When you’re facing a criminal charge, whether you are guilty or innocent, a defense lawyer is worth every penny. If you compare lawyer fees to the money and time you save by retaining one, the decision is clear. Considerations include the following:
- Forced time out of work
- Difficulty securing employment, if convicted
- Fines, fees and other costs
Hiring a lawyer is a good idea because they will be able to minimize the damage to your reputation and find ways to negate costs. The Federal Trade Commission provides tips for hiring a defense lawyer.
Minimize Financial Loss, Save Your Career
Repeatedly, studies show that ex-felons have a much harder time getting a job. There are many companies that disqualify people automatically because of a felony conviction. That may sound unfair, but there are no laws in place to prevent employers from discriminating against you once you have a criminal record. That is, if you can even get a job in the first place.
Surveys have found that 70% of convicts have trouble finding work. In follow-ups, 43% of survey respondents had been working at some point since being released from prison, but only 31% were consistently gainfully employed. That’s almost one-third of those convicted of a crime.
Having one single felony on your record makes it difficult enough to get back to work, but those who have multiple convictions find it nearly impossible to get a job and survive on the outside. Loss of income and the loss of a lifelong career, when added together, is enough incentive for most people to realize that indeed hiring an experienced attorney Is your best defense against bankruptcy even.
For first-time offenders, a lawyer can get charges expunged, or removed, from your record. Expunged records increase the possibility of finding a good job because incriminating files are permanently deleted and do not show up on a background check because they don’t exist, in legal terms.
Can a Lawyer Get the Amount of My Fines Reduced?
The simple answer to this question is a resounding yes. Sometimes a lower fine can be negotiated, however there are times when a higher fine is preferable if your lawyer is in turn able to negotiate a lighter sentence, shorter jail time, or a reduction in charges. Plea bargains are common, but you have to have a lawyer to get one.
Probably even more important though is an attorney’s ability to reduce your charges. Charges come with fines and possible jail time, so your first consideration should be reducing the charges you are facing.
Your assets can be seized when you are facing charges for a serious crime. All the hard work, time and effort you put into buying a home, car or other major item goes out the window when your property is taken away. You will have the burden of proving that anything you own was acquired legitimately. This can be very difficult to prove unless you keep meticulous records of your income, which most people don’t. If you’re facing a property seizure, never attempt to resolve it on your own.
Hiring a Defense Lawyer Makes Financial Sense
Even though it can be expensive, a good criminal defense lawyer is a necessity, not a luxury. Bound morally to defend you, whether you are innocent or guilty, the goal of your lawyer is to make sure that you endure as little hardship as possible. Chris Lewis & Associates has a whole team ready to get to work for you, so you can get back to normal life as soon as possible.