If you have to ask, the answer is probably yes. Whether you are concerned that you have been made the target of an investigation or feel certain that you have been made the target of an investigation, you would be well served by speaking with an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. While you may be completely innocent and believe that there is no reason for concern because you have not done anything wrong, keep in mind that, if law enforcement is seeking to speak with you, they may disagree with your assessment of the situation. In order to protect your rights and avoid furthering any misunderstanding, you should contact an attorney to discuss your situation in detail and develop a plan of action. Often the best course of action is to say nothing at all to law enforcement, and certainly this decision should be made with the advice and counsel of an experienced criminal defense attorney.
Turning to what is likely a more obvious situation in which you should look to a criminal defense lawyer for assistance, you should never appear in court without an attorney if you have been charged with a crime. It’s just that simple. There are too many chances to make a crucial mistake. The Government will be represented by an attorney, the prosecutor, and this attorney does not represent you. Whether you believe you are innocent or guilty, there are numerous ways in which you can make mistakes by representing yourself. An experienced criminal defense attorney will be able to fully analyze your case to determine whether there are any specific legal challenges to be made. For example, if your vehicle was searched in violation of your constitutional rights, there will likely be a basis for filing a motion to suppress any evidence obtained as a result of the illegal search. If the motion is granted and the evidence is suppressed, your case may very well be dismissed.
A criminal defense lawyer will also be an asset to you in negotiating with the State as you seek to reach a resolution of your case. He or she will understand how the law applies to your case and will be able to evaluate any potential defenses as well as the application of what can be complex sentencing rules. You do not want to enter into a plea agreement which you believe to be a fair disposition of your case only to find out later that you failed to consider a specific legal challenge that would have likely ended with a much more favorable result or even dismissal of your case.
The criminal defense attorneys at Stephens Law, PLC are experienced, zealous advocates who are prepared to assist you in understanding and navigating the criminal justice system in Tennessee.