Why You Should Always Seek Professional Representation for Criminal Charges
This guide is designed to both encourage those who are facing legal charges to seek legal representation, and to give them information on how to find criminal defense representation.
Legal Documents Are ComplexThere is a wide-spread misconception that law is fully handled in the courtroom. While this may be true on television, in the real world many issues are handled through motions/legal documents. Without formal legal training/experience, these documents can be hard to understand, and the motions are even more difficult to draft correctly. The difference between a poorly drafted motion, and a well-crafted motion can be a conviction and time in jail.
The Other Players in the GameBeyond just legal documents/motions, criminal defense attorneys know the judges, the state's attorneys, and even the police involved in cases. There are many instances where criminal defense attorneys can obtain better results for a defendant, just by knowing what the specific judge or state's attorney in the case wants to hear.
The Danger of Representing YourselfOne of the most common issues with a defendant representing herself/himself in any case, is that the defendant has the inability to view the case from a neutral standpoint. It is easy for anyone to get heated, when they are told that they did something wrong. This can lead the defendant to act out, or even simply misspeak in court. It is best to hire a professional who can look at the individual case from a neutral point of view.
CostFinally, the big issue usually is cost. Many criminal defendant's feel as though they cannot afford a criminal defense attorney, and so they feel trapped. This should not discourage anyone from seeking representation, however, as there are many resources available to those who cannot afford private representation. The Public Defender's Office in each local county is a great source of representation for the indigent defendant. They will perform a screening, where they ask the defendant questions about their financial situation to make sure that they qualify for a Public Defender. Another option would be the local Criminal Division of Legal Aid. Anyone who feels as though they cannot afford legal representation should look into these resources.