Law Office of Mark Rosenfeld - March - April 2020

MARKROSENFELD LAWOFFICEOF

MAR/APR 2020

310-424-3145 | MRDUILA.COM

YOU DON’T HAVE TO GO IT ALONE

WHAT HIRING AN ATTORNEY MEANS FOR YOUR CASE

When someone faces legal trouble in just about any form, hiring an attorney is the best next step. One of the single greatest benefits of hiring an attorney is the fact that you can sleep better at night. This is something I hear from clients all the time. They sleep better because they know they’re not alone in any legal dilemma. They don’t have to worry about what they’re going to do next because their attorney is handling all the details — they’re being helped by a professional who has done this hundreds, if not thousands, of times. I’ve worked with many clients who came to me stressed beyond belief, but once we started working together, that stress melted away. They felt better knowing someone was on their side, and they could sleep better, which is very important! Plus, you’re much more likely to get a better result when you’re working with someone who can help you navigate the legal system. People who try to go it alone can look over legal materials and other resources and never find the information they’re looking for. When you have an experienced team, the task becomes so much easier. In the context of criminal law, it can be a bad idea to go it alone. Judges won’t let you defend yourself without reading and signing a special document. Judges want you to know that you’ll be treated as if you had an experienced attorney by your side. They aren’t going to pull any punches. And then there’s the prosecution. It’s not uncommon for someone to defend themselves thinking they’ll get leniency for being inexperienced in law. The law and the courts are part of an adversarial system, and their job is to punish. The prosecution’s job is to find you guilty, and they’re going to do absolutely everything in their power to make that call. Defending yourself also means you won’t know what’s going on behind the scenes. You won’t know if the prosecution is working on giving you a harsher penalty or not. They could be setting up a trap with the goal of getting you to say something that destroys your case. It’s dangerous to go it alone.

And here’s another detail people often don’t realize: Going it alone can cost much more than hiring an attorney. When someone defends themselves, they take on a huge burden — including court costs and missed wages when they have to take time off work to deal with court appearances. And then there are the costs that come later if they are unable to fully defend themselves. Of course, one of the best reasons to hire an attorney is that they are extremely beneficial when it comes to getting the justice you deserve. Like I said, the prosecution is going to lay it on heavy; they’re going to do everything they can to punish you, and they may even be willing to use some scummy tactics to make it happen. Because of this, I always recommend to those who can’t afford a private attorney to accept a court-appointed public defender. This way you have, at a minimum, a buffer between you and the prosecution. I will say that having a private attorney is the better option. A private attorney can better handle your case. They have the time and resources to take care of things like administrative hearings and can spend much more time learning the facts and circumstances surrounding your legal issue. That extra time, combined with knowledge and experience equals better results for individuals.

–Mark Rosenfeld, Esq.

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