Question

I’ve Been Arrested In Kentucky. Why Do I Need A Lawyer?

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Scott White - General Litigation - Super Lawyers

Answered by: Scott White

Located in Lexington, KYCarman & Fullerton, PLLC

Lexington, KY
Phone: 859-535-0096

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Answer

It can be tempting not to hire a lawyer if you’ve been charged with a crime. It may seem unnecessary at first, or you think you can work out a good result on your own, or you may be worried you can’t afford it. However, not hiring a lawyer can be more expensive than using your resources to find a good lawyer. A decision not to hire a good lawyer also puts your freedom at risk. 

From the moment you’re arrested, anything you say or do could potentially be used to convict you. It may be tempting to try and convince the police you’re innocent, but statements that sound harmless to you could get you in serious trouble. An attorney can help you determine exactly what’s at stake, how to protect yourself and to leverage the nuances of the law for your defense. A lawyer can also challenge the evidence presented and make sure your rights were not violated during the investigation or your arrest. If the police officers didn’t follow their procedures closely enough and your rights were violated, that may be enough to have the evidence against you thrown out.

What Could Happen If You Don’t Have An Attorney

Not having a legal advocate could be detrimental to your future. You may think that it’s easy to defend yourself, especially if the evidence against you is scarce. However, if you try to talk yourself out of the consequences without a legal guide, you may actually say something incriminating that leads to your conviction or can be used to support more serious consequences. Once you have a conviction, you will have a criminal record and your career, family and future relationships could be affected. Some common penalties for criminal convictions include:

  • Jail time
  • Fines
  • Being listed on the sex offender registry
  • The required use of an ignition interlock device on your vehicle
  • Other consequences that could affect your freedom and everyday life

If you’re afraid that you can’t afford an attorney, reach out to a few attorneys in your area for a consultation. Many attorneys will offer a short meeting for free to determine if they’re a good fit for your case.

What Your Lawyer Can Do

A good criminal defense lawyer is an invaluable resource who can protect your rights. They can visit you in jail to better understand your situation, represent you at bail hearings, negotiate for a plea, collect and investigate evidence, make sure your rights haven’t been violated, and represent you at trial. Many common criminal charges can be charged in both a state and federal courts such as assault, theft, drug charges, sex offenses, and more. A skilled criminal defense attorney will understand how to defend you in either federal or state court.

Regardless of what criminal charges you’re facing, legal representation can mean the difference between facing serious, life-altering consequences and continuing to live your life as you do today. When you consider whether you can afford an attorney, ask yourself if you can afford to spend time behind bars, pay thousands of dollars in fines or have future employment opportunities limited. You may realize a lawyer is a bargain given the very real consequences of a criminal conviction.

Disclaimer: The answer is intended to be for informational purposes only. It should not be relied on as legal advice, nor construed as a form of attorney-client relationship.

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