If you are ever accused of committing a crime, you have the option of either defending yourself or seeking the help of a criminal defense lawyer. The people who choose to represent themselves are usually worried that they might be unable to afford legal fees or, in some cases, feel competent enough to handle the legal process.
Whatever the motivation, it is never wise to go through criminal proceedings without representation. First, the US constitution guarantees that anybody facing criminal charges will obtain the help of an attorney even if he or she can’t afford one. It is the duty of the government to provide you with a lawyer. Secondly, the legal process is complicated and unless you are in the profession, there are no guarantees that your rights will be protected. It therefore hardly makes any sense not to seek legal help.
Criminal law and the justice process is complex
The definitions of crime, and the attendant punishments, vary from state to state. For some crimes you could escape with alight fine while for others you might serve many years in jail or sit in the electric chair. These are the complexities that make the services of an experienced attorney indispensable.
Getting the services of a lawyer before being charged
When you suspect that you might be charged, it helps to seek the services of a lawyer immediately. Getting the help of a lawyer at this point helps as he or she will advise you how to deal with the police when they come to either arrest or interrogate you. Without this kind of help, you are likely to divulge incriminating info.
Should you eventually get arrested, a criminal defense lawyer can help fight for your rights by persuading the court to grant you bail. When the amounts required for bail are excessive, an
experienced lawyer has the ability to argue for reduced amounts or even a complete waiver.
Getting your sentence reduced
Sometimes, it is inevitable that a suspect will be found guilty and will be punished. Your defense lawyer will analyze the possible sentences and seek to enter into a plea bargain – an arrangement that allows for you to receive a lesser punishment than what you would have been sentenced to.
Quite clearly, the entire criminal process is pretty complicated and it would be foolhardy to go through it without the help of an experienced lawyer.