleas, most defense attorneys have minimal experience taking cases for their clients to trial. Their lack of hands-on professional experience could put their clients at a disadvantage when they are already in a vulnerable position.
The right experience and support can make all the difference
An attorney familiar with the criminal trial process will understand how to respond if the prosecutor violates court protocol and when to question the validity or accuracy of evidence. They will know how to bring in the right support based on the evidence that the prosecution has to diminish the strength of the state’s case.
Given the severity of the penalties that one risks when navigating homicide charges, having sufficient legal guidance and support when navigating this situation can be crucial to someone’s future.