Why You Always Need an Attorney for a Criminal Case
Many people wonder if they need an attorney when they are charged with a crime. They worry about not being able to afford legal representation, and some believe that they can defend themselves successfully.
When a person is charged with a crime in Atlanta, they need an attorney. The answer is that simple. Any person who wishes to have a positive outcome in a criminal case needs to be represented by a professional. Why?
Imagine your case is actually a surgery. You may have watched medical dramas. You may have even taken an anatomy class in college, or read a book about medical procedures. But would you really trust yourself to remove your own appendix?
While a criminal case technically isn’t as life-threatening as surgery, it can be just as impactful. If you choose to represent yourself, you’re setting yourself up to spend at least part of your life behind bars.
Of course, the ramifications of spending time in prison don’t end once you get out. That’s why you absolutely need an experienced Atlanta criminal defense lawyer representing you.
Here are a few other points to consider:
Don’t Trust Everything You Read
There are many things that can be found in books. A person can search the Internet for almost anything. Unfortunately, the practice of criminal law is quite intricate, and not all of the information needed to mount a strong defense can be found through research.
You may gain a technical understanding of the law you’re accused of. You may even find a precedent for being found not guilty. But do you know how to convince a jury of your innocence? Do you have experience dealing with the judge overseeing your case? Even if the case never makes it to the courtroom, can you objectively identify a fair plea deal?
An experienced Atlanta criminal defense attorney knows the ins and outs of the local court system. They know how to work with the prosecutors, and know what each judge expects within the courtroom. They’ve pleaded cases before juries to get favorable outcomes.
In short, a lawyer knows what they’re doing. The same way you wouldn’t trust someone to do your job just because they’ve read a manual, you shouldn’t expect to be able to do an attorney’s job because you read up on the law.
What an Atlanta Criminal Defense Attorney Can Do
There is a misconception that the only thing an attorney will do is represent you in court. This is not the case.
Georgia criminal defense lawyers do much more than stand in court and question witnesses. An experienced criminal defense attorney can:
- Negotiate with prosecutors for reduced charges and lesser sentences. Prosecutors tend to be more cooperative with attorneys than they are with defendants.
- Come up with sentencing options that are matched to a client’s specific needs.
- Provide resources for clients who are dealing with stress, anxiety and fear.
- Provide defendants with a dose of reality. Many people who are arrested panic and think of the worst possible outcomes. An attorney can provide a realistic view of the possibilities.
- Spend a necessary amount of time on a case. Defendants often do not have the time needed to come up with a strong defense. An attorney does this for a living.
- Gather information from the prosecution’s witnesses. It is illegal for a defendant to contact witnesses, as it may be seen as a form of intimidation. A defense attorney can do this and gain valuable information.
- Help a defendant determine if it is wise to go to trial. In some cases, it makes better sense for a defendant to accept a plea deal.
- Look for any holes in the case or any technical details that could get the case tossed out of court, such as a lapse in the chain of custody of evidence or improper search and seizure.
What Really Happens If I Don’t Get a Lawyer?
If you choose to represent yourself in court, be ready to lose your case. It really is that simple. You will go up against a prosecutor who has seen your type of case before, and knows how to put you behind bars.
A prosecutor’s sole job is to prove you committed a crime, then put you in jail. In fact, many prosecutors pride themselves on how many successful convictions they’ve had. They know how to examine evidence and use it against you. In fact, if you’re defending yourself, the prosecutor may not even offer any kind of plea deal.
Yes, hiring an Atlanta criminal defense attorney does cost money. But consider the alternative when you lose your case:
- You get whatever sentence the judge hands down, with no one to challenge the ruling or file appeal documents on your behalf
- When you do get out of jail, you’ll have the crime on your record for many years, if not forever
- You may not be able to get a job or housing once you get out
An experienced attorney can get the charges against you lessened or even dropped by examining the evidence carefully and working with the prosecutor. If you’re trying to defend yourself, those advantages are gone.
Get a Free Consultation with an Atlanta Criminal Defense Lawyer at Hawkins Spizman Kilgo Today
Being arrested is stressful. Being charged with a crime, no matter how minor, causes anxiety. Many people bury their heads in their sand and hope everything works out on its own. The truth of the matter is that this doesn’t happen. When a person is charged with a crime, they need representation from an experienced criminal defense attorney.
If you have been charged with a crime in Atlanta, reach out to our team of Georgia criminal defense attorneys. We will help you schedule an appointment for a free case evaluation, at which time we will advise you of the options available to you. Call today or browse our website for more information about our firm and the types of cases we handle.