How Soon Do You Need a Criminal Defense Attorney?

It’s important never to take a criminal charge lightly in Illinois. This is particularly true of burglary charges, because those could seriously hurt your reputation and have a lasting impact on your life.

Even though you’ve only been accused of a crime at this point, now is still a good time to start working on a defense. While many people think they only need a defense attorney to step in if they go to court, the reality is that you should have one from the very start of your case. If you’ve been arrested, then your attorney should already be on their way to help.

How soon do you need a criminal defense attorney?

Generally speaking, you need to have a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible after you’re charged with a crime. If you’re arrested, ask the police officer that you’re with to let you call your attorney. Don’t say or do anything that could incriminate you while you wait for your attorney to call you back or come to the police station.

Do you need a defense attorney for a misdemeanor?

Just because you’re facing a misdemeanor doesn’t mean you don’t need a defense attorney. Misdemeanors can still come with jail sentences, heavy fines and other harsh penalties. It’s always a good idea to have an attorney on your side, even if you think that the prosecution doesn’t have a case. They’ll do their best to help you and protect your rights, because the prosecution’s goal isn’t necessarily to do so.

What should you expect from your attorney?

A good criminal defense attorney will be there to support you. They generally assist with:

  • Protecting your rights
  • Preventing bias in juries
  • Gathering evidence and reading case documents
  • Gathering notes
  • Forming a strategy for the case
  • Seeking plea deals

They will also help you learn more about how to act in court or what is expected of you if you go to trial. Not every case will go to trial, but if it does, they’ll be there to represent you. Their job is to help you reduce or eliminate the charges against you to the best of their ability.