While anyone who is arrested can exercise their constitutional right to be represented by a criminal defense attorney, many people are reluctant to hire a Georgetown criminal defense attorney right away.
If you have not contacted a criminal lawyer immediately after your arrest or as soon as you become aware of the charges against you, watch out for the following four signs to hire an attorney to represent your best interests in and out of court.
When You Need a Criminal Defense Attorney
If you are unsure whether or not you need a criminal defense attorney, keep in mind that many crimes have harsh penalties, including imprisonment. This thought alone may be convincing enough to contact a Georgetown criminal defense lawyer to represent you.
It is not recommended to take your chances when you are facing criminal charges in Georgetown or other parts of Texas. It is imperative to have a skilled lawyer on your side during every stage of the criminal court process, including:
- Pre-trial conference
- Pre-sentence investigation
A knowledgeable criminal lawyer understands the unique procedures at each step and will zealously advocate for your rights and interests to protect your freedom and help you avoid a conviction.
Signs That You Should Hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer
Facing criminal charges is a frustrating and stressful experience for you and your family. However, the worst thing you can do is just sit and wait for your arraignment or trial date, hoping that your charges will be dismissed.
The hard truth is this: It is unlikely that the charges against you will be dismissed if you do not hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer to represent you.
If you are not sure when to hire a criminal defense lawyer, review these four signs that you need an attorney to defend you against the criminal charges:
1. You Committed the Criminal Offense
If you actually committed the criminal offense and you know that the charges against you are true, it is imperative to hire a Georgetown criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
It is essential to have a lawyer on your side - even if you are guilty - for the following reasons:
- Your attorney will thoroughly review your case to help you understand your options;
- Your attorney can help you negotiate a favorable plea deal; and
- Your lawyer can help you drop or even dismiss the charges (for example, your constitutional rights were violated during your arrest or there is insufficient evidence to convict you).
2. You Are Innocent
Unfortunately, many people who are falsely accused of a crime choose to represent themselves because they mistakenly believe that they do not need a lawyer. However, just because you are innocent does not mean that you will not be convicted of the crime. You still need to convince the court that you are not guilty.
An experienced attorney can identify the best strategy for your particular situation to prove that you are innocent.
3. You Could Go to Jail
If the penalties for the offense you were charged with include jail time, it is vital to speak with a criminal defense lawyer as soon as you can. Charges that could result in imprisonment should be taken very seriously because you need a solid defense strategy. Our attorney can help you reduce the sentence or dismiss the charge altogether, depending on the nature and severity of the offense.
4. You Are Under Investigation
If you become aware of an ongoing investigation and possible criminal charges, it is crucial to talk to a lawyer right away. Do not wait until the prosecutor files the charges against you. As a rule of thumb, it is easier to convince the prosecutor not to file charges than fighting against the charges that have been filed.
Your criminal defense attorney will review the evidence against you to prove that you are innocent and cannot be charged with a crime. The sooner you contact a lawyer, the stronger the defense you can mount. The stronger the defense, the better the chance of a positive outcome.
What to Look for When Choosing a Criminal Defense Lawyer
Choosing a criminal defense attorney is a daunting task. However, it is crucial to find the right lawyer for your specific case because the choice of your criminal defense attorney will have a significant impact on the outcome of your case.
The things you should look for when choosing a Georgetown criminal defense lawyer include:
- Experience – The lawyer needs to have vast experience representing clients in criminal cases similar to yours. For example, some criminal defense lawyers mainly focus on DWI cases, but they may not be able to effectively defend you in your sex or drug crime case.
- Understanding. When choosing a criminal lawyer, it is essential to make sure that you are hiring someone who understands how to handle your case to help you secure a positive outcome.
- Local – It is advisable to hire a local attorney who has experience working with the local criminal justice system and has connections with local judges and prosecutors. For example, if you were charged with a crime in Georgetown, it makes sense to look for a criminal defense lawyer in Georgetown.
- Trust – It is also important to hire someone you can trust. If a lawyer failed to impress you during your free initial consultation, you might want to consider finding another one.
- Fees – Last but not least, it is essential to hire a lawyer with reasonable and transparent fees. A skilled attorney is able to estimate the cost of legal representation during the first consultation or meeting.
Get a Free Consultation with Our Georgetown Criminal Defense Lawyers
At The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard, our skilled criminal defense lawyers offer a free initial consultation to our prospective clients. If you are facing criminal charges and are ready to discuss your case with an experienced attorney, call (254) 220-4225 to receive a case review and explore your options.