You probably don’t ever want to hire a criminal defense attorney. If you need to do it, that means you’re in some trouble. Maybe you committed the crime the law has accused you of, or perhaps you didn’t, and it’s a mistaken identity case.
In either situation, it’s critical that you get the right lawyer. If you don’t, a jury could convict you in short order. Let’s go over just five of the many situations where you need to go online to track down a criminal defense attorney.
You’re Facing a DUI
One common reason to hire a criminal defense attorney is if the cops picked you up for a DUI. Maybe it happens when:
- You leave a party
- You’re coming home from a bar
- You’re driving erratically
You can submit to a breathalyzer, or you can refuse one. If you refuse, that looks bad. It means you have something to hide.
In this spot, a criminal defense lawyer can talk to you about your various options. If you were over the legal limit, and the breathalyzer proved it, it’s at least better if you did not cause an accident.
Also, if it’s your first offense, the lawyer might get the judge to go easy on you. You can’t face these charges alone, though. No matter how much of a sweet talker you think you are, you need an expert who has done this before and knows the legal system’s ins and outs.
Let’s say the cops pick you up because they claim you resemble someone who has broken into homes in your neighborhood. A resemblance alone can be enough for them to detain you, or even arrest you.
Perhaps they feel they have a case against you if:
- They have a credible witness who can identify you
- You have a criminal record, and these crimes fit your modus operandi
Perhaps you committed the crimes, or maybe you didn’t. In either case, once again, you need a lawyer with whom you can plan your strategy.
It’s by no means inconceivable for a jury to convict you even if you didn’t commit the crimes. If there’s circumstantial evidence and you don’t have an airtight alibi, that could be enough to land you behind bars.
White Collar Crimes
There are various white-collar crimes of which the law can accuse you. Some of them are racketeering, bribery, extortion, insider trading, and fraud.
Generally, people don’t regard white-collar crime as being as bad as something like homicide or robbery. Still, these can be serious charges, and you need a lawyer who can portray you in a favorable light.
Maybe, even if you committed the crime, they can claim desperation on your part. Perhaps you needed money because you were about to lose your house or have a pile of unpaid medical bills.
The best criminal defense attorneys can get the jury on your side, even if you’re obviously guilty. That might mean the difference between a lengthy jail term and walking away free.
There are a variety of drug offenses for which the police might arrest you. If the cops arrested you trying to buy a bag of weed on a street corner, you’re probably not facing a long jail term. If you tried to buy ten pounds of heroin, that’s something else.
If your defense attorney can establish that the drugs were for your personal use, and you did not intend to distribute them, that’s better than the alternative. Juries often understand people wanting to get high. They’re less forgiving if they feel like you wanted to sell smack to school children.
You’ll certainly need a criminal defense attorney if you face trial for a violent offense. However, maybe they can sell the jury on some mitigating circumstances.
It’s one thing if you walked into the street with a baseball bat and struck the first person you saw because of a rotten mood. If you accidentally injured someone, but it was self-defense, the jury will probably forgive you for that.
In any of the situations we mentioned, you need a reliable criminal defense attorney with an excellent track record. Any time that you’re facing potentially life-changing charges, you can’t leave anything to chance.
The best attorneys don’t come cheap, but that’s money you have to spend. Most people would agree that draining their savings account or borrowing money from relatives is better than spending the next few years behind bars.