“He who represents himself has a fool for a client.” – Abraham Lincoln
It may be tempting to represent yourself when you find you have pending criminal charges or an upcoming traffic court appearance; however, there are many reasons why you should hire an attorney. The criminal justice system is difficult to navigate alone, and you will want an experienced attorney to help guide you through the process, regardless of how minor the offense may seem. The following are just some reasons you should hire an attorney:
- Traffic Offenses: Many people choose to forgo hiring an attorney to represent them in traffic matters. There is a common misconception that by choosing to handle the matter as a self-represented defendant, you can save money. However, your chances of successfully fighting the charges or having them reduced to a lesser or non-moving violation are much better with an attorney fighting for you. If you chose to just pay the fine, there may be consequences and costs that may not be apparent to you. By paying the fine, you are admitting guilt, and on your driving record will appear a conviction for that violation. Your premiums will likely increase with every conviction on your driving record, which may ultimately cost you more than you would have paid to hire an attorney.
- Drug Charges: There are many consequences of a conviction for drug-related offenses. Your ability to receive financial aid, public housing, or veteran's benefits may all be affected by a conviction of a drug charge. Because the stakes are high, you will want to have an experienced criminal defense attorney fighting for you.
- DUI: If you have been arrested for a DUI, you have 30 days from the date of arrest or citation to request an administrative hearing in order to maintain your driving privileges. Failure to make a written request for an administrative hearing will result in your driver's license being automatically suspended. By hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney, your chances of successfully challenging the suspension and maintaining your driving privileges are far greater than they would be if you try navigating the process alone.
- Domestic Abuse: A conviction for certain domestic abuse charges, such as domestic abuse battery, can result in you losing the right to own or possess a firearm. In order to have the best chance of preserving your rights, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney fighting for you.
You should hire an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible after being arrested or receiving a citation. The sooner you have hired an attorney, the sooner your attorney can start working on your case and fighting for you. The attorneys at Lawrence Law Firm have handled a wide variety of cases and have consistently reached favorable results for our clients. Call 318-232-4000 for a free consultation.
The blog published by Lawrence Law Firm is available for informational purposes only and is not considered legal advice on any subject matter. By viewing blog posts, the reader understands there is no attorney-client relationship between the reader and the blog publisher. The blog should not be used as a substitute for legal advice from a licensed professional attorney, and readers are urged to consult their own legal counsel on any specific legal questions concerning a specific situation.