If you have been charged with a crime - seek representation. The last thing you should be thinking is if I need to actually hire an attorney, instead, explore your options. Criminal matters affect you personally and professionally. Do not wait to decide if you need an attorney because there is too much at stake; conviction, incarceration, fines, court costs, restitution and probation. You have the right to be represented. Any criminal case can be filled with complicated and sensitive issues; it is because of that uniqueness that it can be difficult to determine an outcome.
The other side has advocates, too, for instance DUIs
Let's face it - the police and the State Attorney's Office are under great pressure from advocacy groups, such as MADD, to make more DUI arrests and convictions. This has resulted in a larger number of 'borderline' cases, or, cases in which an arrest should not have been made at all. The prosecutor's burden in proving DUI is governed by the same rules of law and evidence required by the courts in most cases. However, unlike most charges, the arresting officer's testimony relies on his "opinion" of your impairment relating to your ability to drive and your normal faculties. In addition, there may also be scientific evidence such as a breath test. In a typical DUI prosecution the state presents evidence regarding your driving pattern, the first contact between you and law enforcement, your performance on "field sobriety tests", and the results of a breath test.
But, I didn't do anything...
It does not matter whether you are guilty or not, trying to talk to the police is not a sound decision. In my experience, law enforcement has already determined if they have enough probable cause to arrest you, they just need you to confirm it. Many people end up in jail because they believed they were that one individual who didn’t need legal representation.
Who is my Advocate?
Although the evidence may seem strong at first glance, there are good defenses to the different segments of the state's case. A lack of evidence can be brought to the prosecutor's attention, encourage a reduction, secure Pre-Trial Intervention, or possibly dismissal of the case. Remember, your Attorney will be allowed to see the all the evidence against you. If an attorney is worth his weight, then he should be well trained to identify weaknesses in any case and work with the client.
What are the intangibles?
Many times, your attorney can accomplish many things without leaving the office, for instance, making phone calls, submitting time-sensitive paperwork, securing and talking to witnesses and hiring experts.