As a criminal defense attorney in North Charleston, I know that prejudice can heavily affect a criminal case, especially with serious felony charges. In a murder trial, for example, there is already a stigma against the accused. Even before the opening statements, many jury members will have convicted the defendant in their mind. Similarly, criminal defense attorneys often are asked, “How could you represent and defend someone like that?” Of course, I’m not talking about someone accused of shoplifting, drug possession, or even DUI. Generally, that question is reserved for a more serious charge, like murder or manslaughter.
Why Everyone is Entitled to a Fair Trial in South Carolina?
In a case like Dylan Roof’s, there is clear guilt. With the trial being held in Charleston, where the tragedy occurred, no one selected to the jury was going in with an unbiased opinion of Roof; it was evident that he was going to be convicted. It is still important to have an attorney to defend him, however, for a few reasons. First, our legal system’s ideal of “guilty until proven innocent” applies to everyone. In Roof’s case, because of media coverage and overwhelming evidence of his guilt, everyone basically knew that he was guilty. However, a trial is still necessary to decide the guilt; the public cannot. A fair trial guarantees that the defendant isn’t given more or less punishment than due and that the public opinion does as little as possible to sway the final decision.
Second, by challenging the legal system in every case, defense attorneys make sure that the precedent of a fair trial for everyone is set and defended. It would be a terrible thing to convict an innocent defendant, and defense attorneys do everything possible to make sure that never happens. We must give everyone a fair trial because defending even the most awful crimes makes the court’s future decisions more accurate and just, and keeps citizens under the court’s authority safer. For our ideals and principles to hold true, we must make sure that guilt has been proven before a conviction, and without a fair trial, we cannot say that a guilty sentence was just.
The Right Criminal Defense for You
Even with less publicized criminal cases, it is important to eliminate the bias of the public during the trial. If you are accused of a crime, it may feel like the legal system, police, and even the public are against you. Having a criminal defense lawyer at your side is the only way to guarantee a fair trial. In many cases, your defense attorney can work with the prosecutors to decrease a sentence or reduce a charge to a lesser one. In some cases, there may be classes that, if taken, can lead to a lesser sentence. Everyone deserves legal representation, no matter the crime or circumstances. Get the best with Deaton Law Firm. Call us today for a free criminal consultation and let us work to get you the best outcome possible for your case.