A criminal defense attorney specializes in defending people who have been charged with crimes by either the state or federal government.
You need a criminal defense lawyer if you have been charged with any form of misdemeanor like possession of marijuana, driving recklessly, vandalism, trespassing, disorderly conduct, simple assault, public intoxication, prostitution or petty theft (among a number of other misdemeanors). You also need this type of lawyer if you have been charged with a felony like grand theft, fraud, burglary or robbery, arson, aggravated assault, treason, kidnapping, rape or murder (among a number of other felonies).
A criminal defense attorney will help you by advising you on how to plead, proving your innocence, challenging your arrest, ensuring that your rights are NOT violated throughout the process of investigation and trial and getting you a reduced bail amount. Such a lawyer also helps by working out and negotiating plea bargains, ensuring you do NOT make incriminating statements or throwing them out if you have already done so, providing legal support throughout the legal process and reducing your sentence.