It’s a good question. After all, why waste money on a lawyer if you can avoid it.
If you have received an infringement notice for a traffic offence you might decide to take it no further.
However, if the Police want to talk with you, question you, formally interview you, execute a search warrant, charge you or arrest you, then the short answer is YES. You need a lawyer.
You need to know about your rights and how to exercise them. If you don’t exercise your rights then the police won’t protect you. You need to know what you are compelled to do and what you aren’t. What you do or say in your dealings with the police will have a real impact on how your matter is ultimately determined in court or perhaps whether it even gets to court.
Should you take advice from a Police Officer about your need for legal representation, court processes or what penalty the Court is likely to impose? Of course not. After all, the job of the Police is to secure a conviction, not protect your best interests.
So we recommend that you obtain early, accurate, independent legal advice, even if your matter seems minor. It is your right to obtain legal advice and have a lawyer present for any questioning by the police (except to provide your name, address, date of birth and drivers licence).
An experienced criminal lawyer knows how to deal with the police on your behalf, what you are required to do and what you aren’t, how the court system works, how to arrange a surrender, how to get bail, what to say in court, what documents you are entitled to obtain from the police, what submissions can be made on your behalf in court, what evidence is relevant, how to negotiate with the police and prosecutors, what your prospects of success are, the likely penalty…get the picture?
And in many white collar cases you might be dealing with an investigator rather than the police. The situation is the same.
You wouldn’t dream of doing your own dental work or surgery. Why put your reputation, finances and freedom at risk?
An experienced lawyer can help you avoid the potential problems which frequently arise if you are self-represented. A good lawyer can help reduce your stress and help you achieve the best possible outcome. At the very least, a lawyer can help you decide whether you can handle the matter yourself.
If you have been charged with a serious offence, then we strongly recommend that you speak to a lawyer straight away.
Our experienced lawyers are available to speak with you any time- day or night. Call us at our office nearest to you or in an emergency call our 24 hour Crimeline 0488 99 99 80.
Or click the contact us button and we will get back to you promptly.
If you have to appear in court and even if you can’t afford to engage us as your private lawyer, you might be eligible for legal aid, a duty lawyer or assistance from a community legal service.