Have you ever wondered why you should hire a criminal defense attorney? Although there are a number of reasons, here are 10 to keep in mind.
#1: Your Attorney is Working for You
The job of a prosecutor or court official is much more statistical than you might realize. It is the job of these people to get criminals – alleged and otherwise – off the street; to reduce the numbers and make the general public feel safe. They have heard all the stories over and over and they aren’t very focused on the guilt or innocence of one person. They assume law enforcement has done its job. A criminal defense attorney has only one job: to protect your rights.
#2: Help Examining Evidence
Going into a trial without experience and without representation is a little bit like doing your taxes yourself. You may not realize there are loopholes or weak areas in the evidence the other side presents. A criminal defense attorney will not only find the weaknesses in the prosecution’s argument, he or she will track down any records that will help your case and show them to the court.
An often overlooked facet of going to court is the paperwork that has to be filled out and turned in on time. If you assume there will be an administrative clerk to help you do this, you will be at a disadvantage. The courts are not going to help you fill out your paperwork and they certainly won’t remind you to turn in paperwork on time. A defense attorney will make sure everything is filled out, that you understand what you are filling out, and that it is all turned in on time.
Your defense attorney has only one job: to defend you against criminal charges. His or her time and energy will be devoted to building your case. Also, he or she will be educated in their specific field of law, the criminal court system and its procedures. The average person charged with a crime doesn’t have that kind of expertise.
#5: Protection From Prosecution
The average person charged with a crime doesn’t have in-depth knowledge of how the prosecution will build its case, or what “tricks of the trade” it may use to win. The truth is, convictions make the state money. This is not to say that prosecutors are dishonest. However, the truth is that they do not have your interests in mind. Your defense attorney can protect you from a ruthless prosecutor in court.
#6: Omission as Admission
In the State of Michigan, the longer you take to get legal representation, the more you are allowing the prosecution to build a case against you and the worse it “looks.” In other words, if you don’t defend yourself, it may look like you’re guilty.
#7: Decreased Penalties
You might be surprised at the penalties that come with what you assume to be minor crimes. Even a DUI, theft charge or possession of marijuana could come with harsh penalties and jail time. Don’t assume you won’t get the fullest penalty the law allows if you are found guilty.
#8: Expert Witnesses
Depending on what happens in your case, it may benefit you greatly to have an expert witness in your trial; that is someone who can testify to technical aspects of your case and strengthen it. A criminal defense attorney has the ability to get in touch with expert witnesses on your behalf, which could make the difference between freedom and jail time.
#9: Financial Gain
This one doesn’t seem real, but criminal proceedings often cost a lot of money for someone charged with a crime. Lost opportunity to work, harsh fines, court costs. Hiring an attorney can mitigate some of these costs, and save you money by keeping you out of jail and at your job, even if it does cost money up front to hire one.
#10: Clean Criminal Record
It is possible to remove your criminal record, even if you have a conviction. You can appeal to have your crime set aside so it can’t be seen, but you can’t do this kind of thing without a lawyer.
In conclusion, these are just 10 of the many good reasons to immediately hire a criminal defense attorney as soon as you are charged with a crime. Don’t attempt to take on the criminal justice system on your own. There is hope. Get your own advocate today.