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When Should I Hire A Criminal Defense Lawyer

When Should I Hire A Criminal Defense Lawyer

Should you hire a criminal defense lawyer? After all, only your liberty, finances, ability to find suitable employment and having a decent future are at stake.

If you have been charged with a crime, here are some questions you might be asking yourself and why you should retain a good criminal defense lawyer.

It Is Only A Misdemeanor

Will you just get probation and a fine? While many misdemeanor offenses do result in probation and a fine, it depends on the nature of the offense and your prior record. Also, it is still a crime, and it will remain on your criminal record, which anyone can see on a criminal background check.

Most alcohol offenses are misdemeanors, but a conviction means loss of your driver's license for a time, skyrocketing insurance premiums and a hefty fine. If this is not your first DUI, you face certain jail time of many months, enhancement to a felony in some cases, loss of your license for an extended period and probable loss of your job.

It Is My Only Felony

Unless you're a movie star or professional athlete, a felony conviction is serious. Your ability to find employment or housing, obtain a security clearance, retain or keep a professional license, obtain credit, travel or get affordable insurance is severely hampered. You cannot own a firearm or even vote in some states. If you are an immigrant, you face possible deportation.

How A Lawyer Can Help

  1. A lawyer will see if every element of the offense against you can be proved.
  2. Police often mishandle arrests and crime scenes. A lawyer can investigate if evidence has been lost or tainted.
  3. Eyewitnesses are notoriously unreliable, which a good lawyer can exploit.
  4. Courts are overwhelmed, and prosecutors have to move cases along. A good lawyer can reduce your charge to a misdemeanor, dismiss it or get you probation.
  5. If your case is DUI, a good lawyer might show that your stop and arrest lacked probable cause or your blood test was unreliable.

Not hiring a criminal defense lawyer is a crime, and the consequences can affect you for life.