This is one of the more common questions posed to criminal defense attorneys such as the St. Petersburg Criminal Defense Attorneys at Hackworth Law, P.A. Many individuals debate whether it’s even worth getting an attorney or whether they should just attempt to defend themselves alone in a criminal court or with the assistance of a public defender. I was a public defender and truly have a tremendous amount of respect for the services they provide, but they have a very difficult job with limited resources and huge case loads.
As we have personally told many individuals over time, one would not perform heart surgery on themselves; they would retain the services of a doctor or surgeon, obviously. If it is worth getting a doctor or surgeon, it is clearly worth getting an attorney to assist you in your criminal matter. Here, one’s liberty is literally at stake. For example, in a Florida felony case, one literally faces losing their freedom in a Florida prison for at least five (5) years. As someone who has had the opportunity to visit a Florida prison, I can assure you they are very difficult and rough place to be. As you can imagine, these are very severe sanctions for severe crimes in the majority of situations especially under the Florida Sentencing Guidelines.
As I have told many individuals, if they want to take those chances and face a trained Assistant State Attorney, a trained and elected Judge, and an unforgiving Florida criminal justice system, you are certainly entitled to do so under the United States and Florida Constitutions, but I would strongly advise against it. You are literally gambling with years of their life and heavy fines. A St. Petersburg Criminal Defense Attorney can assist you in determining the maximum and minimum sentences in your criminal case.
As I’ve told individuals before, our office offers payment plans and affordable legal rates in an effort to make it possible for all individuals to afford quality legal representation. We strongly recommend you consult with our office prior to making a decision to represent oneself in a criminal matter. Frankly, the stakes are just too high. We do everything we can to ensure individuals get the aggressive, experienced criminal defense, you deserve and demand and make it worth getting an attorney to assist you in your criminal case. Our St. Petersburg Criminal Defense Attorneys will work with you to make the financial aspects of your case work.
For another example, many criminal cases include consequences known as collateral consequences. Obviously, the most common collateral consequence is in cases involving Florida Chapter 893, those are affiliated with the possession of a control substance. Unbeknownst to the overwhelming majority of individuals, if someone in the state of Florida is adjudicated in a case involving even a misdemeanor amount of marijuana, their license will be suspended for two years by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. Someone representing themselves would obviously have no idea of these collateral consequences. They would only learn of such matters when they are pulled over and face the criminal charge of driving with license suspended or revoked with knowledge. Again, if someone wants to handle these risks and situation by themselves, they should at least be aware of those sorts of issues.
If you or someone you know is debating handling a criminal matter by themselves, have them contact the St. Petersburg Criminal Defense Attorneys of Hackworth Law, P.A. for a free case consultation and we can explain why it is worth getting an attorney. We have represented tens of thousands of people in your situation and have worked to attain positive results in cases ranging from murder to driving under the influence to simple battery. Thank you for checking out our St. Petersburg Criminal Defense Attorney blog. If you would like to contact one of our criminal defense attorneys immediately, please use the “contact us now” tab and/or the chat box on our website to contact one of our criminal defense attorneys immediately. We look forward to hearing from you and working through this very difficult matter with you.