Self-Representation vs. Legal Representation in Misdemeanor Cases
The long and short of it is this: While misdemeanors are legally classified as “lesser criminal acts”, there is no such thing as a lesser criminal case. Even if you have committed a misdemeanor or this is your first offense, you don’t want to be put in a position where you have no one to advocate for you in court. It is always in your best interest to have a criminal defense lawyer on your side.
Even in a misdemeanor case, self-representation can hurt you. Criminal proceedings are complex and confusing for the average person to navigate alone. It is highly recommended that you have an attorney present to help you meet important deadlines and make sure you haven’t missed anything critical. Even if you are prepared to plead guilty in your misdemeanor case, you will need an attorney to help you minimize your fines and other penalties as much as possible. Otherwise, you will likely end up with whatever consequences the court decides are most appropriate, regardless of whether or not you are able to foot the bill. While an attorney may not be able to get rid of your jail time, fines, or other court-issued punishments, they can certainly help reduce the inconvenience and personal cost to you.
If you worry that cost may bar you from the benefits of legal representation in court, you should know that it may not be as expensive as you think. Don’t relegate yourself to automatic maximum penalties by assuming that you can’t afford legal help. To get an estimate and a well-informed idea of what legal representation might cost you in your misdemeanor case, get in touch with a member of our team at Viloria, Oliphant, Oster & Aman L.L.P. immediately.