6 Common Myths about Criminal Defense Lawyers Debunked

Most people never expect to need a criminal defense attorney, and don’t know much about the profession. That means it’s common to pick up impressions of defense lawyers from television, or a crazy story on the internet, or just stereotypes of unknown origin. Unfortunately, that frequently leaves people who do ultimately need to hire a criminal defense attorney wary, or uncertain of how to find the right help.

Here are some of the most common myths and what you really need to know if you’ve been charged with a crime and are unsure whether you need to hire a defense attorney.

Myths and Reality about Criminal Defense Lawyers

1. You don’t need a criminal defense lawyer if you are going to plead guilty.

This is one of the most common misconceptions criminal defendants often have, even if it is an understandable one. After all, why would you need a defense attorney if you aren’t planning on defending yourself or fighting the case? But, there are good reasons you should talk to an experienced defense lawyer before entering a guilty plea. One is that you may be making a mistake in entering a plea. This can sometimes happen if there is a problem with the prosecution’s case and oftentimes a criminal defendant may not be aware of the issue until they consult with a criminal defense attorney. Furthermore, even if a defendant ultimately chooses not to proceed to trial, an experienced defense attorney may be able to use weaknesses in the case to negotiate a better plea agreement.

2. Any lawyer can represent you in a criminal case.

Now it is important to know that while any barred attorney can technically represent a criminal defendant in Florida, testing this myth is rarely in a defendant’s best interest. Criminal law is different in many ways from civil law, family law, administrative law, labor law, or estates and trust litigation. Furthermore there is a lot at stake in every criminal prosecution. As a criminal defendant you’ll want to work with an attorney who is not only experienced in fighting criminal charges, but who has handled cases like yours before. For example, if you’re charged with attempted murder, you would want to hire a criminal defense lawyer who has experience with serious felonies, not one who only handles misdemeanors.

3. Criminal defense lawyers are shady.

This myth is straight out of your television set, where dirty lawyers conspire with their criminal clients to cover up their actions, sometimes with a little light blackmail of a judge or prosecuting attorney. Suffice it to say, as entertaining as some people may find shows like “Better Call Saul”, real criminal defense attorneys don’t behave like their television counterparts. In fact, attorneys in Florida are governed by very strict and clear rules of professional conduct. Now this isn’t to say that every defense attorney is amazing, as every profession has its few bad apples, but most defense lawyers are professionals who believe that everyone who is accused of a crime is entitled to a qualified attorney to protect their rights.

4. Criminal lawyers are prohibitively expensive.

Many people charged with crimes make the mistake of going at it alone because they make assumptions about how much it would cost to hire a defense lawyer. Unfortunately going it alone is almost never a good idea. Sometimes, by the time they’ve realized that they need help, they’ve made the situation worse for themselves—sometimes in ways the attorney can’t fix. The best time to talk to a criminal defense attorney is before you talk to the police or prosecutor, and before you appear in court. Don’t let your guess about how much it will cost to hire a lawyer hold you back. Instead if you or a loved one is facing criminal prosecution it is always worthwhile to reach out to an experienced local criminal defense attorney for guidance.

5. All lawyers offer free consultations.

Free consultations are nearly universal in some areas of law, such as personal injury. But, that doesn’t extend to other legal practice areas. In an area like criminal defense, the answer is very much firm by firm. Some may charge $200-300 for a consultation, because they don’t want to “waste time” on someone who may not become a client.

Attorney Matthew Lufrano understands how important it is that you get reliable information as soon as possible after being arrested or charged with a crime. He always offers free consultations to people facing criminal charges in Florida, and to juveniles who have been alleged delinquent and their parents.

6. Criminal defense attorneys spend most of their time in court.

The courtroom portion of a criminal case is the most visible and the best known. To those outside the profession, it is usually the most interesting. But, the truth is that your criminal defense lawyer will do more work in their office, at the office of the prosecuting attorney, meeting with witnesses, and perhaps even at the scene of the crime than they will in the courtroom. The vast majority of criminal cases are resolved without going to trial, and one reason for that is defense lawyers finding weaknesses in a case or evidence on your behalf that can be used as leverage to reach a favorable plea agreement, reduce the charges, or even dismiss the charges.

However, attorney Matthew Lufrano has tried several dozen criminal cases before Florida juries. So, if fighting the charges against you in the courtroom is the best option for you, that’s what Lufrano Law will do.

Schedule Your Consultation with Lufrano Law Right Now

The best first step after being arrested or charged with a crime is to talk to an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Matthew Lufrano has devoted his entire legal career to criminal defense work, and is a Board Certified Expert in Criminal Trial Law. Mr. Lufrano has the experience you need, and is dedicated to finding the best resolution for you.

At Lufrano Law, we know that you need knowledgeable guidance right away to avoid mistakes that could seriously hurt your case. That’s why we offer free consultations to people facing criminal charges in and around Jacksonville. To learn more about how we can help, call 904-513-3905 right now, or fill out the contact form on this site.