Want advice? You need a lawyer.
Do you need a lawyer?
Depends on who you ask…
Not infrequently, I’ll have a new client share with me that the arresting police officer told them “Don’t bother with a lawyer, you don’t need one.” Generally, this occurs in first offense DUI’s and other perceived minor arrests. While police do often (although not always) have good intentions in advising people against retaining counsel, I have found that the officers are frequently providing misinformation to their arrestees as to realistic, best case scenario outcomes of their cases and the consequences attendant to those outcomes.
If you ask a lawyer the same question, you just know you’re going to get the opposite answer, right? (“Of course you need a lawyer!”). So, who do you believe?
If you find yourself in the uncomfortable and unfamiliar position of being accused of a crime, you should always consult with a reputable lawyer. They will assess your case and advise you of realistic outcomes of it, from best to worst. There are pitfalls in many cases to avoid: unintended and unanticipated consequences of choices you make in the course of resolving a case. The prosecution is under no obligation to even adequately inform you of those pitfalls.
A lawyer can advise you of not only the most efficacious way to resolve your case, but also of collateral consequences, how to deal with them or how to avoid them altogether. Examples include minimizing or avoiding license suspensions related to certain criminal convictions, and expunging (i.e. destroying) non-conviction arrest records, to name only two.
So, in this lawyer’s opinion, it is always in your best interests to have an advocate protecting your interests and acting as a buffer between you and the prosecution. It never hurts to have an effective lawyer on your side. Consult with one, choose wisely, and you’ll agree with me.