Criminal charges can be scary for anyone who is facing them. They can be life-altering and most people do not know how to navigate through the process and the criminal justice system by themselves. A criminal defense attorney is trained and has the experience to navigate through criminal charges and to give advice on them. When should you hire a criminal attorney? Typically, the sooner the better. This do not just mean early in the process of a case, but also means before there is a case. In this blog, we will discuss hiring a criminal defense attorney before you are charged. Similar to all of our blogs, this is intended to provide general information only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice and counsel of a criminal defense attorney.
When should I hire a criminal defense attorney?
If you suspect that you will be charged with a crime, or law enforcement wants to question you regarding a crime, you should hire a lawyer. You can discuss the situation with that attorney confidentially, and he or she can give you advice specific to your circumstances and guide you as to what to do next.
What can hiring a lawyer before charges are filed against you accomplish?
Before charges are filed against you, an attorney can start their own investigation and see what you are facing. An attorney will also remind you not to talk to a law enforcement officer without their presence.
In some rare instances, an attorney may be able to reduce the potential damage by speaking to the prosecutor on your behalf. There may be situations where your attorney (through the prosecutor) arranges for your cooperation with the government to reduce your potential charges.
Other advantages to hiring a lawyer before charges are filed against you:
There are several other advantages to hiring a lawyer before charges are filed against you, including but not limited to:
- When law enforcement attempts to question you, you can inform them that you are represented by counsel and that you refuse to speak.
- When you are arrested, with your permission, your attorney can explain to your family what the next steps are and can help guide them through the process.
- Having an attorney on standby may help in speeding up some processes, such as getting a bond hearing scheduled, or getting the process started of doing an investigation on the defense side.
- Having an attorney before you are charged allows that attorney to start the process of preserving important evidence.
Criminal charges can be life-changing and stressful. They can also be difficult to navigate through without professional help. If you have been charged with a crime, or think you may be charged with a crime, you should hire a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.