In the U.S., a criminal defense attorney is an attorney who deals with cases surrounding arrests, criminal investigations, and criminal charges in the past or the present. To be arrested, it simply means that there is reasonable suspicion that you have committed a crime. If you are being investigated or you are arrested for a criminal offense in Rhode Island, it is the role of the criminal defense attorney RI to stop the charges from ever being filed. When you hire an attorney for this, he/she will carry out separate investigations and if the prosecution’s investigations or charges negate what the lawyer finds out, he/she will fight to ensure that charges are not filed. A criminal defense attorney has to meet with you to discuss your case. He/she will advise you on the merits of your case. Understanding the merits of the case will help you decide whether the case should proceed to trial or if you should seek a plea bargain. It is the role of the attorney to visit you in jail if you are there awaiting trial. A good attorney will not charge you anything for the initial consultative session. It is the role of the criminal defense attorney to do case management. This involves the organization of case documents, the review of correspondence, and the indexing of all exhibits. The attorney has the role of plead preparation. During the course of the trial, the lawyer will have prepared different pleadings. These include answering complaints (are you guilty or not), pretrial briefs, and discovery. It is the role of the attorney to provide copies of the pleadings to the prosecution and to the court. A criminal defense attorney RI has the duty to do settlement negotiations. The court will give the defense and the prosecution an opportunity to negotiate a deal before the case proceeds to trial. In a plea bargain, you stand to get a lighter sentence in exchange of pleading guilty to a lesser charge or assisting the prosecution in the apprehension of an even bigger ‘fish’. If the defense team and the prosecution are not able to negotiate a settlement, your criminal defense attorney will begin preparing for the trial. This involves the retaining of experts, the preparation of opening statements, and the selection of the jury. A criminal defense attorney RI has several trial duties. These include the presentation of evidence, cross-examination of witnesses by the prosecution, and the provision of legal defenses. The attorney will decide if he/she should file an appeal if you are found guilty. Other roles of the attorney are to psychologically prepare you for any verdict, to coerce reluctant witnesses to testify, and to be your support system in a difficult period. It is important that you understand what to expect from a criminal defense attorney in RI as this will help you supervise the attorney and determine when you need one.