If you have been charged with a traffic or criminal offence, you need to decide whether you need to use a lawyer or not. This is a list of some of the advantages and disadvantages of using a lawyer.
Going to Court can be Stressful
Many people find the idea of going to court and speaking in front of a Magistrate or Judge extremely stressful. The situation is even worse when the courtroom is full of other members of the public, which it often is.
An experienced lawyer will do all the hard work for you to ensure that the whole process is as stressless as possible. He or she will speak on your behalf in court and will arrange all pre-court matters with the police. He or she will also guide you through all the procedures so that you know what you need to do and when it needs to be done by.
The Law is Complex and Confusing
The law is extremely complex and often confusing. Even simple offences such as drink driving offences have many aspects which must be considered. A lawyer will go through your matter with you and will ensure that the law is being applied correctly by the prosecution and by the courts. He or she will also explain the law to you in simple terms so that you clearly understand your situation.
Your lawyer will also review your matter in depth to ensure that all the technical aspects have been complied with by the police and/or prosecution. Often, the police/prosecution haven’t taken a step which they should have. In these circumstances, your lawyer might be able to find a way to get the charges dropped so that your matter is finalised once and for all.
A Lawyer can Reduce your Penalty
If you plead guilty to an offence or you are convicted of an offence after a trial, you will be sentenced by the court. The sentence you receive might be something as simple as a small fine or it could be as serious as lengthy imprisonment. An experienced criminal lawyer knows what to say to the court to obtain the most lenient punishment possible. In particular, your lawyer will present you to the court in the most favourable way
The courts also recognise that you have taken the time and expense of retaining a lawyer. This demonstrates that you are taking your matter seriously and that you are treating the proceedings with respect.
Using a Lawyer is more Convenient
If you wanted to represent yourself, you would need to spend a significant amount of time preparing for your court case, attending court mentions, speaking with the prosecution and so on. Using a lawyer is much more convenient, as he or she will do all the preparation on your behalf. He or she can often even attend court without you. This allows you to continue living your life with minimal interruption, knowing that you are being looked after by a professional.
The only disadvantage with using a lawyer that we have identified is the costs that are involved. However our experience has shown that for many offences, it is often cheaper using a lawyer as he or she can significantly reduce any financial penalty you receive from the court. Also, the cost of a lawyer is normally small compared to the results that can be obtained for you. This can include anything from ensuring that you keep your driver’s licence to helping you to avoid spending time in jail.
To ensure that we provide the best value to our clients, Harper Finch Lawyers often do work for a fixed price, whicih gives certainty about what costs will be involved. For matters that we charge an hourly rate, we always ensure that we provide reasonable estimates about what costs will be involved. If our estimate needs to change for any reason, we will take the time to explain to you the new estimate and why the change was necessary.
How to choose the Right Lawyer
It is important that you not only choose a lawyer to represent you, but also that you choose the right lawyer. Your lawyer should focus only on traffic and criminal law – it wouldn’t make sense to get for example a property lawyer to represent you in court for a traffic or criminal lawyer. Your lawyer should also be passionate about the work that they do so that they work on your matter with enthusiasm and energy.
If you would like to speak with an experienced traffic and criminal lawyer, you can send an email or call us on 0428 001 701.