Do I Need a Criminal Lawyer?

PUBLISHED: March 21, 2017

That’s a question that many people ask themselves after being charged with a crime. As there are options like court-appointed attorneys or consulting with an attorney as opposed to hiring a criminal lawyer, it’s important to make sure that you’re able to access the assistance you need. Here are a few points to think about if you’ve been charged with a crime.

What Have You Been Charged With?

The crime that you’ve been charged with will determine, to a considerable extent, whether you need a defence lawyer to represent you and work to have the charges dropped. Here are some of the crimes that may require you to hire a criminal lawyer.

  • Violent crimes – Crimes like assault and battery, domestic abuse and homicide will require you to hire a criminal lawyer.
  • Theft – A variety of crimes like theft, burglary and grand theft auto are serious crimes that require legal assistance.
  • Drugs – If it’s a minor possession charge, for example, marijuana, you don’t need a criminal lawyer, however, if it’s intent to sell or distribute hard drugs you will.

These are some of the many charges that you should consider hiring a lawyer for.

What to Look for In a Lawyer

If you’ve thought about the outcomes and you’ve decided that you need the assistance of a criminal lawyer, you need to know what to look for. Here are some qualities to insist on when looking for a good criminal lawyer to defend you.

  • Experience – Do they have experience in defending clients on charges like yours? It’s important that lawyers have experience otherwise your case could be at risk, what’s more, an experienced lawyer won’t cost you any more than one lacking in experience, so who would you rather hire to defend you?

  • Confidence – Do you feel confident about their abilities as a lawyer? If you find that they seem unsure of your charges and the outcomes that they can deliver, you should look for one who is sure of their capabilities and represents a better chance of getting the charges dropped.
  • Approachability – How approachable is the lawyer and do you feel confident discussing every single aspect of your case with them? This is one of the most important qualities to look for in a criminal lawyer as you have to feel completely confident when discussing your charges and your involvement with them. Don’t forget that they must maintain your confidentiality at all times.

While you may not believe that your charges are serious enough to warrant a criminal lawyer (their services aren’t cheap in most cases), you need to think of your future and what could happen if you were convicted of the crime that you’re charged with. A conviction could limit your future possibilities, perhaps preventing you from travelling abroad or successfully applying for certain jobs, so you really need to consider the outcomes and look for ways to ensure the best possible outcome for you and your future. Don’t take any chances, hire a lawyer if you need to.

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