Criminal Defense FAQ
Answers to Common Questions About Criminal Law
It’s a good idea to learn everything you can about the criminal defense process after you or someone you love are arrested. Below are some answers to common questions our experienced criminal defense attorneys in McDonough hear.
Why do I need an attorney?
An experienced criminal defense attorney will help you navigate the criminal justice system. From the moment you are charged with a crime through adjudication of the case, you will be faced with making important decisions.
These decisions can forever alter your future and have to be made quickly, often without a lot of information provided to you by the prosecutor. Criminal charges, no matter how minor you think they may be, will negatively impact your career and ultimately your economic future.
Having an attorney experienced in the criminal justice process, someone that knows the people involved is critical to protecting you, your future.
I am guilty of the crime. Isn't it better just to plead guilty by myself, saving money?
Your attorney will ensure you receive fair treatment, work to negotiate a fair settlement, and explain any potentially negative consequences you face such as loss of driver’s license, incarceration, or loss of other privileges such as the ability to qualify for certain jobs. In some cases, prosecutors and judges may not be willing to negotiate with an individual without an attorney.
I'm innocent. Do I still need an attorney?
Yes - When charges are made against you, the police and prosecutor believe you committed the crime. The police and prosecutor's job is to prosecute you. People are found guilty of crimes they did not commit. You need an attorney backed by a defense team that will work to gather the evidence to prove your innocence. Remember, the prosecutor's goal is to prove you GUILTY, not to prove your innocence.
Do I need an attorney if my case is under investigation and no charges have been filed?
Yes - An attorney and their defense team will ensure evidence in your favor is gathered and investigated as soon as possible. Often, your lawyer can bring evidence to the attention of the police or prosecutors proving your innocence before charges are filed. Your attorney is aiding you and the prosecutor to reduce the chances of you being charged when you are innocent.
I am going to defend myself. Do I need an attorney?
You can prepare your own defense, but this is never recommended. Most judges and even prosecutors will caution you against defending yourself.
Would you conduct a medical operation on yourself without the training and experience? The criminal justice system is complicated, and you are required to make decisions that impact your future quickly and without a lot of information. An experienced attorney will know the system, the responsibilities, and roles of those involved and will guide you in making the best decisions.