Crime shows on television and a few bad apples in real life cause many people to consider the term "criminal lawyer" a redundancy, yet when individuals are prosecuted for crimes, criminal lawyers may literally be called life-savers. A criminal conviction may lead to not only incarceration but also a criminal record that may affect an individual throughout their life, denying them employment opportunities and educational benefits among other things.
Racial disparity in arrests and sentencing has lead to serious problems in some underprivileged African American communities. According to the ACLU, racial bias is rampant in a crime as benign as marijuana possession. A conviction for simple possession of a small amount of marijuana can lead denial of federal student loans, public housing, child custody, and even the right to remain in the country if the offender is not a permanent resident.
Because many of these offenders either don't have ready access to a criminal lawyer or believe that retaining a lawyer is unnecessary in a simple marijuana possession case, they face prison terms because of strict local drug laws or judges who follow mandatory sentencing guidelines for drug offenses that are disproportionate to the crime. The repercussions of these convictions create a downward spiral for many of these offenders after their release from incarceration.
An experienced criminal lawyer will know how to best approach this type of criminal case in court. They will be familiar with local laws, courts, and judges, and are aware of any mandatory sentencing guidelines that may be a hindrance to a dismissal of charges. A criminal lawyer can request drug counseling in lieu of jail time or a fine and community service combination.
A motion can also be filed to have the offender's record expunged if they do not commit another offence within a specified time limit. This will allow the offender to remain free of the limitations imposed on drug offenders.
Because incarceration is a multi-billion dollar industry, local and federal governments are hesitant to change the status quo. Criminal lawyers like Mark Battaglia, P.C. are the only party in the legal system who don't benefit financially from offenders being incarcerated, so they are the only ones that defendants can trust to have their best interests in mind. If the legal system is a slow-moving juggernaut that won't be redirected toward fair and unbiased sentencing any time in the near future, criminal lawyers are the only hope for those who are trapped in the system.