“Do I REALLY need an attorney?”
This question is asked quite frequently of me by potential clients who either have a criminal case pending against them or who anticipate a criminal case quickly coming down the pike. My answer is always and unequivocally a resounding “Yes!” Why? (The answer is not always “yes” just so I’ll get another client!) The criminal system compels it! Let me explain….
If an individual has been charged with a crime or is under investigation for possibly committing a crime, the first thing that person needs to realize is that no one but the attorney he or she hires to adequately represent his or her interests and constitutional rights is going to do anything to advocate for him or her in court or within the system itself.
That is not to say that if you are a victim of a crime that a victim’s advocate, prosecutor or perhaps a detective or police officer won’t help you. They will – the criminal justice system is set up that way. But as the person charged or to be charged, you need your own advocate to fully and completely represent and fight for you.
NO ONE WITHIN THE SYSTEM IS GOING TO HELP YOU OR FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHTS AND PROTECT YOUR INTERESTS LIKE YOUR OWN DEFENSE ATTORNEY!
The legal system is by its nature an adversarial system. In other words, each side plays a role in the system and seeks to effectively represent “their” side. Essentially, a prosecutor is going to seek to successfully prosecute you. The prosecutor represents the government (be it local, state, federal) in bringing its criminal case against you. The prosecutor is your adversary (your opponent) in the proceedings – – – going to him or her and trying to explain your way out of the charges pending against is not going to end well. It will simply hurt your case.
HOW THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM WORKS
“…you are merely a case number to the prosecutor and the judge.”
You need a defense attorney to defend you against the government and its representatives (prosecutors, law enforcement, experts). A defense attorney is – plainly and simply – the only person in the criminal justice system who cares about you and how the charges and a possible conviction will change your life; your freedom. That’s basically how the system works – – – generally, you are merely a case number to the prosecutor and the judge. From their perspective, you have wronged someone and they want you quickly and expeditiously “off their docket.” They want your case closed – – – meaning they want you to plead guilty, pay your fine, serve your sentence, so they can move on to the next matter pending before them.
WHAT MAKES A GOOD DEFENSE ATTORNEY
A good defense attorney is going to get to know you and the charges and case against you. Your family, your employment and your background are all important factors in the ultimate decision of how you will proceed through the criminal justice system. An effective defense attorney will gather the necessary information to give you the best defense possible.
My primary area of practice is representing clients with criminal charges pending or about to be pending against them. It is the area of the law I have chosen to work in. My clients are not simply numbers or names on a file to me. I get to know each client individually. My staff gets to know them. I make sure each and every client knows how to get in touch with me. I try to find out everything I possibly can about my clients’ backgrounds, family, future plans, hopes and fears. These are all very important to a client and I recognize that. I seek to do everything I can possibly do to make the entire process as fair and beneficial for my clients as I possibly can within the dictates of the law.
“Becoming involved in the criminal justice system is usually a person’s worst nightmare.”
My slogan is “Bad Things Happen to Good People” and it is my slogan for a reason. It really speaks for itself. Becoming involved in the criminal justice system is usually a person’s worst nightmare. You need someone to guide them through the process and protect your rights. You need someone who is going to poke and prod to see if the government truly has what it needs to prosecute you and then uses that information in forming a defense. No one else is going to do that except a good lawyer who cares for his clients. If that “person” is YOU, then that “good lawyer who cares” is ME!
An easy way to explain and drive the point home, and one I use often is this: If you have a broken pipe in your house do you call a plumber or do you fix it yourself? You may be able to fix it yourself and it will work for a short while. But the odds are that you will simply make matters worse and sometimes the damage is irreversible. The lesson? Call a plumber!
The same goes for an attorney when you are facing criminal charges – – – call a defense attorney. Not doing so will simply “make matters worse and the resulting ‘damage’ could be irreversible.”
Supposedly, Abraham Lincoln once said, “He who represents himself has a fool for a client.” I have found that to be so very true. I’m here to represent you by providing the best possible defense under the law.
So when people facing criminal charges ask me if they “REALLY” need an attorney, I answer them with an emphatic “Yes!” There is simply too much at stake! You can contact me 24 hours a day, seven days a week!