Should I Wait to Receive My Charges Before Hiring an Attorney?

Posted On January 7, 2022 Criminal Defense Written by John Allen Phebus

If you get arrested in Arizona, hiring a criminal defense lawyer is the best way to protect your legal rights. An experienced criminal defense attorney can work to minimize the effects of the arrest on your life and future. What many people don’t realize is that it is possible – and beneficial – to hire an attorney even before they receive any charges. Acting as soon as you suspect you might be charged with a crime can benefit you in many ways.

Your Lawyer Can Influence the Charges That Are Brought Against You

One of the main reasons to hire an attorney before you receive charges is that it can change the charges that are eventually entered against you. Having a lawyer represent you early can help prevent aggressive or outrageous charges from being filed. Your lawyer may be able to influence the prosecutor’s decision in which charges to enter, such as by arguing that you have a clean criminal history or demonstrating why the potential charges do not fit the circumstances. This could result in a reduction of the charge from a felony to a misdemeanor, for example, or charges for a lesser crime. 

Depending on the circumstances, it may be possible for your criminal defense lawyer to stop charges from being filed against you altogether. A lawyer’s negotiating power, knowledge of the law, and relationships with judges and prosecutors could mean that charges are never filed after an arrest, and the case against you is dismissed.

Your Lawyer Can Meet With the Other Side for You

Getting arrested is a stressful situation that can significantly impact your life. Retaining a criminal defense lawyer immediately, however, can reduce the negative effects of an arrest. Hiring a lawyer can prevent you from ever having to show up in court or meet with the police or prosecutor. Your lawyer can attend meetings and handle communications for you, allowing you to stay home or go to work while he or she takes care of your criminal case. You can trust that your defense attorney will aggressively protect your interests as your sworn advocate.

Your Lawyer Can Protect Your From Police Tactics

Law enforcement officers do not fight fair. They may stretch the truth or outright lie to get you to disclose things that you are not legally required to discuss, including threatening you with more serious criminal charges if you don’t comply. They may also offer lucrative deals to convince you that it is in your best interest to cooperate with an investigation. A criminal defense lawyer can represent you during police interrogations and the investigative process to prevent you from saying anything that could be self-incriminating.

Your Lawyer Can Continue to Help as Your Case Progresses

If your lawyer cannot prevent charges from being filed against you, he or she can represent you while your criminal case progresses. If you hire a lawyer early, he or she will have more control over how your case evolves. Your lawyer can take over for you during interviews, police questioning or depositions, and offer advice to help build a stronger defense. If your criminal case requires a trial, your lawyer can let you know what to expect from the justice process. If the case does not go your way, your lawyer can continue representing you during an appeal.

Hiring a Lawyer Is Not an Admission of Guilt

If you are worried that protecting yourself with a criminal defense lawyer will look like you are admitting guilt, know that this is not the case. Hiring a lawyer cannot be used as evidence against you and does not make you look worse to a jury. It is a smart decision that will show that you are prepared and in the know about your legal rights. Everyone has the constitutional right to legal counsel and the assistance of an attorney.

Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney Today

There are many reasons why you should hire an attorney even before you receive your charges as someone who is potentially facing indictment in Arizona. If you wish to hire a qualified pre-filing criminal defense attorney, contact The Law Offices of John Phebus Glendale Criminal and Personal Injury Lawyer. We offer free consultations and student and military discounts.