blog-tdl

When to Have a Criminal Defense Attorney by Your Side?

 

Traffic tickets are a legal problem. The same goes for armed robbery. The situation of the “accused” in these two cases is very different, and only one person may need a lawyer to defend him or herself. There are countless legal issues between these two extremes that may or may not require legal representation. It is a good idea to know under what circumstances you should seek an attorney and when you might not need one.

If you are facing the legal system for any reason, you should probably understand that the best policy is to contact a criminal lawyer. The main factor preventing people from hiring a lawyer is cost. If, however, you do not hire a lawyer to handle your case, you could lose more than money. You could lose your freedom. Lawyers are trained negotiators that can have charges dismissed or reduce penalties you might face for breaking the law.

  1. Assaults

Assault and battery cases can be some of the most complicated cases. You may not want to try to handle this situation yourself because there are many legal questions to analyze. One of the most common defense strategies that lawyers will try to apply is that you acted in self-defense. If you can prove that you were worried for your life or well-being, the charges may be dismissed or you may be acquitted. 

Assault is not just confined to threats against you. If someone enters your home and threatens your property, a homeowner or tenant or other person legally in charge of property generally has the right to use reasonable force to eject them from the property, but you need to make it clear that you are demanding they leave immediately. 

If someone agrees to an activity that involves some degree of violence, they will not be able to say later that you assaulted them. Laws like this depend on the jurisdiction in which the activity takes place. You can consult an experienced attorney for more information about what laws apply in your circumstances.

  1. Drug Charges

Drug charges can also be a bit tricky. If you are found guilty, you may face severe penalties. To avoid this situation, or at least reduce your sentence, you should call an attorney for help. 

When you get caught using, possessing, or distributing drugs, it may not look good, but there are ways for a lawyer to defend you. If the police did not conduct proper due process or evidence was obtained unlawfully, an experienced criminal defense attorney can argue that your charges should be dropped or that the case should be dismissed at trial. 

If the drug belongs to someone else, for example, they may be able to prove it. What if you were forced by threat of harm to keep the drugs in your possession? Is it fair for you to be imprisoned for this? The answer should be no. If the crime scene lacks admissible evidence, the government may not have sufficient proof to convict you.

Defendants who hire a lawyer of their choosing often perform better than those who do not hire an attorney or accept a public defender. Public defenders are often dealing with too many cases and usually recommend a plea agreement that may be worse than what a private lawyer can negotiate for you. If you are financially qualified to be appointed a public defender, you may want to explore whether friends or family members are willing to help pay for a reputable lawyer.

  1. Alcohol-related offenses 

Alcohol-related crimes can be as severe as drug-related crimes, but the penalties are different. The most common alcohol-related allegations are open container violations, minor possession, driving while intoxicated, and drunkenness in public places. 

Of all these crimes, the drunk driving charge will likely cause you the most amount of trouble. Since the matter is serious, you may not want to accept the consequences for the allegations without speaking to an attorney first. If you do not take action, you could lose your job, your license, or freedom. 

  1. Accusations of homicide 

Suppose someone walked in through a door or window of your home while you were there minding your own business. The intruder threatens violence and a melee ensues which results in the intruder being shot. The individual dies before he or she can be treated at a hospital. 

As you can see, there are some gray areas. It is true that you shot the person, but you did so because there was a clear and imminent threat. If you can prove that you acted in self-defense, then you should not be convicted of a homicide. An attorney can help you prove that what you did was in self-defense. You shot this person to protect yourself, but you did not intend or try to kill them.

  1. Theft 

Theft is the taking or removing of something that does not belong to you without consent or the intention of returning it. The severity of these allegations depends on the objective. The line between grand theft and petty theft often relies on the value of the items involved. 

Either way, an experienced attorney can help you throughout the criminal proceedings. They can provide evidence that you did intend to return the item or that you had consent or lawful possession. They might also be able to prove that you did not knowingly have the item. Even if this evidence does not save you from incarceration altogether, it may reduce your sentence. There are many variables at work in these complicated cases. 

  1. Reports of fraud 

Fraud is a serious crime that can be carried out in myriad ways. You can steal someone’s information and identity to obtain unlawful lines of credit, or you can be involved in insurance fraud. Whatever the situation, do not speak to anyone before hiring an attorney. The criminal investigator can use any little thing you tell him to prove your guilt.

Have you ever been charged with drunk driving? Has someone accused you of robbing them? Before speaking to the police, you will want a Philadelphia Criminal Attorney on your side. They can represent you for just about anything, from murder to an alcohol-related misdemeanor.