If you’ve been charged with a crime, you may be wondering whether the cost of hiring a criminal lawyer is worth it, especially if it’s your first offence, you’re innocent, you think you’re guilty or you’re planning to plead guilty. This article discusses the benefits of having a criminal lawyer on your side to help you better understand the importance of hiring one. But first, let’s look at why representing yourself in a criminal case is not a wise decision.
Why is self-representation in court a bad idea?
Here’s why you should avoid self-representation in criminal matters:
1. You’ll automatically be at a disadvantage
The prosecution will likely be led by a knowledgeable legal team with experience. They’ll be equipped with everything to present a strong case against you, leaving you at a disadvantage.
2. You’ll be too invested in your case
As the defendant, you’ll need someone rational on your side to keep calm when the opposing party presents accusations that are false, upsetting or offensive. When you represent yourself in court, there’s a high risk that you may become angry and defensive when these accusations are presented. In your anger, you may say some things that could influence the judge and jury to view you negatively.
Benefits of hiring a criminal lawyer
The following are the benefits of hiring a criminal lawyer:
1. A lawyer can help you understand the case
Criminal law can be pretty complex. A lawyer will help you to understand what the charges mean and give you a realistic idea of the outcome of your case. This will help you make an informed decision on whether to go to trial or enter into a plea agreement.
2. A lawyer understands the law
Criminal lawyers are experts in criminal law. They know the ins and outs of the legal system. A lawyer has a better chance of building you a strong defence.
3. A lawyer has the experience necessary to manage a courtroom
A lawyer has many years of experience dealing with police officers, prosecutors, other lawyers, judges and juries. Your lawyer knows how these people operate, and they’ll have several strategies to make sure you get the best defence.
4. A lawyer knows and understands the procedural rules
A criminal lawyer knows the procedural rules that apply to your case. They know the rules that govern pleadings, the proper forms of these pleadings and the time required to obtain information and file motions.
5. A lawyer can conduct investigations
An experienced lawyer conducts a thorough investigation of the facts and events of the crime you’ve been charged with, interviews witnesses and cross-examines evidence. This can help build a strong defence for your case.
6. A lawyer can negotiate a plea agreement
If you decide to enter into a plea agreement, your lawyer will be able to negotiate for more favourable terms. They can use their knowledge to explain to the prosecutor why your charges or sentence should be reduced or lowered.
7. A lawyer can challenge evidence
A lawyer can find legal issues in areas where the police might not have followed due process when collecting evidence against you. They can then file a motion to suppress the illegally obtained evidence. If the opposing side cannot use crucial evidence to prove your guilt, your charges may be reduced or dismissed.
Are you looking for a criminal lawyer in Vancouver?
If you’ve been charged with a crime in Vancouver, contact the office of Tom Doust.
With more than 20 years of handling criminal cases, Tom Doust has the legal experience and track record to successfully help you through your case.