There are some situations in which your need to hire a criminal defense attorney will be abundantly clear. For instance, if you are suddenly arrested on charges of murder, you are not going to need to stop and ask yourself whether or not you require the services of a qualified criminal lawyer. However, for many of the people who can benefit from the services of a criminal defense attorney, the answer to the question of whether or not they need to hire a lawyer may not be quite so obvious. Thankfully, taking the time to ask yourself the questions outlined below can help you to better determine whether or not you are in need of legal counsel.
Are you currently under investigation?
If you are currently under investigation by law enforcement officials in connection with an alleged crime, it is important to understand that everything you say and do during this investigation can potentially be held against you. It is also important to understand the criminal law system provides many protections to ensue your rights are observed as part of any criminal investigation. However, if you do not fully understand the impact your statement or actions can have or if you fail to understand how to go about properly exercising your legal rights, you could end up doing more harm than good when interacting with law enforcement. This is why you should always retain the services of a criminal defense law attorney as soon as you discover that you are under investigation.
Have you been accused of a crime during the course of a civil case?
While civil and criminal cases are handled by different branches of the court system, it is possible for allegations that are made as part of a civil claim to result in criminal charges being filed. For instance, if your spouse accuses you of abuse as part of a divorce case, this accusation could land you before a criminal court judge. To ensure you do not take any actions that could result in criminal liability as the result of accusations made in the course of a civil case, it is always best to consult a criminal defense attorney any time that accusations of a criminal nature are made against you.
Are you planning to surrender to the police in regards to a warrant or past crime?
If you currently have a warrant out for your arrest, choosing to surrender to the police can go a long way towards encouraging the prosecutor in your case to be more generous with any plea deal they are willing to offer. However, in order to truly secure the best possible deal, it is always best to work with a criminal defense lawyer to negotiate the terms of your surrender. Taking this approach will also allow you to prepare ahead of time to post bail once you have surrendered and your arrest has been processed by law enforcement.
To learn more, contact a criminal defense law attorney.