When we’re talking to clients, one of the most common concerns people have is cost. That’s an important factor to keep in mind, but it’s also worth noting that expert personalized legal advice rarely comes free. Some people feel that they may be better off saving money by just pleading guilty to the charge to avoid spending money on an attorney, while others believe a publically appointed defender is their best option. Today, we’re going to explain some of the benefits of hiring an attorney to defend your case.
Paying For A Defense Lawyer
Here are some reasons why it’s better in the long run to hire a defense attorney:
1. They are fully on your side – A public defender will do their best to argue your case, but they may not be able to devote as much time solely to your case. When you walk in front of a judge with a hired criminal defense attorney on your side, you know that they’re fully in your court and they’ve prepared to defend your rights.
2. They can save you money – A criminal defense attorney is your best bet at getting your charges dropped or reduced, which can save your thousands of dollars in the long run. It can seem counterintuitive to shell out money for an attorney if you’re facing hundreds of dollars in fines, but if an attorney can get the charges thrown out, you could save plenty of money.
3. Familiar with your case – You probably don’t know the first thing about defending a DUI or assault charge, but a criminal defense lawyer does. A public defender is also a good source of knowledge, but a lot of times they have basic knowledge of a wide variety of different crimes (DUIs, traffic tickets, assaults, property disputes, injury law, etc.). If you are charged with a crime like DUI, you’re better off hiring a criminal defense attorney who specializes in drunk driving cases because they’ll have a deeper knowledge of the system, which can put you in a better position to beat the charges.
4. Support system – When you’re charged with a crime, sometimes it can feel like there’s nobody on your side. If you hire a criminal defense attorney, you know that they are 100 percent committed to you and your case. They can help explain the legal process so you know what to expect, and they can guide you to programs like substance abuse or counseling to ensure you get the help and support your need.
5. More than meets the eye – With any legal case, there’s always more than meets the eye in terms of the eventual consequences. For example, you might assume that you are better off just pleading guilty to a speeding ticket, but don’t forget that your insurance is going to increase, usually for a period of a few years, so that $120 ticket will actually end up costing you $500 or $600. Or maybe failing to file a document will result in the suspension of your driver’s license. It’s almost always better to hire someone who understands and can explain all the hidden consequences of your criminal charge than to plead guilty or defend yourself.
Brett Appelman is the owner and managing partner at Appelman & Associates, a criminal defense law firm located in Aurora, Illinois. His firm specializes in criminal matters, traffic citations and family law.