If you are facing criminal charges, you may feel comfortable enough handling your own defense. After all, perhaps you have been through the criminal justice system in the past, or you simply enjoy watching reruns of “Law and Order.”
Even if you think your case is simple enough to handle on your own, the advice of an experienced attorney can prove invaluable. The more you have at stake, the more you may benefit from legal counsel.
What you don’t know can hurt you
Protecting your rights isn’t something that happens in the abstract. An attorney’s focused knowledge can include many of the following:
- An understanding of the laws for obtaining, processing and suppressing evidence against you
- Access to a network of private investigators, expert witnesses and other professionals who can help your case
- Experience in predicting the outcome of your case and the best path to take toward the most positive resolution possible
- Perspective on the legal options that would be in your best interests, such as the terms of a plea deal
Your attorney will also have a professional detachment that will allow for a clear focus on the legal issues. On the other hand, your anxiety or emotions about the charges may render you unable to effectively present your case or defend yourself against an aggressive prosecution.
Facing the music alone
While a defense attorney certainly offers these benefits, it may help you to remember that your opponent on the prosecution side also has knowledge, experience and access to essential resources you will not have. The prosecutor may also have his or her own reasons for zealously pursuing a conviction, and you may be outmatched when the prosecutor takes advantage of your inexperience.
Since many Florida defense attorneys offer free initial consultations, you can obtain an evaluation of your case and learn what it will take to accomplish your goals with no risk. You may find an attorney who is dedicated to protecting your rights in the face of criminal charges and who will provide you with a vigorous defense you could not otherwise provide for yourself.