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Frequently Asked Questions About Criminal Defense Attorneys

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When it comes to criminal defense, there are a lot of questions, and rightfully so. The field is complex and requires the help of professionals to attain a true and deeply functional understanding.

Whether you have questions about the system or about the lawyers who navigate it, here are five frequently asked questions about criminal defense attorneys and the answers you’ve been looking for.

Are lawyers available for defendants who can’t afford to pay for one?

The United States Constitution mandates that you are entitled to representation by an attorney if the state is attempting to deprive you of liberty. In most cases, this requires a court to assign a criminal defense lawyer to you either free or for a fee you can afford.

How can I get a court to appoint a lawyer for me?

Typically to have a court appoint a lawyer to you requires that you ask the court to appoint you a lawyer and detail your financial situation. Your first opportunity to ask the court for a lawyer will be your first appearance. Each state has its own rules as to who gets free legal services, but there are common circumstances in which teh court must provide a lawyer.

Do I need a lawyer at my arraignment?

Whether you’re appearing in court for driving under the influence or a traffic ticket, an arraignment is typically you first appearance in court where you make a please of guilty or not guilty. Most people choose to handle this without a criminal defense attorney, but the security is often welcomed.

Should I represent myself in a criminal case?

If you’re fighting a traffic ticket, odds are you won’t need a criminal defense lawyer. However, the more severe the crime is, the better off you are with a good criminal defense attorney. In every case, if jail time is a possible consequence of your actions, you should absolutely have a criminal defense lawyer representing you.

No matter the reason you’re in court, there are circumstances in which a criminal defense attorney is absolutely necessary. If you’re facing jail time, make sure to do your research and make smart decisions. Finding the right criminal defense attorney is often the difference between jail time and community service.

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