“A man who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client,” is a popular riff on an old quote attributed to Abraham Lincoln. And while not everyone that represents themselves in court looks foolish in the end, the truth is that in most legal matters the stakes are too high to attempt to handle it yourself. It’s not just at trial where a criminal defense lawyer will come in handy. From the moment you are arrested, the police will work tirelessly to build a case against you. And if you aren’t careful, you might step right into a trap that you never saw coming. You may be entitled to defend yourself, but here are three reasons why it is in your best interest to hire a Massachusetts criminal defense lawyer near me.
Benefits of Hiring a Criminal Defense Lawyer Near Me
The importance of hiring a criminal defense lawyer near me can’t be overstated, so it is difficult to consolidate the benefits down to just three. However, these are three of the most important reasons to have an attorney in your corner.
1. Offer Guidance When to Speaking to Police
If you are suspected of committing a crime, it is rarely in your best interest to sit down with law enforcement and answer questions. That won’t keep them from trying, though. In many cases, they will present the questioning as an opportunity to clear your name. But in reality, their only goal in speaking with you is to elicit a confession or urge you to say something incriminating. A criminal defense attorney can explain the consequences of speaking with the police or not and guide you on how to proceed.
2. Court Rules Are Complicated
If you opt to act as your own attorney, make no mistake – the court will treat you like one. There are no special rules for you if are acting as your own attorney. There are deadlines you will have to meet and rules you will have to abide. And if you fail to do so, those rules could have a serious impact on the outcome of your case.
If you miss a deadline, it could hamper your ability to craft the kind of defense you need to win your case. And without a knowledge of the rules surrounding the admission of evidence, the prosecutor could keep you from using evidence you would otherwise be entitled to present.
3. Experience You Can Rely On
Even if you manage to educate yourself on the laws surrounding your case, there is no way to pick up the experience in practicing law or trying a case in Massachusetts outside of doing it yourself. This experience is crucial, as every court has unspoken rules and norms that you can only learn from experience. For example, only first-hand experience can tell you if a prosecutor’s plea offer is fair or more severe than you would receive at trial.
A criminal defense lawyer near me with trial experience with the judge in your case may be able to provide useful insights as well. Every judge is different, and many have wildly different approaches to a criminal trial. In some cases, your attorney may have some insight into whether the judge in your case is tough during sentencing, or if he or she has an unusual view of what evidence can be admitted.
These are only a few of the benefits of hiring an experienced Springfield, MA criminal defense lawyer. And while the decision to hire an attorney is yours alone, finding the right one is crucial when your freedom is at stake.