Do I Need an Attorney for My Misdemeanor Charge?
Some individuals feel that a misdemeanor is nothing to worry about. They know the penalties are not as harsh and they assume the chances of going to jail are small, especially if they are a first-time offender. Misdemeanors, however, are still crimes – and some carry harsh penalties that individuals may not realize. Also, there are situations that can turn a simple misdemeanor into a felony charge – which is why, regardless of the charge, it is imperative a person have legal counsel.
Reasons You Want an Attorney
Whether it is a misdemeanor or you plan to plead guilty to a lesser charge, you still need an attorney to help you. If you think skipping the costs of hiring a defense attorney are worth it, here are a few reasons to reconsider:
- Protect Your Rights – You have the constitutional right to hire an attorney or have one provided for you. You also have the right to an attorney while you are being questioned by the police. Criminal defense attorneys protect your rights and they can possibly spot Fourth Amendment violations regarding the search and seizure of your property; which means your case may be dismissed.
- Protect You From Self-Incrimination – When speaking with the police, you may accidentally say or do something that incriminates you – without knowing it. By having a criminal defense attorney present, you can protect yourself from self-incrimination and your attorney will ensure you do not say anything that can later be used negatively against you in court.
- Case Analysis – An attorney can look at the evidence in your case and see if you have a viable defense strategy. For example, if you were pulled over and the police had no probable cause to do so, any evidence found after the pullover could be suppressed in court. Even if the case is not dismissed, having an attorney there strengthens your negotiating power with the prosecution.
- Better Plea Deals – Most importantly, an attorney knows how to negotiate plea deals and possibly reduce or eliminate jail time altogether. Attorneys can consider the offers made by prosecutors and counteroffer or reject them and wait for a better deal.
- Diversion Program Options – An attorney knows about diversion programs and may help you avoid conviction as long as your crime meets specific circumstances.
- Enforcing the Plea Deal – If you intend to plead guilty, an attorney will file the right paperwork and help enforce that plea deal – ensuring prosecutors do not go back on their word and that everything agreed to orally is officially entered with the courts.
Hire a Skilled Defense Attorney – Contact The Armstrong Law Group, P.A.
If you have been arrested for a misdemeanor, contact a criminal defense attorney regardless of how “minor” you think your charge is. The Armstrong Law Group, P.A. offers aggressive, experienced defense services that can help reduce charges or even help you avoid jail time altogether. Contact us online or call 904-356-8618 to schedule a case evaluation now.