“If I am innocent and have nothing to hide, do I still need an attorney?”
“If I already know I will be pleading guilty, do I still need an attorney?”
I get asked questions such as these regularly as a defense attorney. They are fair questions, as most people do not possess the same expertise of the legal system as a lawyer might. The average person, inexperienced in legal matters, might wonder what the purpose of getting a lawyer would be if they already plan on pleading guilty- what is the worst thing that could possibly happen?
The short answer is yes, without a doubt, you need an attorney. You still need an attorney if you plan on pleading guilty. You still need an attorney if you are innocent, and feel you have nothing to hide. If your situation is similar to either of these scenarios, and you are hesitant to hire legal counsel, trust me- you will need an experienced criminal defense attorney to help you navigate the system.
The process is not as simple as walking into the courthouse, saying what you have to say, and then being done with it. There are numerous procedures to contend with, hearings to be had, and potential agreements to be signed. It is likely that there will be language in those agreements that you may or may not understand. Legal terminology is so famously hard to comprehend that it is commonly referred to as, “legalese.” If you are planning on pleading guilty, or if you are completely innocent and have nothing to hide, the assistance of an attorney is still absolutely essential.
I'm Corey Scott. If you have any questions about this or anything else regarding defense matters, hit me up. I will be happy to help