Written by: Natasha Poppen
If you’re being taken to Court over a criminal offence, your biggest concern becomes winning your case. There’s just one problem – you have no idea how the legal system works. The benefits of hiring an expert criminal defence lawyer far outweigh any potential negatives such as costs. If you’re on the fence about hiring legal representation, let me give you some insight.
- Self-representation is very, very risky
Many people are tempted to represent themselves in their criminal case because of the costs associated with hiring legal representation. It is a common belief that hiring a lawyer is more expensive than representing yourself. However, this isn’t necessarily true. A lawyer gives you the best chance of winning your case. Someone with no knowledge of the legal system that chooses to represent themselves is at a high risk of losing their case, thus paying expensive Court fees and possibly a sentence of hefty fines. Forking out that extra money for a lawyer at the beginning of your criminal matter means you will save further down the track, by having a higher chance of success.
It’s no secret that a criminal Court trial comes with stress on the part of the defendant. Not knowing what documents to file, how to defend yourself, what evidence to present and the many other steps to be taken in advance of a trial can take its toll on someone without any legal experience. Just talking about it can gives me a headache! Not to mention, the stress involved in actually going to trial. A lawyer handles all of this for you and makes the process as simple for the client as possible. They prepare and file all your documents on your behalf, prepare your case and guide you on whatever you have to do and say. Having someone experienced to act on your behalf goes a long way in alleviating the anxiety and uncertainty surrounding the legal system.
- A stronger case
A lawyer knows how the legal system works and the steps involved in a criminal matter, regardless of the offence or the Court you’re in. Not only that, but they can examine the prosecution’s evidence for weaknesses and know exactly how to challenge evidence in the best possible way for your case. A lawyer will also guide you as to what to say or do in Court that will help your case. Their expertise means they are able to prepare and present the strongest case for you.
- Best possible outcome
It goes without saying that based on the above, a criminal lawyer can obtain the best outcome for your case. If you’re being charged with a fine, they can reduce the amount or argue for it go away completely. If imprisonment is on the line, they can advocate for your innocence. If you choose to enter a guilty plea, a lawyer can also negotiate a reduced sentence or perhaps even community service. In a criminal trial, you are risking a lot – a criminal history can negatively impact your future in many ways, including obtaining employment and housing. Your future isn’t something you want to take a chance on, so turning to legal representation can ensure you are protected with the best possible outcome.
- Support system
The legal system is daunting when facing it alone. Having someone there who is not only fighting for you but is supporting you through the entire process and is on your side does wonders for your mental health. You have someone by your side to reassure you when times are tough, and who understands your concerns. A good support system is vital during a trial when the stress levels and stakes are high.
Self-representation runs the risk of mistakes being made, perhaps in filing or preparing documents. This can lead to a matter being adjourned, resulting in a lengthy trial and even greater legal expenses. Lawyers can accelerate proceedings and ensure everything runs smoothly, so you can save both time and money and get back to your regular life as soon as possible.
An experienced lawyer can help you ultimately achieve the best possible outcome in your criminal matter. If this blog has convinced you to at least consider hiring one, book a free 15-minute consultation with one of our lawyers and tell us how we can assist you.