Many folks ask us at SQ Attorneys — when do I really need a criminal defense lawyer? Well, it is a good idea to hire an experienced Seattle criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible when contacted by police about a crime. This is so whether the contact occurs while ‘in the act’, or when the police are actively investigating a crime, and ask to (1) speak with you, or (2) ‘come down to the station’. The following are three things you should consider on this point
(a) Do NOT hire a lawyer who doesn’t practice criminal law. Although you may know ‘a lawyer’, he/ she may only handle real estate law, divorce law or some other type of unrelated type of law. This is not someone you want handling your criminal case. You want a lawyer who emphasizes their practice in the field of criminal law. Just as you wouldn’t hire a podiatrist to perform your heart surgery, you don’t want to hire a real estate attorney to handle your criminal case.
(b) Do NOT hire a Spokane criminal lawyer for a Seattle criminal case, or vice versa. You want someone who is familiar with the court and its staff as well as the prosecutors. You want someone who ‘knows their way around’ the court house in the jurisdiction where your case is to be heard. Familiarity with the law is good – yes, but equally important is familiarity with the courthouse surroundings and the players associated therewith.
(c) Do NOT try and defend yourself. While representing yourself ‘pro se’ is authorized and is a viable option, you only really want to do that for smaller less ‘involved’ proceedings such as small claims court and/ or minor civil matters; going ‘pro se’ is nothing you want to try doing with a criminal case. Even experienced criminal attorneys wouldn’t choose to defend themselves given the choice – it is a bad idea; emotions trump logic, and that is never good in a criminal court proceeding.
If you or a loved one is charged with a crime you should immediately seek the advice and/or assistance of a qualified Seattle criminal defense attorney. The Seattle Criminal Defense Attorneys that make up the criminal defense team of SQ Attorneys are highly qualified and reputable Seattle criminal defense lawyers that are dedicated to providing top notch, aggressive representation for those arrested for crime all across Western Washington and the Greater Puget Sound region. The team creates success by working with law enforcement and the prosecuting attorney’s office to ensure that all facts and circumstances related to the criminal allegations are considered in creating the fairest, most equitable and just resolution possible in light of all the surrounding circumstances of the given case. So, whether you are charged with misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor or a felony, protect yourself … call SQ Attorneys at (206) 441-0900.