I have been charged with a crime! Can I afford a lawyer?
Criminal charges never come at a good time. If you are charged with a felony or misdemeanor, your defense has to be your priority. Your last and only line of defense is a Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney.
“Can I afford a lawyer if I’m facing felony or misdemeanor allegations?”
When asking yourself, “can I afford a lawyer?” you have to consider not just the cost of attorney fees but also the cost of a conviction. Penalties for criminal convictions include potential jail sentences, probation, fines, and costs. Many people do not realize that a criminal conviction can jeopardize custody, employability, financial stability, and much more. Your ability to obtain credit, get a mortgage or student loan, get a job requiring a license, or do anything requiring a criminal background check can be ruined. A criminal conviction might be on your record for life.
Politicians who have talked about being “tough on crime” have turned the criminal justice system into a conviction machine and made law enforcement a game in which the prize is a bigger budget. Ultimately, many prosecutions are all about the money and the government using police and prosecutors to help balance a strained budget.
So the police or anyone is accusing you of a crime, you are in the proverbial crosshairs of the criminal justice system, and you are likely asking yourself, “Can I afford a lawyer?”
“Why would I want to hire a lawyer?”
An indigent defendant is entitled to court-appointed counsel in a criminal case. Generally, court-appointed lawyers are paid a nominal fee to provide an adequate defense to those facing criminal charges. The standard for a court-appointed lawyer is to provide a level of defense that is not deficient. There are conscientious, hard-working, appointed lawyers. On the other hand, some focus on getting as many clients as possible to maximize their income and compromise the level of representation provided to their clients. Still, many lack the skill and talent to provide a meaningful defense or the savvy to negotiate a favorable resolution with the prosecutor and judge. Hiring an experienced and reputable defense lawyer is the only way to ensure you receive a good defense. To secure the best defense, you will have to engage a top-level, specialized criminal defense lawyer who will do whatever it takes to protect and defend you. “Can you afford a lawyer?” What is the value of your future, employability, family, status in the United States, reputation, and civil rights? The answer to these questions will guide your decision on whether to hire a private attorney or seek court-appointed counsel.
You need an excellent Michigan Criminal Defense Lawyer.
The reality is that if you want a good lawyer, you will need to pay them. You probably will have to pay more than you expect, and you will have to pay some amount of the fee upfront. Most criminal defense lawyers charge flat fees, payable at the beginning of the case. Some offer payment plans. Costs are the client’s responsibility and can include subpoena fees, investigators, reproduction of discovery, and transcripts.
If you don’t have the financial wherewithal to hire a lawyer, it is in your best interest to find a way. If there has ever been a time in your life to ask friends, family, or employers for help, this is the time. Your job, future, life, and your liberty are on the line. At such a critical time in your life, it is not the time to shop for discounts. You get what you pay for relative to defense lawyers in the criminal defense world. Hiring a cheap lawyer generally results in bargain-basement service and bargain-basement results. Considering the potential repercussions of a criminal conviction, you need the best lawyer you can get.
Talk to your family and friends and tell them that you need to hire a lawyer. Most criminal defense lawyers take credit cards. You can also get a check from most credit card issuers for a cash advance. You can also request an emergency credit card from most banks. If you have to sell assets, it may be worth doing so if it saves you considerable jail time, lost employment due to a criminal conviction, or potential immigration problems. You can always acquire new assets, but you may never be able to get your reputation, professional license, custody, or current job back. You do not get a second chance at a criminal charge, and the effects of the charge could be with you for far longer than your car or jewelry ever will.
If this sounds callous or overly dramatic, it’s not. Your life and your future are worth more than the money you will save using a court-appointed attorney or discount lawyer who does not care about you and doesn’t have the time or resources to do everything possible to fight for you.
Instead of asking, “can I afford a lawyer?” consider asking yourself, “can I afford not to have a good lawyer?”
You are worth more than that. You deserve to be defended by someone who takes the time to get to know you, who puts up a fight for you and cares what happens to you. Although it may not be easy to come up with the necessary legal fees for an excellent criminal defense lawyer, you definitely can’t afford not to hire one. Instead of asking, “can I afford a lawyer?” consider asking yourself, “can I afford not to have a good lawyer? If you call LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C., we will take the time to talk with you, answer your questions, and work with you to find an affordable fee for us to protect and defend you in court.
Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or complete a Request for Assistance Form. We will contact you promptly and find a way to help you.