When Do You Need a Criminal Defense Lawyer?

If you have been charged with a crime, you need a criminal defense attorney — especially if you are facing time in jail or a hefty fine. While you have the right to represent yourself, it is far better to heed the words of Abraham Lincoln, who said, “He who represents himself has a fool for a client.”

If you’ve been arrested, you are at a serious disadvantage in the legal system because everyone else – the police, the prosecutor, and the judges – are all five steps ahead of you right now. The one way you can catch up to make it a fair playing field, let alone tilt the field in your favor, is through the attorney you hire to represent you.

An experienced criminal defense lawyer is critical to help you protect your rights, including the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. In a criminal trial, the government bears the burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt. If the government has a weak case, your attorney may be able to successfully argue why the charges should be dropped or reduced.

For those charged with a crime, a criminal defense attorney is the one person who can protect you from the power of the government. Whether you have been charged with a felony or a misdemeanor, a good criminal lawyer knows the system and can provide the representation you need to protect your rights and serve justice.

Even if you have not yet been charged with a crime and are just being questioned by police, do not give up your right to an attorney. The police do not have to warn you of your rights until you are in custody and being questioned. They sometimes try to coerce a confession or get information from potential criminal defendants using this tactic. If you are ever contacted by police about a crime, don’t talk without a lawyer present.

The Cogdell Law Firm is a boutique law firm focusing on large, complex business and criminal financial-related litigation, including white collar criminal defense, securities fraud, health care fraud investigation, criminal appeals and state criminal defense. When results matter most, contact Dan Cogdell at (713) 426-2244 or info@cogdell-law.com.