You were with a group of friends when you all decided that you could steal from a neighboring store. You didn’t think anything of it because if you were caught, you knew that the owner was kind and wouldn’t likely press charges.

What you didn’t know was that one of your friends had a gun. During the theft, they held up the owner, which was never part of the plan. Needless to say, the cops did end up coming to the scene, and you were all arrested. You’re now part of a much bigger criminal event as an accessory to the crime, and you’re facing charges for your alleged actions. What should you do?

Do you need to work with a criminal defense attorney?

While you don’t have to hire an attorney, it’s usually a better idea to do so. Criminal charges are serious. You could end up paying heavy fines or going to jail or prison. If you don’t have someone on your side to watch out for your best interests, you could face harsher penalties or more charges than are fair.

Your criminal defense attorney’s job is to be there to protect your interests. That includes looking into alternative penalties (such as going through drug courts and seeking treatment rather than a prison sentence, for example), fighting to prove your innocence or simply walking you through the process and making sure that your rights aren’t violated.

Our website has more information on criminal defenses and why it’s so important to have someone working with you who knows you, the case and the potential outcomes.