If you find yourself in legal difficulties, how do you know if you should hire a lawyer? If you’ve been served with a lawsuit or arrested for a crime, your first instinct may be to try to defend yourself. While you may be able to resolve some of your legal problems without a lawyer, representing yourself may not always be the wisest course of action.
What’s at Stake?
One question to ask is whether the stakes are high enough to warrant bringing in legal help. There are many circumstances where legal counsel can be useful, such as fighting traffic tickets, drafting a will or setting up a business deal. These situations don’t necessarily rise to the level of an urgent need for legal help.
On the other hand, in any situation that endangers either your freedom or your financial security, it is vitally important enough for you to seek legal counsel. If you’re being sued or you’re charged with a crime, consulting with an attorney will help you understand the situation and how to proceed.
Why Hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer?
Can you say absolutely that you understand what your rights are as a defendant? Are you aware that an arrest is not the same thing as being charged with a crime? Do you know everything that can be done to defend yourself against criminal charges? Chances are, probably not. Criminal law is complicated and it changes all the time. An experienced criminal defense attorney has a broad understanding of criminal law and knows how to use the criminal justice system to benefit you.
What a Defense Lawyer Can Do for You
Your attorney will get to work immediately to help you, with strategies designed to spring you out of prison and get your charges dropped. The first thing your attorney will do is analyze the case against you for strengths and weaknesses and discuss what you should plead. Once the attorney has the basic facts of your situation, he or she can proceed with challenging your arrest, arguing for your release on reduced bail, or negotiating a plea bargain.
Finding a Defense Lawyer to Represent You
Finding a defense lawyer for a case can be accomplished more easily by following one of these two steps:
1) Ask family and friends for a referral. This can give you a piece of mind knowing that the person that you are consulting with comes with a recommendation.
2) Research online for local attorneys. Do a search engine inquiry of your area and the kind of lawyer you are looking for. For example, if you are looking for a defense attorney experienced in DUI law for Charlotte, NC then input “DUI defense attorney Charlotte NC” for your search and the top few pages of your search will direct you to the kind of attorney you will be looking for. This also allows a person to navigate and research a lawyer and look for reviews online for each lawyer.
When Should You Consider Hiring a Defense Lawyer?
You can hire a defense lawyer at any stage of the criminal process, beginning with the investigation. Unless you’re arrested at the scene of the crime, you could become aware that you’re the subject of a criminal investigation. You should consider hiring a lawyer at this time to represent your rights and prepare for the possibility of an arrest.
If you’re arrested, it may be because the police have “probable cause,” meaning they reasonably suspect you’ve committed a certain crime. An attorney can be helpful at this stage to argue against the evidence leading to your arrest.
Arraignment is the court proceeding in which the charges against you are presented and you enter your guilty or not guilty plea. At this stage, it is important for you to have retained counsel to enter a plea bargain or help you prepare for trial.
If you find yourself at any of these stages of a criminal case, it’s best to hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. The more serious the charges, the more vital it becomes to have legal representation. If you’ve been arrested or charged with a crime, consider hiring a defense attorney with experience and a good track record in the type of crime you’re charged with. It could mean your freedom.
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Legal researcher and writer, Lisa Coleman shares ways a person can research and find a local defense attorney for a legal issue they may be faced with. She recently researched http://www.powmac.com online and found information on ways a North Carolina DUI defense attorney can help a person that is facing DUI charges in the Charlotte, NC area.