August 31, 2020 | Criminal Defense |

What Happens When You Don’t Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney?

When facing a criminal charge in Johnson County, Kansas, you have two options: (i) you can hire a criminal defense attorney to represent you, or (ii) you can try to handle your case on your own. While some criminal defendants choose to represent themselves (referred to as pro se representation), this is a risky choice, as there are numerous pitfalls that can lead to life-altering consequences, and there are many types of mistakes that cannot be undone.

7 Risks of Trying to Handle Your Kansas Criminal Case on Your Own

If you choose not to hire a criminal defense attorney to represent you, what are the risks involved? Here are seven risks of trying to handle your Kansas criminal case on your own:

1. You Won’t Know if Police or Prosecutors Violate Your Constitutional Rights

The U.S. Constitution provides suspects and defendants with several important rights, and these rights apply before, during and after your arrest. Constitutional violations can provide defenses to criminal charges, but you need to have a clear understanding of your constitutional rights in order to know what defenses you have available.

2. You Won’t Know What Defenses You Have Available

In addition to constitutional violations, there are numerous other defenses to Kansas criminal charges as well. This includes defenses established by statute and by prior court decisions. Without an experienced criminal defense attorney who can carefully evaluate the facts of your case and determine what defenses apply, you won’t be able to fight your charge effectively.

3. You Will Miss Opportunities to Protect Yourself Prior to Trial

From seeking reduced bail to filing pre-trial motions to suppress evidence and motions to dismiss, there are several steps that a criminal defense attorney can take to help protect you while your case is pending.

4. You Won’t Be Able to Negotiate a Favorable Plea Deal

There are several factors that go into making informed decisions during plea deal negotiations. Without the advice and representation of an experienced attorney, you won’t know if you are getting a good deal.

5. Prosecutors Will Prepare Their Case Just as They Would if You Were Represented

Prosecutors do not do their jobs any differently when defendants choose pro se representation. The prosecutors assigned to your case will still vigorously prepare for trial, and they will use every tool they have available to fight for a conviction.

6. The Judge Will Not Provide Leniency Because You are Unrepresented

Likewise, judges do not provide leniency to defendants who represent themselves. If a conviction and harsh sentence are warranted, then this is the outcome you will receive.

7. You Will Have Limited Options for Challenging Your Conviction and Sentence on Appeal

Finally, during the pre-trial and trial processes, criminal defense attorneys take several affirmative steps to preserve their clients’ rights on appeal. As a result, if you represent yourself, your options for challenging your conviction and sentence will be limited.

Schedule a Free Consultation with Johnson County Criminal Defense Attorney Jerry Merrill

If you are facing a criminal charge in Johnson County, we encourage you to contact us to learn more about the importance of hiring a criminal defense attorney. For a free, no-obligation consultation, call 913-381-2085 or contact us online today.

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Merrill Law Firm

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7211 West 98th Terrace, Building 4, Suite 140
Overland Park, Kansas 66212

T. 913-381-2085 | F. 913-341-1130

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