Russell Hebets March 14, 2017

The moment you are faced with criminal charges is the moment you should consult a criminal defense lawyer. The prosecution will work against you and they have many years of experience and resources to do this quite successfully if you do not protect yourself. When you are charged with a criminal offense, the first thing you should contemplate is whether or not you need an attorney. There are several indicators that in fact you do need a criminal defense lawyer Bloomington IL relies on. Here are five signs that should encourage you to seek legal counsel.

1. You Lack the Legal Knowledge

People who have been charged with a criminal offense may assume that the Internet has all the information they need to prepare their own case. This cannot be further from the truth. There is a big difference between theory and practice when it comes to criminal cases. Online and in books you can find procedures, definitions, and fixed punishments. While these resources may provide insight, the actual practice of law cannot be contained in a book on a website. There are certain aspects of criminal defense that can only be learned through experience and specialized training. Lack of legal experience is a clear sign that you need to enlist the services of a skilled criminal defense attorney. Attorneys with many years of experience defending clients can can help you too.

2. You Are Emotionally Affected

The fact that could face jail time or a hefty fine can be sufficient to destabilize you emotionally. As such, you cannot be objective if you represent yourself in a criminal case. Lack of objectivity can cost you the case and is one of the reasons why even lawyers do not represent themselves in court.

3. It Is Your First Criminal Offense

The criminal court system can be strict and harsh on first-time offenders. The objective here is to put an end to these criminal offenses. Facing a criminal charge can be overwhelming, to say the least. If this is your first offense, then chances are that you will be terrified. A criminal record can affect your life in many ways. Not many employers are quick to hire people who have a criminal record. Insurance companies may also charge higher rates to previous offenders. It can also be challenging to get into universities with a criminal record.

4. If Your Actions Were Not Intentional

Accidents happen, and in some cases, the circumstances can only appear to be malicious. In such an instance, you need to get the jury to look past the circumstances and consider the motive. This can prove to be challenging if you do not have the legal prowess. Again, you can be assured that the prosecutor will prepare a solid case against you. When your actions can be wrongly misinterpreted to show criminal intent, then it is best to have a legal representative who will prepare a good defense. As a result, the courts may be inclined to give you a warning or dismiss the case altogether. Skilled criminal defense lawyers can help communicate your true intentions to the court.

5. When Your Case Evokes Community Pressure

There are certain criminal offenses that go against the values of society. As such, they can elicit harsh reactions from the public. In such instances, the judge and the jury will be under intense pressure to pursue a conviction. You need a lawyer who is familiar with the politics and community pressures that can affect the outcome of a case.

As evidenced, there is much at stake. It is best to let a skilled lawyer handle your case.

Thanks to our friends and contributors from Pioletti & Pioletti for their insight into criminal defense practice.