Do You Need a Criminal Defense Lawyer? Yes!
The very fact that you’re pondering this question is a clear indicator that you do need a criminal defense attorney. And you don’t want just any lawyer, but an attorney with years of experience and expertise in criminal law. Even a minor criminal charge can land you behind bars if your defense isn’t handled well – and a conviction can haunt you for years – even once your sentence is completed. The criminal law experts at Will & Will work hard to make sure you are receiving the best possible outcome. Here’s what you need to know.
Three things NOT to do if you’re facing criminal charges
If you have been arrested or know that criminal charges are pending against you – no matter the crime – you need to act fast to get the protection you need so that you don’t get caught up in the system and have a bad outcome. Here are three things you definitely should not do.
#1 DO NOT hire a lawyer who doesn’t practice criminal law
You may know a lawyer – most everyone does – but a real estate, divorce or general practice lawyer is not what you want. You want an expert. Just as you wouldn’t hire a podiatrist to perform your heart surgery, you don’t want an attorney with no criminal trial and court experience handling your defense.
#2 DO NOT accept a court-provided public defender
You may not even qualify financially for a public defender, but if even you do, there are a number of reasons why hiring a private attorney is preferable whenever possible. For instance, while public defenders are accustomed to the courtroom and criminal offenses, they are typically overburdened, usually working dozens of cases at once, and lack the time and resources to go all out for your defense.
#3 DO NOT try and defend yourself
While going pro se (as your own attorney) is viable for small claims court and minor civil matters, it is nothing you want to try with a criminal charge. Even experienced attorneys don’t try and defend themselves if they ever face serious charges, and you should not either. This is the worst of the three.
If you haven’t been arrested yet, but are under investigation…
While having an experienced criminal defense attorney by your side in court for your arraignment and trial or plea bargain is a necessity, you don’t want to wait until you’ve been arrested – if at all possible. Here’s why.
#1 The police want an arrest and conviction at all costs
The top priority of the police is to get an arrest and conviction for a crime. And the law allows them a lot of latitude over how they get information from you about possible involvement in a crime. They may even tell you they’re trying to protect you. They are not!
#2 The police may try and stop you from lawyering up
Once you have a lawyer, the police are shut down. So police may try and convince you that you don’t need a lawyer present because it’s just a casual conversation or tell you if you call a lawyer, you can’t get a deal. In fact, an experienced criminal lawyer can get you a better deal (or the charges dropped).
#3 The police are allowed to lie to you and will
The police may tell you they have witnesses and evidence when they have neither to try and get you to confess. You should know that police are trained how to lie to suspects in order to entice them to talk without calling their attorney. Don’t fall for it. Don’t talk to the police without an attorney.
However, if you know there is an investigation and possible charges will be filed, you can hire an attorney up-front and the police will not be able to ask you anything or try any of these tactics on you. Once you hire an attorney, they are prohibited from talking to you, lying to you about evidence, and other tactics commonly used by law enforcement.
And if you’ve already been arrested, you need an experienced criminal attorney ASAP. Call Will & Will today. We have decades of experience in criminal law and a long track record of successfully defending clients against all manner of criminal charges including non-violent crimes such as fraud, violent crimes, and domestic violence charges.
Call today (206) 209-5585 or text (206) 858-1380. We can arrange a meeting at our office, provide a phone consultation, or come to a location convenient to you. Our consultations are free and we can make affordable payment arrangements to ensure you get the aggressive criminal defense you deserve.