Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. You really need a lawyer if you’re innocent.
With the recent impeachment mess, people who seem to have earned their law degrees on Twitter are out en masse stating an innocent person does not need a lawyer. This is absolutely horrible advice and no one with common sense would ever say this.
First, whether you are innocent or guilty or somewhere in between, a criminal defense lawyer serves to make sure your constitutional rights are protected. This covers many aspects of criminal procedure, including ensuring you are afforded due process, your bond is proper, your sentence is fair, and the State properly presents its witnesses and evidence.
Second, an experienced defense attorney knows local rules of the county you are charged in. This might entail knowing how many continuances a State can have before the case must be dismissed and what the State needs to proceed with your case.
A criminal defense lawyer will also likely investigate your case. This could be anything from interviewing witnesses to searching social media of your accuser to sending a subpoena for surveillance videos. These are things, as a layperson, you cannot necessarily do on your own.
Sometimes a Wake County attorney can appear for you in court so you don’t have to go to court at all. Bottom line, if you have been charged with a crime in Raleigh, you should always, at minimum, consult a lawyer. Most are willing to talk with you for a few minutes for free.
If you have been charged with a misdemeanor, you likely should not proceed on your own (pro se). If you have been charged with a felony, you absolutely SHOULD NOT proceed without a lawyer. If you have been charged with a felony and cannot afford a lawyer, the court will appoint one.
Attorney William Pruden offers a free consultation for any Wake County criminal charges.* Call 919-880-2124 for more information.
*We do not handle cases involving animals.