Have you ever experienced the drive of shame to your local jail while handcuffed in the back of a police car?
If so, then you likely already know how isolated and scared you immediately feel. You’re hauled off to jail, booked, and left in a cell. What’s next?
How can you prove your innocence while trapped behind bars? Should you hire a criminal lawyer? Most experts would agree that lawyers provide invaluable benefits to accused suspects.
Keep reading to learn the top ten reasons why you should consider hiring a criminal attorney.
1. Understand Your Charges
Did you know that police are not required to inform you why you’re getting arrested? The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that there’s no Constitutional rule dictating they should.
Most police departments give suspects the courtesy of knowing their charges. Citizens need to understand, though, that police aren’t obligated to explain.
The only time police must explain themselves is when they arrive with a warrant. If they do, then be sure to read the document. There, you will find the reasons for the search or arrest.
It’s not unheard of for a suspect to be in the dark up until their arraignment, which could be days after the arrest.
A good lawyer will help you understand your charges.
2. Get a Clear Picture of the Consequences
Again, police do not have to explain the potential consequences of your charges. Too many innocent individuals get duped into pleading guilty for a lack of knowledge. How’s so?
Imagine getting told you’ll face life in jail unless you admit to committing a lower offense. Then, cops tell you they already have enough evidence to prove you’re guilty.
If you plead guilty to a lower charge, then you could pay a fine and get freed. What would you do?
You could try to research on your own using criminal law books, or you could hire an attorney.
3. Avoid a Wrongful Conviction
Have you ever heard the common phrase the truth will set you free? While beautiful in theory, this notion doesn’t always hold true in criminal court.
Are you counting on your innocence to shine through in court and exonerate you? It’s best not to hedge your freedom on the chance a judge or jury will see your side.
Experts estimate that wrongful convictions make up about 2-10% of all convictions. While that number may seem small, it amounts to AT LEAST 46,000 innocent people in jail.
You need a lawyer to prevent getting convicted of a crime you never committed.
4. Discover the Evidence Against You
If you got arrested, then you can bet that the state already has some level of evidence against you. The right criminal defense lawyer will inform you about what that evidence is.
What happens if your rights got violated to get that evidence?
An attorney will identify this evidence and work to get it thrown out of court. This action may result in lowered or even dropped charges.
5. A Criminal Lawyer Will Develop Your Defense Strategy
Understanding what type of evidence the state has against you is crucial. This information gets used to develop your defense strategy. You’ll also need to know:
- The exact crime(s) you’re charged with
- The potential punishments of the crime
- Possible legal defense strategies in your situation
- What your best option is
The strategy you use to defend yourself may change as new evidence comes to light.
A skilled attorney is an expert in his field of law. They will already know in detail about the potential defenses you can use. They’ll also have a better idea of what will work and what won’t with the judge or jury.
6. Benefit from Court Relationships
Are you still wondering do I need a lawyer? Here are a few advantages about attorneys that are often overlooked:
- Attorneys usually have friendly relationships with judges and other lawyers
- Lawyers have built up credibility and trust in their local courts
As a suspect, courtroom workers don’t have many reasons to trust you. Having a good attorney will help you build trust.
7. Court Coaching
Are you comfortable speaking in public? How about taking the stand and speaking under oath?
Attorneys know exactly what the judge and jury want to hear. They can help you prepare what you will say and how to answer.
This type of court coaching is invaluable. Remember, it’s the prosecutor’s job to try to trip you up and have you incriminate yourself.
8. Tackling the Paperwork
Attempting to represent yourself in court comes with many challenges. If you’re swimming in paperwork, then you’re likely thinking I need a criminal lawyer!
Good attorneys know what type of paperwork you’ll need to file. They have access to the documents and can help you every step of the way.
Most paperwork must get filed as soon as possible. Otherwise, your case may get delayed. You could also lose the opportunity to discover the evidence against you.
9. Better Sentencing Outcomes
I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “do the crime do the time,” but is it true?
Depending on your situation, an attorney can help you:
- Avoid jail time
- Get diverted into a rehab program
- Agree to community service rather than jail
- Reduce jail time or fines
- Get your charges dropped
An attorney always leads to better sentencing outcomes.
10. It’s Your Right as an American Citizen
Did you ever notice how police always inform you of your right to secure an attorney? That’s because it’s such an important right that it’s embedded into the Constitution.
Courts also recognize the power of protection attorneys provide for clients. So, they’ve ruled cops must inform suspects about this crucial right before questioning.
Hire an Expert Lawyer Who Can Help
Getting charged with a crime is a serious matter. The potential consequences of a conviction are extreme. Rather than risking your freedom, reach out to a criminal lawyer who can help.
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