If you’re facing criminal charges, there are probably a million questions running through your head, but the main one should definitely be, “who should represent me?”. Finding legal counsel as early in your case as possible is essential to its outcome, so never put off until too late in your case. Even if you’re innocent, or think your case is simple and you don’t need a lawyer, there are many reasons to hire one as soon as you are charged.
You need to find a lawyer who’s right for you
If you wait too long or rely on a court-appointed attorney, you will have very limited options for representation, and you want to avoid this situation. Finding a lawyer is important, but finding a lawyer you work well with is vital. Not every lawyer is going to be right for you, so starting early, even when you’re not entirely sure you think you need a lawyer, is a good idea. This gives you a wider pool of lawyers still available to choose from and more time to choose one that you work well with.
They provide experience
Even if you think that you have nothing to worry about with your case, a lawyer’s experience is essential to your time in court. No matter how much time you have spent in court, it’s still not as much a defense lawyer. They are accustomed to all of the procedures and can walk you through them so that you know what to expect. Hiring a lawyer at the start of your case will ensure that there are no surprises along the way, and ensure that you have a strategy for each step.
On your own, you probably don’t know that many people in the courtroom, but your lawyer likely will. Since they have worked other cases, they know a lot of people in the industry, and may also have access to more information or resources than you. In addition, coming from a place of authority, they may be more able to help witnesses in your case understand their role and be confident in their testimony.
They can keep you from facing unnecessary charges
Especially in the early stages of a case, having a lawyer present can keep you from saying anything you might regret. Since they know the specifics of the different kinds of charges that could be put against you, they can also tell you how to avoid unnecessary ones. If you don’t hire a lawyer early, the initial stages of questioning could result in you revealing something that you did not need to.
They understand the long term consequences of your case
Understanding the charges you are facing can help you understand the consequences of them. A defense attorney can explain the ways that a conviction or charge can impact your life further down the road. These ramifications are something you wouldn’t necessarily have knowledge of – like difficulty getting hired or exclusion from certain advantages. In addition, a lawyer may be able to negotiate a plea bargain, or something similar, in order to reduce your charges, which you would likely not be able to do on your own.
While going through the process of hiring a lawyer when you’re already reeling from having charges pressed against you may seem like a hassle, it is absolutely vital. Hiring a criminal defense attorney ensures that you have someone there beside you in the courtroom to guide you and that you won’t make any mistakes in the process of your case that lead you to more severe consequences than you should have had.