When Should I Hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer?

Hiring a defense lawyer isn’t just for people who have committed or been charged with a crime. While an experienced and dedicated defense lawyer can help you fight for your rights if you have committed a crime, there are also plenty of other circumstances where you should consider hiring a defense lawyer. Below are a few examples of how defense lawyers can help you navigate tricky situations.

You have been accused of or charged with a crime

Of course, this is probably the first thing people think of when they think about the need to hire a criminal defense lawyer. And for good reason. A defense lawyer can help you with more minor crimes like retail theft and cyberstalking or more serious crimes like sexual assault and manslaughter. No matter what you have been charged with, the legal system is complicated and things can get much worse without the help and guidance of an experienced criminal defense lawyer.

Your child is in trouble with the law

The legal system for juveniles works differently than the system for adults. There are plenty of quirks and rules in Utah’s juvenile courts that can be a headache to navigate without the help of an experienced defense lawyer.

You are questioned by police or federal investigators

Like you may have seen in the movies or TV, the police may try to get you to come in and give a statement under the impression that you aren’t under arrest. If they suspect you have committed a crime but don’t have enough evidence to arrest you, they may try to get you to feel comfortable talking and reveal information they can use against you. It is your right to have a criminal defense lawyer present while being questioned.

Your home is searched

If the police show up at your home with a warrant, it means a judge believes there is probable cause that evidence of a crime is at your home. Whether they find and take anything or not, you should call an experienced defense lawyer to talk through what happened and get their help determining what charges you may face or where they may search next.

Your property is seized

Utah’s laws allow law enforcement to seize your property in traffic stops and other instances—often without hard evidence or a legitimate reason. And then dealing with the process of getting your stuff back can be a hassle, especially if your property is seized in a traffic stop while you were just driving through the state. Having the assistance of a defense lawyer can help you get your property back.

You have been wrongly accused of a crime

When law enforcement, a judge, or a prosecutor believes you have committed a crime that you didn’t, it can be extremely difficult to prove your innocence—especially if you have been in trouble in the past. Just because you messed up before doesn’t mean your rights should be ignored. To have the best chance of getting exonerated, you’ll want a defense lawyer on your side to advocate for your innocence.

To expunge your criminal record

If you have crimes in your past that you would like to move on from, there are ways to expunge certain criminal records. And even if you were found not guilty in court, some criminal charges and accusations can still stain your record or your reputation. An expert criminal defense lawyer can help you navigate the confusing process of knowing if you qualify for expungement. It won’t always be easy or perfect, but the help of a criminal defense lawyer gives you a better chance.

To appeal a sentence

Whether you’re serving time for a minor or serious crime, you have the right to appeal your sentence. Even if you don’t know if you have a good chance of an appeal, a criminal defense lawyer can help you understand if there are legitimate ways to appeal your case and get your sentence reduced.

If you need the help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Utah, the legal team at Brown, Bradshaw & Moffat are ready to take your case or just talk through your options.

​Call (801) 532-5297 today for a free consultation.

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