Arrested in Raleigh? Here Are Four Reasons Why You Should Hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you pick up a criminal charge in Raleigh, you face an uncertain road ahead. You could choose to go down that road with an experienced and dedicated criminal defense lawyer at your side, or you could decide to go it alone.
Even though you certainly have the right to represent yourself, you should be cautious about making that your choice. “He who represents himself has a fool for client,” goes an old proverb. It rings true for four specific reasons:
#1: A lawyer knows the law.
When you hire a lawyer, you benefit from the lawyer’s education, training and experience. The lawyer will have a strong understanding of North Carolina criminal law and procedure and know how it applies to your case. The lawyer can use that knowledge to explain your legal rights and options to you. Above all, the lawyer will know how to carefully guide your case and pursue the best possible outcome.
#2: A lawyer knows how to investigate cases.
In any case, the facts are as important as the law. Your lawyer will know how to unearth those facts. The lawyer will make sure the district attorney’s office turns over all evidence against you and dig deeper and investigate that evidence.
For instance, in a drug possession case, the prosecutor may plan to use evidence that police officers obtained in a traffic stop. Upon investigating the stop, including reviewing available dash-cam or body-cam footage, your lawyer may discover that the police violated your rights in order to get the evidence. If a court orders the evidence to be thrown out, it could lead to a dismissal of the charge against you.
#3: A lawyer knows how to navigate the court system.
If your lawyer represents clients in court every day, then the lawyer will be highly familiar with the local court rules, judges, clerks and other court personnel. The lawyer also will be familiar with the local prosecutors. If you wish to enter a plea, a lawyer should be able to effectively work with the prosecutor in charge of your case and seek a fair and reasonable plea agreement for you. If you wish to go to trial, your lawyer’s experience in the court should help him or her to craft an effective defense strategy. For example, the lawyer may have prior experience with examining certain police officers or experts.
#4: A lawyer knows how to objectively assess your case.
We often make decisions based on our emotions. If you represent yourself, you may let your emotions get the better of you and make choices that come back to haunt you. A lawyer, on other hand, can provide a solid, objective assessment of your case. The attorney can provide the frank, straightforward advice and representation that you need and deserve.
Many people choose to represent themselves because they are concerned about paying for a criminal defense attorney. However, when you consider the potential fines, loss of freedom and loss of rights and privileges that you could face as a result of your criminal case, you may very well find that hiring a lawyer is well worth the cost. Additionally, you can work with a lawyer to arrive at a payment plan that works best for your situation.