Imagine being wrongfully accused of a crime and getting arrested as a result. Not only can this impact your reputation, but even brief periods of incarceration can negatively impact your mental health.
While it’s not impossible to handle situations like these on your own, it’s never recommended. You’ll be much less likely to succeed without an experienced professional on your side.
Many people have difficulty recognizing when they should hire a criminal defense lawyer. Listed below are some of the most notable signs you should look for a professional to help you with your legal case.
1. You’ve Been Criminally Charged
Never overlook a situation where law enforcement criminally charges you. If you’ve been charged with a crime, authorities will do everything they can to prove your behavior aligns with their accusations.
This is true regardless of whether you committed the crime or not. For example, let’s assume a neighbor’s car was vandalized overnight. You’ve had issues with the neighbor in the past, and you happened to have a confrontation with them the previous evening.
They assume you were responsible. They call the police and explain their side of the story, creating an immediate bias against you.
Based on the circumstances, the police charge you with damage to their property. While this might sound hyperbolic, situations play out like this all the time. Your best course of action in this scenario is to hire a criminal defense attorney.
2. You’ve Been Questioned by Police
Police will question persons of interest to learn more about a crime that occurred. Many people who get questioned have nothing to do with the event that transpired.
However, questioning could lead to suspicion by law enforcement even if they don’t have enough evidence.
Using the aforementioned vandalism example, assume the police knocked on your door the morning after the car was damaged. They ask you a large number of questions, such as what you were doing the night before, who you were with, and your relationship with your neighbor.
They seem fairly aggressive during the conversation. At the end of the interaction, they write down what you said and leave. Even though you weren’t arrested, this doesn’t mean you’ve heard the last of the situation.
All it takes is for one person to misidentify you as the individual who damaged the car. You can hire a criminal defense attorney to discuss your best course of action.
3. You Don’t Know Your Rights
It’s alarming how many people don’t understand their rights. This often leads to unsafe behavior, such as telling police more than they’re legally obligated to.
If you worry you’ll be charged with a crime and aren’t sure how to react, get in touch with the lawyer. They can assess your situation and educate you on how to leverage your rights for your protection.
4. Your Accuser Hires a Lawyer
If someone who accused you of a crime hires a lawyer, you have no choice but to hire one yourself. It’s never recommended to enter a situation where one party has legal representation and you don’t.
Unfortunately, this can sometimes be a difficult situation to discern. The other party might not always blatantly announce they’re hiring an attorney. If they do inform you of this situation or you suspect they might contact a lawyer, go ahead and reach out to a criminal defense attorney.
5. You Need Peace of Mind
Dealing with accusations can cause a large amount of stress. Over time, this can lead to substantial health issues. One of the most notable is high blood pressure.
Working with the right attorney can substantially improve your mental health while your case is ongoing. You can rest assured that you have a reputable professional on your side.
6. You’re Part of an Investigation
When police investigate a crime, they aim to acquire as many details as possible. This often results in them questioning people who are only tangentially involved in the situation. For example, if a homicide occurred at a home one evening, the police might go through the victim’s phone and find who they were contacting shortly before the incident occurred.
Law enforcement may then reach out to these individuals with questions about the homicide. Finding yourself embroiled in a law enforcement investigation can be overwhelming. Many people mistakenly believe that their freedom is safe as long as they don’t commit a crime.
Unfortunately, this isn’t always true. Police may misconstrue evidence and determine you were involved even when you had nothing to do with the situation. Without an attorney, it will be virtually impossible to protect yourself against scenarios like these.
Finding an Attorney
To find the right attorney, it’s essential to research their past reputation. This provides valuable insight into the type of experience you’ll get. Look for attorneys who have large amounts of positive feedback.
Pay attention to how they respond to criticism, as well. If they get aggressive or defensive, this is a sign you should continue your search elsewhere. Do they seem enthusiastic about your case?
The last thing you want is to hire an attorney who isn’t interested in helping you. Their level of experience will also play a large role. It’s best to find a lawyer who has at least a decade’s worth of experience in the industry.
Pricing is another option to consider. Some lawyers charge flat fees, while others bill hourly. Having a strong understanding of what you’ll pay goes a long way toward getting the desired outcome.
Hire the Right Criminal Defense Lawyer
It’s imperative to find the right criminal defense lawyer for your situation. This will ensure you get the best results and have no issue navigating your case. The tips in this guide can help you find the ideal candidate.
KFFJ Law prides itself on having a robust team of attorneys who strive to exceed all expectations. We have a long history of success and have been serving our community for decades. You can learn more about how we can help when you book a consultation today.