Criminal defense is not only important as a guarantee that anyone accused of a crime will receive a fair hearing. It has meaning beyond a person's own need to avoid prison time, heavy fines or other punitive sentences. It is also a way for people to protect their reputation while the liability or guilt around criminal acts is established or dismissed.
Charges for felonies and misdemeanors may cause damage to defendants before cases are tried or even arraigned. Many employers are wary of workers and managers facing charges and may suspend or dismiss people for that reason. Although it is often illegal to punish people for pending charges, it may still happen, and it may be difficult to recover.
A 31-year-old man from Nashville is facing charges that he used student loan data to hijack federal student loan payments. The indictment includes 12 charges, including fraud and aggravated identity theft. The federal investigation ended when he was arrested by Nashville police on unrelated charges.
The defendant may be facing 20 years in prison and a fine in excess of $200,000. The public nature of criminal charges means that he may have difficulty dealing with the damage to his career or social life even before he deals with fighting these charges.
People facing criminal charges of any kind may retain legal representation to defend against the accusations of prosecutors as well as attempts to prevent problems in the family or career. An attorney can help as a personal guide through the complicated processes of dealing with possible plea bargains or jury trials.