Those arrested for DUI, possession or other crimes may wonder why they need a lawyer. Maybe the defendant is trying to avoid the expense of hiring representation or even believe that they can represent themselves. While we are lawyers and therefore biased about the importance of legal counsel but leaving your defense to a paid profession provides short and long-term benefits.
No matter what evidence the prosecution has, a trained defense attorney can help avoid these mistakes:
- Missing a court date: Many wait for a summons to come in the mail or get the date wrong, but a failure to appear can mean the judge issues a bench warrant. An attorney will know the date and may even appear instead of the client.
- Entering the wrong plea: The judge will ask for your plea (innocent, guilty or no contest) at the arraignment, and once entered, there is no changing your mind.
- Not dismissing charges: An attorney will recognize the opportunity to dismiss the charges before trial.
- Not negotiating a plea deal: Charges and penalties may be negotiable when handled by a knowledgeable attorney who understands the law and sentencing guidelines.
- Not mounting a proper defense: A strong defense involves more than a claim of innocence. An attorney can have valid questions regarding probable cause or the prosecution withholding exculpatory evidence.
- Allowing inadmissible evidence: Judges have the final word for what is admissible, but a defense attorney can argue convincingly about inadmissible evidence.
- Allowing a wrongful conviction: Along with inadmissible evidence, the defendant could be wrongfully convicted, resulting in tragic consequences.
Attorneys often offer free consultations
Many are afraid to talk to a lawyer because they figure it will cost money, but many attorneys offer free consultations before taking on the case. Reputable attorneys do not guarantee results, but they will explain the applicable laws and how they can help the defendant. It is often a great relief to realize that someone is on their side.