Hiring a lawyer can be expensive, and if you are already facing financial difficulties or the possibility of a fine for your legal matter, you may question whether or not it is worth the cost.
Although it is possible to represent yourself in court, there are a number of reasons why engaging the services of a legal professional can save you money in the long run, and lead to a better outcome.
Reduction in penalty
Criminal lawyers are trained and experienced in different aspects of the NSW legal system, and can help you prepare a strong defence if you plan to fight the charges against you.
In cases where you may be liable for a hefty fine, having an experienced criminal lawyer representing you can help you get a more lenient penalty, and reduce the amount you have to pay.
If you are facing serious charges with the likelihood of a prison sentence, having an experienced defence lawyer to represent you and prepare your case can help keep you out of jail, and mean that there is less long-term impact on you and your family.
Spending time in custody can lead to financial hardship for your family if you are the main financial provider.
A criminal conviction can also make it more difficult for you to find work in the future, particularly in certain occupations such as healthcare, teaching or security.
In some cases, your lawyer may successfully be able to argue a less severe sentence, or even help you avoid a conviction altogether through a section 10 dismissal or conditional release order, or by getting the charges against you withdrawn.
Without legal expertise and knowledge, this can be very difficult to do this yourself, especially when you are already under the anxiety of criminal proceedings.
Less likelihood of mistakes
Being in trouble with the law can be stressful and overwhelming, and if you are under pressure it can be easy to make a mistake or say something inaccurate.
Having a lawyer speak for you in court, or speak to police for you, means there is less chance you will say the wrong thing while under pressure. Your lawyer will also be able to advise the court of the matters that are most important to your case.
Your lawyer will be able to advise you of whether your should participate in a police interview, or whether you should plead guilty or not guilty.
Even if you can’t afford a lawyer, it is always a good idea to get some basic initial advice because doing the wrong thing can have serious implications for the outcome of your case.
More authority in front of judges and magistrates
Having a lawyer to represent you in court can help on a number of levels beyond assisting you to present a stronger case and reducing mistakes.
Hiring a lawyer shows that you take your charges seriously, and the right lawyer, if they have a good standing with the courts, can add weight and authority to your argument.
When you are looking for a lawyer it is a good idea to choose a senior lawyer with a proven track record of dealing successfully with cases similar to yours.
Overall, hiring a lawyer can give you a significant advantage in your legal matter, and can save you and your family money and stress.
Even if you can’t afford to hire a lawyer to represent you in court, it is always advisable to at least seek some advice from a lawyer who is experienced in dealing with charges similar to the ones you are facing.