Do you really need a criminal defense attorney? Let this be your guide!
You Were Arrested And Charged With A Felony
A felony is a crime with a punishment of jail time over one year. These are typically accusations such as: Robbery, Murder, Manslaughter, Computer Crimes, Burglary, Possession Of A Controlled Dangerous Substance (CDS) over a certain amount.
When charged with a felony you will need an attorney.
You were Arrested And Charged With A Misdemeanor
A misdemeanor is a crime that punishment is less than a year in jail and/or fine. These are typically accusations such as: DUI, DWI, Possession of Marijuana, Assault and Battery.
When charged with a misdemeanor you will need an attorney. Typically if charged with a misdemeanor you will plea to the charges and not go to jail. You may justify pleading to the charges yourself; however, an attorney is in a position to obtain a better plea deal and will examine whether or not the charges should or should not be dismissed.
Arrested And Charged With A Federal Crime
If you were accused of a violating a federal crime, you must hire an attorney who is licensed to practice in federal court. These charges range in punishment and are complicated to maneuver. Hire an attorney.
If you want to contest a traffic ticket then you can represent yourself. However, keep in mind that often times the law requires that you post a cash bond. It also requires you to examine your case with a legal eye which requires you to do a lot of research and spend time that maybe you have or don't have.
However, in some jurisdictions if you hire an attorney they can post what is called an O.R. bond. Also an attorney will be able, and have the time, to effectively represent you in your case. However, the choice is up to you.
Can I Get A Public Defender?
Having a public defender appointed to your case depends on whether or not you are indigent. Every jurisdiction is different but generally, being indigent means you are jobless, have no or limited income, and you cannot post bond.
If you have a job, have income, or have posted bond, you need to find a private attorney. There are some private attorneys who will work with you on the expense.
So Why Hire An Attorney?
Representing yourself pro se is complicated and generally at the discretion of the court. Attorney's have been trained in the precise legal issues you are facing. Whenever they take your case, they take your burden as well.
Think of it this way, if you had to have brain surgery would you perform it yourself? NO! Besides the fact it would be near impossible, the complications of the surgery would baffle anyone even if using a medical website as a guide. You would hire a neurosurgeon.
The same holds true in the legal field. The legal landscape is extremely difficult. For criminal defendants this landscape is laden with land mines everywhere. A criminal defense attorney knows the path and will direct you through to ensure the best outcome of your case.
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