I am Innocent! Why Should I Hire a Criminal Attorney?

Have you been arrested or charged with a crime? If so, you should contact a criminal defense attorney immediately.  

But I am Innocent! Won’t the Courts Straighten it Out?

If you are innocent of the charges you are being accused of, you need to have legal representation that will advocate effectively on your behalf.

Innocent people are arrested and convicted all the time, so in order for you to ensure you are not convicted of a crime you did not do, contact an attorney that handles criminal, DUI and traffic offenses.

Can I Represent Myself In Court?

The Sixth Amendment gives the right to represent oneself, but that does not mean you should do it.

For a defendant to represent himself, there must be a knowing, intelligent and voluntary waiver, giving up the right to an attorney.  A defendant must make the request, but the judge is not required to grant the request.

When a defendant chooses self-representation, the court will require a hearing in order to evaluate a person’s competency where the trial judge will ask legal questions to evaluate whether the defendant is competent. The test the judge uses is whether the defendant is intelligently waiving the right to counsel.  Even if the judge finds the defendant competent, the court may appoint a standby counsel to assist.

If the defendant exercises his right to self-representation, the defendant cannot later complain that the quality of his defense denied him effective assistance of counsel.

Do I have a Right to a Lawyer?

A defendant's Sixth Amendment right to counsel attaches when the government initiates adversarial criminal proceedings.  Arraignments are the first of many criminal proceedings and thus, the assistance of counsel clause is guaranteed by all defendants in misdemeanor and felony cases.

The Sixth Amendment guarantees a defendant the right to have an attorney represent him.  If the defendant cannot afford an attorney, one must be appointed at the state’s expense.  The attorney must give effective assistance, and the representation must be conflict free.  

Do I Get a Pick My Own Lawyer?

Most people do not know that if you retain your own attorney, you have a right to choose the attorney.  By hiring an attorney that best suits your needs, you will obtain a DUI or criminal lawyer that has experience, knowledge of the law, and will provide you with proactive strategies to obtain the best possible results.

What If There is a Conflict of Interest?

Defendants must also receive conflict free representation.  Lawyers have conflict of interests when one client has an interest adverse to those of the other client.  The most common example is simultaneous representation.  An attorney may not concurrently represent multiple defendants (co-defendants) in a criminal case.  

Likewise, an attorney cannot represent a new client when there was previous representation of a witness, victim, or other co-defendants. Lawyers owe a duty of loyalty to their clients and forcing an attorney to jointly represent forces the lawyer to choose between the clients.  When there is a conflict of interest, the judge must appoint new counsel that is free from the conflict.

How Do I Know If I Need a Lawyer?

If you do not know if you need legal counsel, the best way to find out is contacting an honest and reputable criminal defense law firm. By contacting an experienced lawyer immediately can help you, especially when you are innocent of the charges against you.

Remember, if you have questions about your criminal charges, we have answers! Contact our law firm today to discuss your criminal charges.

Posted on
August 12, 2015
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Fresno Criminal Law Posts
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