People who are charged with a crime often make the mistake of going to court without an attorney. While you do have a Constitutional right to represent yourself, most of the time, this is a mistake. Even a misdemeanor conviction can have long-term consequences. For example: A first offense conviction for the charge of driving under the influence carries a potential penalty of up to one (1) year in jail, hefty fines, court costs and other penalties. A person convicted of any domestic violence related offense is, under federal law, prohibited from ever again possessing a firearm or ammunition. In a child custody case in the State of Alabama, there is even a statutory presumption against a person with a domestic violence related conviction. These are lifetime consequences. The vast majority of the time, hiring an attorney will result in a far better outcome at trial and the fee for hiring an attorney is often less than the fines and costs that come with a criminal conviction.
March 30, 2013