Do I need a lawyer to get ARD?

“He who represents himself has a fool for a client” – Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln is one of the greatest presidents in American history, so maybe people should consider his quote referenced above.  A lawyer is service provider, just like a mechanic or electrician.  Do you need a mechanic or electrician?  It often depends upon the complication level of the task.  Do you hire a mechanic to put air in your tires or add windshield wiper fluid?  Do you hire an electrician to plug in a lamp or change a light bulb.  No.  You handle those simple tasks on your won.  But, do you change your own brakes?  Do you hook up the electrical wiring on your dishwasher?  No.  You hire an experienced service provider to handle those jobs.  You are afraid that just watching a Youtube video and searching Google will not show you how to change brakes, and, if you screw up, the downside is that the brakes do not work and you cause an accident.  If you installed your dishwasher incorrectly, best case is that you have a leak, but the electrical issues could cause a fire and burn down your house.  Legal representation is no different.

“I Can’t Afford a Lawyer” – Can you afford to not hire a lawyer

Good, experienced lawyers will cost you money.  The phrase “you get what you pay for” is often true.  The goal is to find a good lawyer that charges a fair rate.  For a review of what you should consider when evaluating attorneys, check out this page. Price and cost is only one factor.  Things like nominations as a Super Lawyer, clients reviews, and case wins should also be considered.  While some people state that “I can’t afford a good lawyer,” my response is often “can you afford to not hire an experienced lawyer.”  Do you find a way to pay the mechanic to fix the car, or do you save money by doing it yourself?  If you represent yourself or hire the cheapest lawyer, you may resolve the case and get a worse resolution that results in a more severe criminal record or sentence.  If the conviction causes you to lose a job or prevents you from getting a job, it probably would have been worth it to hire a lawyer so that you could make more money in the future.

It must be emphasized that hiring a good lawyer DOES NOT guarantee that your case will be resolved in a way that results in no punishment.  Hiring a good lawyer increases the probability that you get a better resolution.  Good attorneys will promise to work hard for you to get the best resolution possible, but they will not promise a result.  There are no guarantees in life, so, if an attorney gives you a guarantee, you should run.  Those attorneys are telling you what you want to hear so that you hire them.  Honest attorneys will let you know the probabilities of obtaining various outcomes, meaning they will tell you what is likely going to happnen based upon past experience with similar cases.

Peace of Mind

Hiring a good defense lawyer should give a client the same peace of mind.  If the client has confidence in the lawyer’s abilities, then the client can focus on other things.  Regrettably, too many people place a greater emphasis on the cost of attorney as opposed to skill, and the people hire an attorney that is not even trusted.  Remember, you get what you pay for.  If you hire a good defense lawyer, you are hiring the lawyer to fix the problem, and the good lawyers will tell you what is going to happen and when.  Knowledge of the process and what to expect allows the client to focus on other things.

The attorneys at JD Law have been providing criminal defense representation to Penn State students and others since 2004.  For a free consultation with an experienced State College criminal defense lawyer, contact JD Law by email or by calling (814) 689-9139.