Should I hire a Jacksonville lawyer for my court case? Should I hire a Florida criminal attorney to defend me in court? Can I afford to hire a lawyer in Jacksonville? The real question is “What will it end up costing me in the long run if I do not have an attorney?” If you cannot afford to hire a lawyer and the court deems you indigent, an attorney at the public defender’s office will be appointed to represent you. If you can afford to hire a Jacksonville criminal lawyer, you should certainly consider doing so.
No one wants to hire an attorney. Nobody leaves the house saying, “I hope that I get arrested or pulled over today? I hope that I go to jail or get a ticket? Then, I can spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars hiring an attorney.” But, it happens. When it does, hiring a Jacksonville lawyer to help you is a good idea.
There are many reasons people feel like they do not need to hire a lawyer. “It was just a misdemeanor.” If you were arrested for a misdemeanor, you may think that it is not a big deal. It is. Consider a Jacksonville petty theft charge. If you are arrested for this crime, it is on your record. Who is going to want to hire you if you were arrested for stealing? You may think that a Jacksonville marijuana possession charge is minor. Did you know that your drivers license can be suspended if you are convicted of a drug crime? Not only can a lawyer help prevent you from going to jail, but she can also help you with other problems that will occur as a result of your criminal charges.
“I was only given a ticket, so I don’t need a lawyer.” Did you know that certain types of tickets could show up on your record as an arrest? Florida police officers are permitted to issue a citation called a notice to appear in certain criminal cases. This is issued in lieu of an arrest, so it still shows up during a background check. It is still a crime. You will receive a Jacksonville traffic ticket if you are caught driving on a suspended license. A Jacksonville driving on a suspended or revoked license may be a civil ticket or criminal charge. It may also be used to make you a Florida habitual traffic offender. Hiring an attorney after you receive a ticket is a good idea, because you do not know how it will affect you in the future.
“I’m being railroaded by the court?” Defendants will often feel like the judge or the court system is railroading them. They feel like no one is on their side. This is understandable, because the court system is confusing and the judge is not going to sit you down and explain everything to you. You want an experience and patient attorney that will not only work for you but will also explain to you what is going on.
I have sealed and expunged many criminal records. It makes me cringe when people believe that they can take care of their criminal cases by themselves and then just get the records sealed or expunge later. The way that you handle your criminal case will determine if you are eligible to seal or expunge your Florida record later. I receive calls from people wanting to seal or expunge their criminal history. For some of them, I cannot erase their criminal history. They ask, “Is there anything that I could have done differently?” Yes. They could have hired a lawyer with experience clearing Florida criminal records. The lawyer would have known how to take care of the case in a manner that permitted sealing or expunging it afterwards.
If you have been arrested, call 20 Miles Law at (904) 564-2525 and talk to an attorney about your criminal case.