At some point in your life, the legal system might charge you with a crime. Perhaps you are guilty of that crime, or maybe you're not.
You have some different options as to what you can do at that point. For instance, you may decide that you should plead guilty. If the prosecution offers you a plea bargain, you might take it.
You also might decide to fight the charges. Either way, you'll need to hire a competent criminal defense lawyer who can appear in the courtroom and speak for you. Presumably, you don't know the legal system well enough to defend yourself.
Your life can change in various ways once you take this action. Let's look at some of them right now.
You Can Feel More Confident About Your Chances
If you hire a criminal defense lawyer, you should get the best one you can find. That's assuming you can afford them. You'll need to agree to their fee structure, and the best lawyers charge more than someone who's inexperienced or who has a poor track record.
Once you have that lawyer on your side, you'll probably feel better about your chances of getting off the hook if you're trying to dispute the charges against you. Maybe the police picked you up because you look like a suspect in a crime, but you know it wasn't you who did it.
If the police can't produce sufficient evidence, then hopefully, your lawyer can prove it wasn't you who committed the criminal act. After the trial process, you'll be able to go home and resume your life.
You Can Reassure Your Family
If the police arrest you, that will probably upset your family very much. If you're innocent of the charges, that's even worse.
Once you have hired a suitable criminal defense attorney, you can reassure your family members that you're doing what you can to fight the charges, and this gives you your best chance of beating them. If you've got a spouse or partner, and you have children together, you can speak to them about the situation. You can explain to them that while you're facing serious charges, you have someone by your side who will do their best to help you.
This way, your other family members can go about their daily routine. They might still worry, but at least they know you've located the best assistance available.
You Might Have Less Money than You Did Before
A good criminal defense attorney doesn't come cheap. If the legal system charges you with a crime, you can get yourself a public defender if you don't have any money. Everyone has that right.
However, a public defender might not have much experience, and they may have many assigned clients to represent. They might not do that great of a job for you.
If you want to get a criminal law specialist with a proven success record, that will require money, and you need to come up with it some way. It's unfair to think that you'll have to drain your bank account to fight the charges if you didn't commit the crime, but that's just how it is.
Depending on how much your lawyer charges, how long the trial takes, and the pay structure to which you agreed, you might have very little money left when the trial concludes. A criminal lawyer is not someone who will accept a contingency payment plan. They'll probably want to bill you at an hourly rate.
You might need to drain your savings or checking accounts if you have those. If you have CDs, an IRA, etc., you may need to use the money from those as well if you have no other alternatives.
You May Need to Declare Bankruptcy
If you hire an expensive attorney to defend you, regardless of the trial's outcome, you might end up having to declare bankruptcy in the end. You'd hope it won't come to that, but if you have to spend every cent you have fighting the charges against you, you may end up with almost nothing when it's over.
If you declare bankruptcy, you'll need to gradually build your finances back up. That will take time and determination on your part.
No one ever wants to be in a situation where they have to hire a criminal defense attorney, but if it happens, you need to do whatever you can to clear your name.