In 2018, over 10 million people were arrested for for a wide variety of offenses. Having a criminal record can have serious ramifications on nearly every aspect of your life. While a defense attorney might not be necessary in some instances, there are others where it is far too risky to fight a charge on your own. Let’s take a look at seven times where hiring a criminal defense attorney is all but essential.
1. You’re Facing Drug Charges
There is a long list of drugs that are illegal at both the state and federal level. If you are involved with illicit drugs at any level, including cultivating them, distributing them, trafficking them, possessing them, or using them, you’re at risk of facing serious penalties.
Depending on what charges you’re facing and whether they are state or federal charges, you could be looking at some serious jail time.
How does hiring a criminal defense attorney help with drug charges? They will look into every aspect of your case and will be able to prove whether an illegal or unlawful search and seizure was performed, there is evidence missing from the seizure, the defendent was forcefully made to carry or hold drugs for another party, or if the drug paraphernalia or drugs belonged to another individual.
2. You’re Facing Assault and Battery Charges
If you’ve been accused of assault and battery and facing charges, don’t try to go it along. If you defend yourself, you increase the likelihood that you’ll face serious jail time.
How a defense attorney will help you in this case depends on the specifics of your case. It’s possible that they could argue that you acted in self-defense, you were defending your property, you were defending other people, and in some states, that there was voluntary consent.
3. You’re Facing Theft Charges
There are two main kinds of theft: petty theft and grand theft. Whether a theft falls into one category or the other will vary between states. It depends on the type of stolen property and its worth.
What can a defense attorney do to defend you from theft charges? While it depends on the specifics of your case, some examples are:
- Proving that the defendent had a right of ownership
- Displaying that the stolen property was returned: this might not get the carges dropped, but can make the defendent more sympathetic to the prosecutor
- Use entrapment as a defense to show that the defendent was coerced into commiting the crime by another individual
Both misdemeanor and felony theft can result in hefty fines and imprisonment. This is not a time you want to get caught without a defense attorney.
4. You’re Facing Financial Crimes or Fraud Charges
You’ll want to hire a defense attorney that specializes in white collar crime if you’ve been arrested for fraud or financial crimes.
A few examples of this type of crime include:
- Wire fraud
- Insurance fraud
- Credit/debit card fraud
- Mortgage fraud
- Securities fraud
- Tax evasion/fraud
- Money laundering
- Identity theft
The penalties for financial crimes or fraud can include fines, asset forfeiture, imprisonment, and disgorgement.
5. You’re Facing Homicide Charges
One of the most serious crimes you can be accused of, you’ll never want to enter a homicide trial without a defense attorney. This can also include cases of self-defense where another party was killed in the act.
In order for homicide to be a criminal offense, the prosecution has to be able to prove that the defendant was negligent or had willful intent. Defense attorneys will have a wide variety of resources and be knowledgeable about the legal system in order to defend your case better than you ever could all on your own.
Different states have different classifications for homicide crimes. These may include first degree murder, second degree murder, voluntary manslaughter, and involuntary manslaugther. Depending on the type of homicide you’re being accused of, the penalties can range in the length of the prison sentence and opportunities for parole.
6. You’re Facing Alcohol Charges
Whether you’ve been arrested for public intoxication, an open container, being a minor in possession of alcohol, or a DUI, you’ll want a defense attorney to defnd your case.
The most serious of these charges is by far a DUI. For this, you’ll want to find a DUI defense attorney. Driving while intoxicated is incredibly dangerous, and the court will respond with the expectation that you put your own life as well as the lives of others in danger.
Facing alcohol related charges can also lead you to lose a professional license you have or make it impossible for you to get one in the future. Alcohol-related charges can impact other aspects of your life, so you want to be sure you’re properly defended.
7. When You’re Facing Any Other Criminal Charge
Getting arrested and charged for any criminal offense is serious business. If you don’t have a defense attorney, you could end up paying fines, serving time in jail, or facing other penalties that you might otherwise not have to.
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Hiring a Defense Attorney Could Change the Outcome of Your Case and Life in These Instances
Lawyers can get a bad rap in our culture. This is because of a perception that lawyers are too expensive or unethical.
In reality, though, a good defense attorney can completely change the outcome of your case. If you’re looking for tips for hiring a criminal defense attorney when you’re worried about the financial aspect, look for a lawyer who won’t charge you unless you win.
Did you find this article about seven times you need a defense attorney helpful? If so, be sure to check out the rest of our blog for more informative and useful content!