The State of Florida is represented by the lawyers at the State Attorney’s Office. Every single case from serious felonies to simple traffic misdemeanors have a lawyer assigned to it. Every single criminal case has the possibility of monetary punishment, probation, jail, or a combination of all three. So my answer is YES, you are facing the possibility of very serious consequences and you should have someone protecting your rights. In addition to the direct effects of a criminal conviction, probation or incarceration, there can be collateral consequences that may not be explained to you. Some of these consequences include a suspension of your driver’s license, loss of civil rights including possession of a firearm, deportation, and many others. With these types of possible consequences a criminal defense attorney’s expertise and experience is important.
A criminal lawyer will evaluate your case and take the necessary steps to formulate your defense. This may include conducting depositions, speaking with defense witnesses, or even hiring an investigator when necessary. By gathering all of this information a defense attorney can help you determine if you should enter into a plea agreement or take your case to trial.
A criminal defense attorney will also examine the facts of your case to determine if your rights were violated. An experienced defense lawyer may file motions if they believe that the police conducted an illegal search and seizure or if they conducted an interrogation without advising you of your right to remain silent.
Having a criminal attorney representing you will also allow for a better discussion with the prosecutor. Your lawyer may discuss the strengths and weakness of the case and help negotiate a plea bargain or possibly a dismissal of your case.
Criminal attorneys understand criminal procedure, criminal law, and evidence. All three are incredibly important in providing a proper defense.