Are you currently facing criminal charges? Even if it’s a misdemeanor, there’s no doubt that this is a stressful time for both you and your loved ones. Your future remains uncertain without knowing what the outcome of your case will be, especially the punishments you could face.
Despite that, you may think that because it’s a misdemeanor, not a felony, you don’t really need to have a criminal defense attorney by your side in the court room. Instead, you may think you can handle everything all by yourself. But the thing is, any criminal charge is a serious charge and you should treat it as such. And the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution states you have the right to legal counsel, so why not take advantage of it? That’s why you should always hire a criminal defense attorney for a misdemeanor charge. Here’s why!
Why You Should Hire an Attorney for a Misdemeanor
Whether it’s a misdemeanor or a felony, criminal charges leave you facing some life-changing punishments. You’ll likely have to pay hefty fines, your public record will be tarnished, and you may even wind up spending time in jail. In fact, a Class A Misdemeanor in the state of Illinois could have you looking at up to 364 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,500. A Class B Misdemeanor can leave you spending up to 180 days in jail and/or paying a fine of up to $1,500. And a Class C Misdemeanor will have you facing up to 30 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,500.
And even though there are no laws in Illinois that prevent you from working certain jobs with a misdemeanor on your record, it will still come up in background searches. Ultimately, it could prevent you from securing future employment. With an attorney to guide you through this challenging time, you increase your chances at lowering or even eliminating those punishments and hopefully taking control of your public reputation.
When you make the decision to hire an attorney for a misdemeanor charge, you can have confidence that you have someone who is skilled and capable to help you. It’ll give you some peace of mind knowing that you have someone to represent you in the best way possible.
An attorney can sit down and discuss your case with you. This is an opportunity to weigh possible options and then develop a plan of attack for your day in court. Criminal defense attorneys are going to be knowledgeable on the punishments you’re facing, as well as the tactics that will hopefully get you a favorable outcome. If you want to stand any chance at having a good day in court, you need an attorney.
Why Some People Still Choose to Represent Themselves
The biggest reason people will choose to represent themselves in a misdemeanor criminal case is simply because of the cost. There’s no denying that hiring an attorney can be expensive. Legal fees can be a nightmare, but the bigger nightmare is how your life can change after you walk out of the court room. And that’s not a risk anyone should be willing to take.
The reality is, if you aren’t an experienced criminal defense attorney, you won’t have the legal knowledge required to effectively represent yourself. That’s why it’s something we’d never recommend because an experienced attorney can have a major impact in regards to the outcome of your case.
Your Job: Find the Right Attorney
For many people, they don’t have the finances to be able to afford a private attorney. Instead, they wind up going with a public defender. Unfortunately, this isn’t the best option for criminal cases because they typically aren’t the most experienced in this area of the law. You want someone who has dealt with similar cases and has been able to get results for clients before. So, you need to pull your resources and get together the money to for the best attorney.
This is why you need to do your research. Start looking for criminal defense attorneys in your area. Get references from friends and family if you can and definitely look at the cases these lawyers have won. You want to find someone who has many years of experience in criminal law, so take a look at their background, then dive into client testimonials. You can even schedule a free consultation to get a feel for who is the right attorney for you. You want someone you feel comfortable with, so don’t be afraid to meet potential attorneys beforehand.
Don’t try to fight the charges on your own. Seek legal representation from an experienced attorney and move forward with confidence!