Criminal defense lawyers help clients get the best possible outcome for their respective cases such as domestic assault, theft, shoplifting, possession of drugs, etc. But it might occur to you, “If I’m guilty, why do I need an attorney?”
It’s like saying – if you know you’re sick, why do you see a doctor?
Pleading guilty and taking accountability for your actions does not automatically mean the judge will take pity on you and simply let you off the hook nor does it mean that there’s just one consequence for your actions. There are many factors to consider most of which will require the expertise of an attorney.
There are two other reasons why you should get legal representation even if you’re guilty.
- First, being guilty of something does not automatically mean you are guilty of the offence you are charged with. There are many elements to a criminal charge and the prosecutor must be able to prove those elements beyond reasonable doubt.
- Second, if you plead guilty without a lawyer, you could be given a harsher sentence than you deserve. The judge will consider aggravating and mitigating when sentencing someone for a crime, and these circumstances are based on the facts and information presented by the state’s attorney and the defendant’s attorney. If you don’t have legal representation, the judge will obtain the sentencing argument from you and what you might think will help your case may actually hurt you unless you know what factors are relevant at sentencing.
An experienced criminal defence lawyer knows how to avoid these pitfalls, which is why you really need an attorney even if you are guilty.
How Much Will It Cost?
The costs of criminal defence attorney will depend on several things, including:
- The complexity of the case: Most criminal defence lawyers charge more for felonies than misdemeanours as the former carry greater penalties and require more preparation.
- The lawyer’s experience: New lawyers usually charge less than seasoned lawyers so don’t be so quick to hire an attorney based on their fees alone. Besides, a lawyer with a high hourly rate may be able to get your case resolved much faster than a lawyer who charges a lower rate. After all, experience does make difference.
- Reputed Law firms: If you go for an attorney from one of the best law firms, costs of criminal defense might vary from others as because you will get the best assistance. Furthermore, being the best among the rest is quite difficult, and if your attorney is from one of such law firms, you have already won half the battle.
- Money v/s expectation: It is very likely to expect the result to be in your favour when you have paid the costs of criminal defense. For this reason, you should consult with an experienced and reputed attorney right after being charged. A good attorney needs time to study the case, question the defaulter, check the alibi, visit the spot of crime and after all these he can deduce the case to be presented at the court.