People charged with misdemeanor offenses (e.g., shoplifting, assault, trespass, possession of marijuana, DWI) often ask me, “Do I really need a lawyer for this type of case?” I always ask in return, “If your tooth was killing you, would you go to the garage, grab a wrench and yank it out?” The obvious answer, of course, is that you’d find a dentist that possesses the requisite training, experience, knowledge and equipment to remove the tooth painlessly and properly. Well, that’s exactly what a knowledgeable, experienced criminal defense attorney will do for
you- i.e., help you get through this legal mess with as little pain and inconvenience as possible.
The maximum penalty on a misdemeanor case is one (1) year in jail! That fact, in and of itself, should convince most people to hire a criminal defense attorney. If facing jail time doesn’t scare you into retaining a trained legal professional, then perhaps the following questions that must be addressed will show you just how complex such cases are.
• How strong is the District Attorney’s case?
• Should you push for a trial or enter into a plea bargain deal?
• What plea bargain deals are available?
• How will a specific plea deal affect your immigration status?
• Are there any search and seizure issues?
• What pre-trial hearings are applicable?
• Is a program available to avoid a conviction?
• Will certain plea bargain deals cause you to lose your job?
• Will your witness( es) actually come to court?
• Does the complaining witness have a criminal record?
An experienced criminal defense attorney will answer these questions, protect your legal rights under the constitution and explore all options before ultimately deciding the best way to resolve your case.
If you have the misfortune to get arrested, then you should hire an attorney who regularly practices in that particular county, has good relationships with the judges and prosecutors and is not afraid to go to trial. You’d be surprised to learn how few lawyers actually try cases. Don’t hire someone who tells all of hislher clients to plead guilty because he/she is afraid to go to trial.
If you want to consult with a criminal defense attorney with 22-plus years of trial experience, call me anytime to schedule a free consultation. Don’t wait until it’s too late.