Why Hire an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer?
If you’ve been charged with a crime, one of the first questions on your mind is probably, “Should I hire a criminal defense attorney?” In most cases, you will benefit from consulting with and retaining an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible after you are arrested or charged with a crime. In fact, if you know that you are likely to be charged, it is wise to consult with an attorney in advance.
Representing Yourself in a Criminal Case
If the criminal charges don’t seem serious, you may feel that you’re better off saving your money and representing yourself. You may have heard that the prosecuting attorney is likely to offer you a plea agreement when you arrive in court, and you may be able to avoid both a trial and jail time if you just make the deal.
That may even be true. But, there are many factors to consider that you may not be aware of—factors an experienced criminal defense attorney can explain so that you can make an informed decision about how to proceed.
For example, certain criminal convictions lead to automatic driver’s license suspensions. Others may impact your employment or your future employment options. Still others may require registration and even limit where you are allowed to live, perhaps for the rest of your life.
Representing yourself is legal, but it can be risky unless you are thoroughly educated in both the relevant substantive law and the applicable procedural requirements. Imagine appearing for trial expecting to raise a defense that makes it clear that you’re not guilty of the crime, only to discover that you’re not allowed to introduce that evidence because you failed to file a timely notice or provide information to the prosecution when required.
It’s a criminal defense lawyer’s job to know the deadlines, procedures and pitfalls associated with criminal charges and to take timely action to protect your rights and provide you with the best defense possible.
Working with Your Family Lawyer in a Criminal Case
When you’re charged with a crime, you’re undoubtedly uneasy and want to work with someone you have a certain level of comfort with. Far too often, this leads people who have been charged with crimes—even serious crimes—to gravitate toward the same attorney who wrote their parents’ will, helped them out with a small claims case, or filed their brother’s bankruptcy case.
Unfortunately, many of those lawyers don’t have a strong background in criminal defense law, and may overlook strategies and opportunities that would be obvious to a seasoned criminal attorney.
That’s not to say, of course, that no general practice attorney can effectively handle a criminal case. The key lies in the level of experience. An attorney who has been representing criminal clients on a regular basis for twenty years but also handles bankruptcy and divorce cases may have precisely the experience you need. But, don’t assume that all attorneys have equal skills in the criminal defense arena, or that lawyer who did a great job with your divorce will necessarily be the best person to help you out with a possession of marijuana charge or a DUI.
Knowledge Counts in Criminal Defense
You’re not required to hire an attorney when you’re charged with a crime, and if you do choose to hire an attorney, you’re not required to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney. But, you don’t want to gamble with your future.
You wouldn’t try to perform your own surgery, and you wouldn’t hire a podiatrist to operate on your brain. Doesn’t every decision that could seriously impact your future deserve the same degree of care?
Most criminal defendants simply don’t know what an experienced criminal defense lawyer does. When your freedom and your finances are on the line, it just makes sense to get help from someone who understands the issues and knows the procedures, timelines and technicalities necessary to protect you.
If you or someone you know has been accused or charged with a crime, hire top-rated criminal attorneys in NYC. Call The Blanch Law Firm at 212-736-3900.