Criminal Law

I have been arrested and charged with a criminal offense. Do I need to hire an attorney?

All parties in criminal cases have the legal right to represent themselves. If you’re income is below certain guidelines established by the Court, then an attorney will be appointment to represent you. However, if you do not qualify for a Court-appointed attorney, you should strongly consider hiring an experienced attorney. The Criminal Justice System is fairly complicated, and while many cases can be successfully negotiated or “plea-bargained”, it is extremely difficult to negotiate on your own behalf with an experienced Assistant District Attorney. In most criminal cases, you may need to conduct Pre-Trial Discovery, complete a Pre-Trial Conference Report, and make an election as to whether or not you are seeking a Jury Trial or a Jury Waived Trial. Also, strategy decisions need to be made as to whether or not to explore the possibilities of a “plea bargain” and if so, at what point in the proceedings “plea bargains” should be considered. These are the types of decisions which will affect the outcome of your case and, accordingly, they should be made under the guidance of an experienced attorney.