In certain states, between 80-90% of people involved in lawsuits go without lawyers.
If you’re facing criminal charges, defending yourself may be a tempting option. Lawyers are expensive, and hiring one may seem like an admission of guilt. But the fact of the matter is, the average person is not equipped to deal with the nightmare that is the legal system.
It may be costly, but hiring a criminal defense lawyer immediately could save you time, money, and even a lot of grief in the future.
Defending yourself is an option, but let’s look at few reasons why you might consider hiring a lawyer.
If You Don’t Know the Law
The common cultural image of a lawyer is someone who wears a suit, argues in court, and shifts around a few papers. It’s easy to forget that lawyers are people who spent years of their lives studying the law.
A lawyer can advise you on what questions you should and shouldn’t answer. They can let you know whether it would be better for you to plead innocent or guilty. They can also protect you from unjust prosecution.
A good lawyer may be able to get charges dropped before any formal charges are brought against you. Many law firms, like the Andrew Byrnes Law Group, work diligently to make the prosecution’s job hard. Check out their website if you need assistance in finding the best criminal lawyer.
If the prosecution has a lawyer and you do not, you’ll be fighting an uphill battle.
If You Don’t Understand Legal Jargon
To an outsider, lawyers can seem like they speak a language of their own.
Look at this glossary of legal jargon. The last thing you want when facing potential jail time is a lawyer throwing terms at you that you don’t understand. Under these urgent circumstances, you’re likely to incriminate yourself.
Having a lawyer only on your side is having someone who can act as a translator. A lawyer will not only defend you — they will also save a lot of stress during the legal process.
Legal jargon is hard to understand. Without a lawyer there to walk you throw it, you might not stand a chance if your case comes to trial.
If You Don’t Know Many Lawyers
Another thing that’s easy to forget about lawyers is that they work with each other. The prosecution and defense are opponents, but they’re oftentimes familiar faces.
If you don’t know lawyers, you probably don’t know how to interact with them. This means you’re more likely to get on the prosecution’s bad side if they have hired a lawyer. It also means they’re more likely to pull the wool over your eyes since you don’t know any better.
Cooperation between prosecution and defense can lead to a smoother and more fair process.
If You Want to Save Money
This one may seem counterintuitive, but hiring a lawyer can save you money in the long run.
In the state of Pennsylvania, traffic fines for a DUI can run up to up to $10,000. In addition to that, there’s the cost of education and treatment, license restoration, and an impound fee.
Assault and battery cases can also carry serious fines. Say you got attacked, defended yourself, and your attacker is now bringing you up on charges of assault and battery. A lawyer can argue that you acted in self-defense or defense of property and get you out of legal fees.
In recent years, public opinion has shifted about drug-related offenses. But, in many states, possession of drugs still carries serious repercussions. If you’re a low-level drug offender, your lawyer can set up a plea-deal where you help law enforcement catch a bigger offender.
One of the biggest excuses for not hiring a lawyer is the cost. As you can see, the cost of not hiring a lawyer can be even greater.
If You Want to Save Your Future
Hiring a lawyer won’t only save you money — it could also save you precious time.
A first-time offense DUI in Pennslyvania puts you on up to six months probation. Repeat offenses can bump that up to two years in prison.
That same wrongful assault case mentioned earlier could cost you 10-20 years in prison. As you can imagine, they also come with significant damages in reputation.
If you’re caught up in a federal drug investigation, you can face up to ten years in prison for something as simple as drug possession. With a good federal criminal defense lawyer, you could get charges dropped completely.
Lawyers save you not only time but precious years of your life.
If You’re Innocent
As mentioned earlier, you may think that hiring a lawyer will make you seem guilty. The opposite is true. Hiring a lawyer doesn’t make you seem guilty, it makes you seem prepared.
If you’re innocent of a crime, you’re going to want to hire a lawyer so that people believe that you’re innocent. Moving through the legal process is difficult, and with a lawyer on your side, you have less of a chance to mess things up.
By hiring a lawyer you can better understand the charges brought against you. Your lawyer may also be able to get you out of the charge before it even goes to court.
Hiring a lawyer doesn’t make you seem guilty — it’s extra important if you’re innocent.
Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney Immediately
Altogether, the answer to the question “when is it a good idea to hire a criminal defense lawyer?” is “as soon as possible.” From the very beginning of the process of arrest, having a lawyer to remind you of your rights can help you.
In short — if you’re in criminal legal trouble, contact a lawyer immediately!
For more legal advice, check out the rest of our blog.