Should I hire a defense attorney if I am facing criminal prosecution in Utah?
Hiring an attorney to handle your criminal defense case in Utah can be one of the most important decisions you make. Sometimes, the difference between success and disaster will depend on whether you have the right representation. If you are unsure as to whether you need an attorney, consider the following questions and issues.
Do you have legal training and experience needed to go up against a seasoned prosecutor?
Utah’s criminal courts use an adversarial system – prosecution v. defense. A defendant who chooses self-representation will be going up against a prosecutor who likely has handled hundreds or thousands of cases, who has spent thousands of hours in court, and has spent years studying the rules of evidence, criminal procedure, and substantive criminal law. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can be the key to evening the playing field.
Criminal statutes, rules of evidence, constitutional protections, and procedural rules that govern each stage of a criminal case are not always clear or straightforward. A proper understanding of these rules and statutes requires consideration of the sometimes lengthy history of case law and opinions from appellate courts in Utah, the federal court system, and the United States Supreme Court. It can take years of study and experience to develop the knowledge and skill necessary to successfully defend a criminal case in court.
You have the right to represent yourself and to present your own defense in court. But in most cases, you will be far better off if you hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to handle your case.
Are you prepared for the potential consequences?
A criminal conviction carries the potential for jail or prison time, and other consequences that can affect your life long after the court processes are completed.
The right to representation in a criminal case is guaranteed by both the United States Constitution and the Utah State Constitution. Courts consider this right to be so important that a judge will usually make inquiry into the person’s background, education, and understanding of the law before allowing a case to proceed with a pro se defendant.
For a simple traffic ticket, hiring an attorney may be overkill. But in most criminal cases, the assistance of an experienced criminal attorney is critical.
Finding a Criminal Defense Attorney in Salt Lake City, Utah
If you are facing a criminal charge in Utah, contact us now to schedule your initial consultation. See the difference an experienced criminal defense attorney can make for your case.