Do I Need to Hire a Lawyer or Can I Go to Court Myself?
If you can afford a lawyer, the answer is most certainly YES—hire a lawyer!
People often tell me that a family or friend told them to just go to court by themselves. I’ve also had many clients with a prior criminal case who didn’t hire a lawyer. Very often, based on my experience, I believe these people would have gotten a better outcome with an attorney working on their side.
Keep in mind there wouldn’t be criminal lawyers if it didn’t make a difference. Criminal charges can have serious consequences to your future and your liberty, don’t do this by yourself—you wouldn’t treat a broken leg by yourself, would you?
What Can an Attorney Do for You? An Attorney:
Is an ally: In the courtroom, your attorney is the only person looking out for YOUR interest; not the police, the prosecutor nor the judge.
Can advise on the best course of action: you don’t have to decide what to do all by yourself or worry whether you should accept a certain outcome or “fight” the charges.
Understands the justice system: how the facts in your case, your history, your background, the jurisdiction and players (police, judges, prosecutors, probations, etc.) can affect your outcome.
Have developed professional working relationships with prosecutors: know prosecutors’ tendencies and what they look for in certain cases. That understanding can help the attorney prepare a mitigation strategy (things that may lessen your punishment).
Can protect your rights: review your case to see if your rights were violated and if evidence should be suppressed. Attorneys know what police officers are permitted to do and what should have been done. It’s not as simple as, “they didn’t read my Miranda Rights” see here.
May seek to have your case dropped: before your case is even filed (officially charged), an attorney may be able to get your case dropped based on evidence or law. In such a case, your attorney serves as a voice to the prosecutor to present facts or a legal perspective that they may not have based on just the police report.
May save you money and help protect your future: by helping you to achieve a better outcome (reduced charges, lesser penalties, diversionary program, dismissed charges, etc.), which can help you to keep your job and life intact. This is especially important if your immigration status is a consideration. Certain outcomes in a criminal case may bar you from obtaining your residence or citizenship.
If You're Looking for an Attorney in Palm Beach County
Call 561-847-4726 for a free consultation on your criminal or DUI case. Let me tell you how I can help you!