Top Questions for a Criminal Justice Lawyer
If you find yourself in trouble with the law, you may need to turn to an attorney to represent you during a trial. There can be a lot of doubts about the federal and state laws affecting you and your case, and trying to represent yourself can be somewhat of a hassle the more complicated and serious your case. Sometimes you’ll need a lawyer if you want the best outcome, but they can be incredibly expensive. What if you can’t afford one? How do you make it through this trying time with little income? Here are some of those answers that might put your mind at ease and send you in the right direction.
What If You Can’t Afford a Lawyer?
If you can’t afford a lawyer, you can ask the court to appoint one to you free of charge. You have to qualify for a free one by means of your financial situation. Sometimes, if your case is serious, it never hurts to ask.
How Do You Get a Lawyer Appointed?
Your first day of court is when you can ask for a lawyer. This day is called an arraignment and acts as your first court hearing. The judge may ask if you have a lawyer, in which case you can inform him or her to assign you one.
What If You Want Advice Before the Trial?
Having a lawyer represent you for free can be great, but it also might not get you as good of an outcome as with a private lawyer. Because your lawyer is free, he or she is likely working many cases and may not be able to spend much time on yours. If you want more assistance, you can turn to federal legal aid services, charities that provide legal aid and pro bono programs, all of which provide cheaper or free services to those who can’t afford them.
How Much Does a Private Lawyer Cost?
This varies from case to case. Some cases require more attention and time, and the experience level of your attorney can greatly impact the cost. The more experienced they are, the more expensive they’ll be. They may range from $3,000 to $5,000 for a small case, and up to the $20,000s for a larger, more complicated case.
With the costs in mind, you might consider representing yourself in a case, but is that a bad idea? It depends on the severity of your situation. A speeding ticket, or something equally as small, is probably fine to represent yourself in. As your situation gets more serious, a criminal defense attorney in San Mateo, CA may be the best route. Don’t be afraid to reach out and speak to one about your case.
Thanks to The Morales Law Firm for their insight into criminal law and questions for a criminal defense attorney.