When you've been arrested or even ticketed for any type of crime, you want to carefully consider hiring a criminal defense attorney. You may think you can simply talk your way out of a charge or may not care about the charge itself, if it seems relatively minor, but this thinking can be costly. Note a few important questions to consider about hiring a criminal defense lawyer for your case.
1. What if I plan to plead guilty?
Even if you plan to plead guilty or to not contest charges, you still want to call a criminal defense attorney. This is because they can work to negotiate your punishment; you may be able to forego jail in favor of certain types of community service, or you may be able to negotiate the costs and fines you would face with a guilty plea. A criminal defense attorney may also be able to negotiate to have the charges removed from your permanent record after a certain length of time rather than having them show up for the rest of your life.
2. Why hire an attorney for minor charges?
Even seemingly minor charges can be very costly in terms of fines you may need to pay, the punishment that is handed down, and how it affects your criminal record. Something like a reckless driving charge or charge of petty theft may not seem very important to you today, but consider how these charges might affect your ability to get certain jobs, loans, and the like. Rather than assume that something is so minor that you shouldn't worry about how to defend yourself, at least meet with a criminal defense attorney to find out your options and risks.
3. What if I've already confessed?
Coerced confession are not altogether uncommon, as police often try to wear down a suspect or make them feel as if they have no option but to confess. Even a true confession can sometimes be thrown out from a criminal trial so that it can't be used against you. If you've already confessed or made statements that could be damaging to your case, don't assume that it's somehow "over" for you or that you have no options in court. If anything, this means that it's even more important that you speak with a criminal defense attorney so you can explore options of how to have the confession thrown out, or how to cast doubt on your confession and protect your defense.
Hello, all. I am a volunteer worker at an outreach centre which helps people of all ages with financial problems. I have come to realise that many of these people face hardships due to life-changing incidents such as unfair dismissal, a workplace injury or a car accident. Many of them are hard workers who aren’t aware of their legal rights. Last year, our outreach centre brought a lawyer on board to provide legal advice and assistance. I help by scheduling appointments, taking notes and following up on each case. I have learnt an awful lot about our laws and am impressed how knowing the right legal avenues can change people’s lives. I have just started a legal assistant’s course and thought this blog might be a good place to record the knowledge I gain. I hope you find it useful and insightful. Thank you for stepping into my world.