You have the right to represent yourself in legal proceedings, but you really should not, especially if you are talking about a criminal defense case. The work of a criminal defense attorney is simply irreplaceable due to their insight, knowledgeability, and experience. In fact, professional criminal defense lawyers are so important to maintain a fair criminal justice system, the Sixth Amendment guarantees you can have one if you prudently decide not to represent yourself.
Harsh Penalties for Any Criminal Conviction
When you are accused of a serious criminal violation, your future is very much on the line. For even a low-level misdemeanor, you could end up paying heavy fines and spend a lengthy period of time in jail. The penalties for a felony conviction will be even harsher. You must also be aware that a single mark on your criminal record can be extremely detrimental to your private and professional life by damaging your reputation.
With your wellbeing and freedom hanging in the balance, you need to work with a criminal defense lawyer. Waiting even a day to retain defense can be problematic, as evidence is constantly being gathered to use against you from the first moment you interact with a police officer. For this reason, many people decide to use their one phone call after being arrested to either call a criminal defense attorney directly, or to call a loved one to talk to a lawyer for them.
Technical Knowledge of the Law
Some people believe they can represent themselves due to being quite charismatic. It is true that criminal defense cases involve plenty of arguing and some persuasion, the groundwork for every case is criminal law. Every state has its own set of criminal statutes to describe a wide variety of crimes. Federal law also provides legal statutes that can coincide or overrule state-level laws, depending on the situation. All of this adds up to one thing: complexities.
To navigate the criminal justice system with any chance of success, you are going to need to know the law with confidence. If you are not a criminal defense expert yourself, then there will be no time to get a quick education on what to do when you run into trouble with the police. Retaining a criminal defense attorney brushes this problem aside by instantly equipping you with their own technical knowledge of criminal law.
Hiring a Criminal Defense to Best Protect Yourself
After realizing that you need a criminal defense lawyer to manage your case and act on your behalf, the next step is choosing to hire a defender from a private practice. A public defender assigned to your case thanks to the Sixth Amendment might have the best intentions, but the reality is they are often completely overworked. You should not expect a public defender to have the time needed to actually give your case the attention it needs to be as good as can be.
If you live in York, Lancaster, or the surrounding area, you can come to Ilkhanoff & Silverstein for reliable criminal defense representation from a legal team with more than 30 years of total experience. We are capable of handling all stages of your case, right up to trial representation if need be.
Call (717) 744-0531 or contact our York criminal defense lawyers online today.