Why You Should Hire a Criminal Attorney
If you are facing criminal charges within the Tampa area then you need to find the services of a Tampa criminal attorney as soon as you can. It can be helpful to you to have at least some basic knowledge of criminal law within the state, but hiring a criminal attorney will give you the best chance of defending the charges. If you find yourself charged with a crime punishable by jail and you are unable to afford a private attorney then you will be appointed one by the court.
Once a criminal charge has been filed with the court then you will be brought before a judge for a pre-trial hearing otherwise known as an arraignment. Here you will be asked to enter a plea of either guilty or not guilty. At your arraignment it is advisable to have at least consulted with a Tampa criminal attorney to discuss how best to plead. They can advise you on how best to plead based on the nature of your case and the charges against you. They may also advise the entering of a plea bargain whereby pleading guilty could result in a reduced sentence.
Hiring a lawyer will help you to understand the charges against you and the potential penalty you could be facing. Representing yourself is an option you are entitled to take, however many prosecutors refuse to deal with defendants who self-represent and many defendants find it impossible to understand the complex nature of criminal law. A lawyer on the other hand will be able to understand and interpret precedents set by past cases relevant to your own and be able to build a defense on your behalf.
A Tampa criminal attorney can also become a source of much needed support particularly if you are feeling fearful of the outcome, are embarrassed by the case against you or are suffering from low self-esteem. Criminal trials can be complex and lengthy so your lawyer should be able to keep you informed of proceedings at every stage of the case.
Lawyers work closely with personnel at the court house and will therefore know the best way in which to build your defense for the best outcome. They can also present convincing arguments in court as part of your defense, along with interviewing prosecution witnesses, contradicting evidence and presenting alternative evidence for the crime. These skills are acquired over time and those who do not have a legal background themselves may struggle to adequately represent themselves on the same level.
The judge in your case will usually request that a defendant who wishes to represent themselves, present evidence that they have adequate legal skills in which to commence their defense. In most cases the defendant does not possess these skills and the judge will request legal representation be provided for them. Hiring a lawyer is therefore widely considered a defendants best course of action.