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When Should I Hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer?

On behalf of Dolan + Zimmerman LLP September 20, 2021

If you’ve never been involved in the criminal justice system before, you might not know when you need to hire a criminal defense lawyer. Many people assume you only need one once you’ve been placed under arrest, but this isn’t always the case. The following are some scenarios in which you should consider hiring a criminal defense attorney. 


The Police Are Questioning You About a Crime

If the police are questioning you, or request to speak with you about a crime, whether you’re guilty or innocent, you should contact a criminal defense lawyer right away. You don’t have to talk to the police, and more often than not, you will end up saying something by accident that is not in your best interest, even if you didn’t do what they’re accusing you of. If the police try to speak with you, tell them you want to hire a lawyer first so you can ensure that all of your rights are protected. 


There’s a Warrant For Your Arrest

If you haven’t been arrested yet but you suspect or know that there’s a warrant for your arrest, you should contact and hire a lawyer before turning yourself into the police. Once you turn yourself in, there’s no way to know exactly when you’ll be able to speak with a lawyer (though it should be quickly). However, sometimes it isn’t. Making contact with a lawyer before you are arrested is also important in the event that your bail is set unreasonably high, making it too hard for you to pay.  This means you’ll be incarcerated for the time being, making it difficult for you to find the best criminal defense lawyer to handle your case. 


You Were Arrested

While it’s always helpful to have contact with a lawyer before you are arrested, this obviously isn’t always possible. Once you’ve been arrested, it’s incredibly important not to speak to the police or anyone else without your lawyer present. Your first step after an arrest should be to secure a criminal defense attorney immediately. 


You Were With Someone Who Committed a Crime

If you were with someone who committed a crime, even if you didn’t know about it before it happened and had nothing to do with it, it’s imperative to consult with a criminal defense lawyer. This cuts down the risk of you implicating yourself in a crime that you had nothing to do with. While we all expect the police to thoroughly investigate every crime and to stop looking for suspects once they find the right person, it doesn’t always work out that way. Sometimes, just the fact that you were at the crime scene will be enough for an arrest in their eyes. Be proactive and contact a Boulder criminal defense lawyer before something like this happens. 


Choosing a Criminal Defense Lawyer

When choosing a criminal defense attorney, it’s important that you find someone who will defend you and your civil rights. This includes finding someone with experience in criminal law, but also finding an attorney who has the knowledge and experience in handling your specific type of case. The fact that a lawyer has been practicing for a long time doesn’t necessarily mean they are experienced in every aspect of the law. Additionally, it’s important to find someone who has the time and resources to defend your case properly. This means choosing a lawyer or firm that isn’t going to push a plea deal on you just because it’s faster and easier for them. Sometimes, a conviction even for a seemingly less serious crime can follow you around for the rest of your life, creating tremendous problems. Any time you’re arrested or find that you need the services of a criminal defense lawyer, it’s a serious situation. You deserve someone who cares about your case as much as you do.