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How to Decide If You Need a Criminal Defense Attorney

If you've been arrested for any type of crime, you may be offered the services of a criminal defense attorney. Even if such services are free of charge, some people try to work out those charges on their own, thinking they can handle the case before it even goes to court or that they're better off representing themselves for whatever reason. Before you decide that you don't need to talk to a criminal defense attorney, here are a few factors to consider that can help you make this decision and protect your rights as well.

1. If there is forensic evidence against you

Forensic evidence may include things like fingerprints, lab tests and their results, DNA samples, and the like. Even for a supposedly minor break-in and other such crimes, the prosecutor may bring in these types of forensic evidence against you, and they can be very difficult to argue against. A criminal defense attorney will know how to bring in their own forensic experts, how to get certain evidence suppressed, and how to argue against test results or other such evidence. Don't assume that this type of evidence is unimportant as it can often go a long way toward swaying a jury. It can be difficult for a defendant to know how to address it on their own, so call an attorney if such evidence will be presented in your case.

2. Consider witnesses that might be called

You may not be concerned about testifying on your own behalf in court, but what if a prosecutor calls in your family or even your children as witnesses? This can be very difficult for them and something you may want to avoid putting them through. In a case like this, a defense attorney may be able to plea bargain with the prosecutor in order to avoid a trial, or they may be able to argue against having certain witnesses called altogether.

3. If you have your own evidence to present

If you feel you have your own evidence to present in your defense, you should use a criminal lawyer to do that for you. There are certain rules that must be followed when you want to present evidence, before a trial and during a trial as well. If you don't follow those rules, the evidence may not be allowed to be presented no matter what it is and no matter what it might prove on your behalf. Rather than risk losing that evidence for yourself, have a criminal law attorney review it and then ensure it's presented properly.