Under criminal law, felonies are considered some of the most serious charges, and the gravity of consequences depending on the severity of the crime. If you have been charged with a felony or are under investigation for a felony, spending time in prison is a real possibility.
You’ll have plenty to think about, like whether to plead guilty, whether to accept a plea deal or a punishment, and whether to hire a lawyer. Here are three reasons to hire a criminal defense attorney when charged with a felony:
Felony convictions follow you for life
Court and prison time are not the only things to expect from felony charges. The repercussions have a far-reaching impact and can follow you for the rest of your life. Even if you don’t serve time, if you’re convicted of a felony, you can also lose your right to vote and lose your ability to obtain a decent job or find decent housing. If sexual misconduct was involved, you may also be put on a sex offender database and have to notify neighbors of your status.
The right attorney will work hard to negotiate a plea bargain, reduce the charges, or drop them altogether in an attempt to avoid damaging your record.
If you’re the main earner in your household, spending an extended amount of time in prison can be a real hardship on your family. That loss of income, and the problems you could face finding work and housing after your conviction, really add up.
An experienced defense attorney has spent years specializing in cases like yours and is well prepared to help you fight this legal battle. Your lawyer will work on your behalf to reduce your consequences and help you get your life back on track more quickly after your felony charge.
In the long run, the cost of hiring a criminal defense lawyer who’s dedicated to getting you the best results for your case may be a better financial decision than defending yourself and hoping for the best.
Experience and focus
You may have the opportunity to work with a court-appointed public defender. Although the public defender may have experience with cases similar to yours, they often have large caseloads and may be spread thin. This means they’re sometimes unable to give you the attention you want and deserve. If you are not satisfied with the progress being made with your public defender, it may be time to consider hiring your own criminal defense lawyer.
Also, many lawyers offer a free initial consultation, so you can see if an attorney feels like the best person for your case before you have to pay any legal fees.
Contact a Chattanooga Defense Lawyer
If you or someone you know has been charged with a felony, contact our criminal defense lawyers today at Speek, Turner & Newkirk.