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Not Hiring a Criminal Defense Attorney Will Cost You

By Hager & Schwartz, P.A.

August 1, 2012

On an almost daily ocurrence, we get a call from a person who many years ago decided for some reason to handle a criminal case on their own as opposed to hiring a Criminal Defense Attorney. They advise that they are having a difficult to impossible time finding a job as a direct result of that particular case.

I always ask the same questions. Did you have a criminal defense attorney to represent you on the case and if not, why? The two most common answers are either they could not afford an attorney or they thought it was minor enough to handle themselves.

Just because you can handle a case by yourself does not mean it is in your best interest to do so. My parents always told me that every decision has a consequence. If you are mature enough to make the decision, you better be able to deal with the result and/or consequence of that decision.

When you handle a case by yourself, you typically will do what is the easiest way out of the situation. Often times that may mean you take a plea on a case that could not be proven by the prosecutor. Such a plea more times than not will result in a criminal conviction that can never be erased or taken off your record. It can never be sealed or expunged and in many cases will prevent you from sealing or expunging another case later in life. This will impact your ability to obtain employment in the future. It can also have significant immigration consequences for those who are not United States Citizens.

The bottom line is that not hiring an attorney will cost you sooner or later. Better to find the money to hire a qualified, experienced attorney now than learn later that not doing so cost you dearly.