If you’ve been accused of a crime, it’s highly recommended that you find an attorney to represent your case. Today, we’ll look at some important reasons why this is most likely the best path moving forward.
A Criminal Defense Lawyer Will Help You Understand Your Case
Firstly, and most importantly, a criminal defense lawyer will evaluate your case and make you objectively aware of the nature of the charges, how good or bad a case you have, your rights, the likely penalties if you’re convicted, and the likely impact on you of a conviction. In this kind of situation, a “good” case is one your attorney believes you can win, or come out of relatively unscathed.
Many people come in thinking, “Well, I’m guilty, so there’s no hope.” But a good lawyer will evaluate the strength of your case, look at any existing issues, and give you the information you need to make a meaningful decision. You need to understand that, in the legal system in this country, the issue is not whether you are guilty, but whether the prosecution can prove the case against you beyond a reasonable doubt.
Here’s an example: years ago, I worked on a DUI case for a guy that had everything on the line. If he got a DUI, it would have been devastating for him — he would have lost his driver’s license, and, therefore, his job, because he drove a truck for a living. He came in feeling totally hopeless. However, once after I reviewed the details of his case, I realized that the cop hadn’t read him his Miranda rights. I felt we had a decent chance of having some pretty incriminating statements excluded from the case. When I did successfully that, the D.A. realized he couldn’t meet his burden of proof, and the charges were completely dismissed.
Getting an objective analysis from a knowledgeable person will let you know what your true options are, even if things may seem bleak from your perspective.
A Criminal Defense Lawyer Will Demand Respect from the DA
This is an unfortunate reality of the criminal justice system: No matter how bright you are or how much research you do into the law, if you’re not a lawyer, many prosecutors are unlikely to be fearful of going to trial against you. This means that it’s pretty likely that you’re not going to get the DA’s best offer if you choose to represent yourself.
Here’s another real-life example: I had a client who was arrested for DUI. When she was pulled over, the cop asked her to take a chemical test. She refused. She was arrested and taken to the jail. Upon getting to the jail, she changed her mind and agreed to take the chemical test. The cop responded, “Sorry, once you refuse, you can’t change your mind.” After my client got out of jail, she did some research and found out that she did have the right to change her mind under these circumstances. She made a copy of the case and took it to her first Court appearance. At that appearance, she told the D.A. that the cop had denied her the right to a test. The D.A. still insisted that she plead guilty to an alcohol-related offense. Frustrated, the client hired me. When I cited the exact same case to the DA, the DA immediately admitted that the cop erred and dismissed the charges.
It was a revealing glimpse into the DA’s perception of someone who is unrepresented by an attorney.
A Criminal Defense Lawyer Will Best Represent Your Issues
Colorado law is complicated. If you decide to pursue your case, it’s in your best interest to have a knowledgeable, trained person represent you.
I always like to use this example: if there’s a mechanical issue with your car, are you going to go onto YouTube and watch a bunch of videos from mechanics to try and learn how to fix it on your own? If you go that route, there’s a good chance that you’re going to screw it up, or, at the very least, take a long time to figure out exactly how to get it done right.
The safest, quickest bet is always to hire a mechanic with years of experience who has seen it all before. You need an attorney to help you set realistic expectations for your case and to help you understand the lay of the land. You need someone to communicate to the DA in a way that benefits your situation. And, if you go to trial, you definitely need someone in your corner who understands the legal process and can best present your case.
Hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you’ve been charged with a crime in Colorado, call our office at 303-449-1873 to schedule a complimentary consultation.