Being involved in a criminal case is always a highly stressful experience because of the major effects it can have on a person's life. Unfortunately, there are many people that fail to appreciate or misunderstand the valuable assistance and services a criminal defense lawyer can provide. As a result, these individuals are more likely to give common misconceptions more credibility than they deserve. Below are two criminal attorney myths that you may have heard. Knowing the truth behind them can be important when it comes to protecting your rights.
Myth: A Criminal Lawyer Can Only Help You If You Are Innocent
There is a common idea that a criminal defense attorney is only valuable to those that are innocent of the crime that are accused of committing. This notion may lead some people to refuse counsel and plead guilty to their charges. Sadly, this can be a disastrous mistake that can haunt you for the rest of your life.
If you are guilty and have the case stacked against you, a criminal attorney may be able to use their personal connections to negotiate a lesser sentencing for your case. Also, they may be able to successfully argue that you need mental care more than prison time, and this can help you avoid the harshest sentences while leaving the door open to you returning to your normal life as soon as possible. These are just a couple of examples, but speaking with one of the professionals will give you a better idea of what can be done for your case.
Myth: You Must Pay For The Full Cost Of Representation Upfront
Another false idea that is often believed about these professionals is that you must pay for all of your representation at the time you hire the attorney. However, this is logistically impossible. The attorney will have no idea how many hours it will take to represent your case. A more common practice is for these professionals to require a retainer fee. This fee will count for a set number of hours of representation, and when it has been completely used up, you will need to pay an additional sum. To help you balance these expenses, your attorney should send you regular updates that break down the hours billed and what was done during that time.
Hiring a criminal defense attorney is not something that most people want to do, but it may be the only way to avoid the worst outcomes of being accused of a crime. Sadly, if you are ill-informed about the valuable representation these individuals can provide you, there's a higher chance that you will make mistakes that can have lifelong implications. By considering the truth behind these two commonly held misconceptions, you should be in a strong position to defend your rights against criminal accusations. Contact a criminal law firm like Alexander & Associates, P.C. for more information.