One of the first things you are advised to do after being arrested for a crime is to contact an attorney. However, you may be wondering if a lawyer is necessary for every type of crime. These are three reasons you should consider hiring a criminal lawyer.

1. Self-Representation Is Difficult

Trying to interpret the law for a layperson can be like trying to assemble a piece of furniture from IKEA. The instructions are there, but they may not always make sense. A criminal law firm in Columbia MD understands all of the intricate workings of the criminal justice system and can help you avoid mistakes that may jeopardize your case.

2. Criminal Cases Can Be Political

Unfortunately, the outcome of criminal cases isn’t always decided purely on the letter of the law. Pressure from the community and political aspirations may play a part. Judges are elected officials and their decisions may be influenced by loud calls from voters to decide a case a certain way. Prosecutors may pursue cases aggressively if they are trying to move into politics or climb the career ladder. An experienced local attorney is familiar with how to navigate these challenges to achieve a fair outcome.

3. Prosecutors Hold Substantial Power

Prosecutors ultimately decide whether to file criminal charges and which charges to file. Convincing a prosecutor to not file charges or to file less serious charges is a difficult job for a person representing themself. However, an experienced attorney will have a working relationship with the prosecutor and an understanding of how to negotiate to achieve the desired outcome. 

Even people who think they understand the law can usually benefit from the services of a criminal lawyer. Reading about the law in a book or on the internet is not the same as actually working within the system daily. If you are facing criminal charges, an experienced attorney may be a worthwhile investment.