Facing criminal charges is a stressful situation to say the least, and this goes for both the guilty and the innocent. Obviously, being accused of a crime you didn’t commit is a nightmare scenario, but even if the accusations are true, you still have a basic right to a defense. It’s also true that you have the right to represent yourself in court. While some view this as an appealing option, it is almost certainly a bad idea. It’s highly unlikely that you’ll have the legal knowledge and self-awareness to represent your case as well as an attorney could. The benefits of hiring a criminal attorney almost always outweigh the costs.
Expert legal knowledge
Naturally, the greatest advantage of having a criminal attorney on your side is their expertise regarding the legal system. Unless you’re a criminal lawyer yourself, an attorney knows the law better than you ever could, and that’s just part of the equation. Different lawyers will specialize in different areas, so you can find one perfectly suited to your situation. They’ll also know all the regulations for the state you’re charged in as well as the judges and officials in the area. If your criminal charge is in Colorado, even if you don’t live there, it would be a good idea to search for Denver criminal attorneys to have your best chance at a successful outcome. While an attorney from a different state would likely be perfectly competent, they would be significantly disadvantaged in the beginning.
Experience defending the accused
In addition to their legal knowledge, attorneys are also experienced specifically in defending the accused. They are able to examine the facts in a case and impartially build the best argument in your favor. They will know of any loopholes or inconsistencies in the law, and they are practiced in using these to a client’s advantage. While a credible attorney shouldn’t promise that they can get charges dismissed before taking a case, it’s certainly worthwhile to ask about possibilities during a consultation.
An attorney’s experience also makes them better equipped to develop a case strategy than you would be on your own. They can conduct independent investigations while collecting facts, and they’ll have a better chance at negotiations and making settlements before a case goes to trial.
Another great benefit of a criminal attorney is that they are a source of moral support throughout the case. Facing criminal charges can lead one through the spectrum of negative emotions, and an attorney can help clients cope with these feelings. They will keep you updated on the development of the case and guide you through possible outcomes. It’s also in their best interest to be empathetic toward your situation, regardless of the circumstances.
Attorneys also offer support by doing damage control for you. A great advantage of hiring an attorney is that law enforcement will be stopped from contacting you without going through your attorney first. In certain cases, you’ll also be able to deflect any questions from insurance companies to your attorney.
Hiring an attorney also reduces your risk in a case immediately. In fact, it’s best to start this process as soon as possible. The longer you wait in a criminal matter, the longer the prosecution has to build their case against you. Acting as quickly as possible increases your odds of a positive outcome.
If it comes down to it, an attorney can also protect you from excessive penalties. Not every case can be won, but a defense attorney can make sure that you aren’t taken advantage of or that your rights aren’t violated by an unfair sentence. Ultimately, a defense attorney will save you valuable time in a case, ensure you have the best legal strategy, and protect and support you during a crucial time.