If you've been charged with a crime in the state of Florida, you are guaranteed a day in court to defend yourself. However, the question you should be asking is - do you really want to defend yourself without a lawyer present? Some advantages of hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney include the following:
- Lawyers are educated in law and skilled in methods of obtaining positive results for their clients.
- You won't have to spend your time and energy learning legal rules and procedures.
- Not hiring an attorney can cost you more money in the long run.
- A lawyer can potentially keep you out of jail.
Can My Lawyer Speak for Me in Court?
Yes. The purpose of hiring a lawyer is so that you do not have to represent yourself in court. A criminal defense attorney will research facts, investigate the case, and negotiate deals with prosecutors. Allowing your lawyer to speak for you in court may result in your bail being reduced, reduced charges, and reduced sentences.
Do I Have to Testify?
It is at your lawyer's discretion if you should or need to speak at all in court. Speaking during proceedings and getting up on the stand are two very different things. If you are the party who is facing charges, you may never speak at all. It is your right to avoid self-incrimination and this cannot be used against you. In most cases, it is always best to let your attorney do the talking. If you hear a major issue or inconsistency, immediately alert your attorney privately.
If you are a witness to the incident called to question, you may be asked to provide what you witnessed for the court. You can be questioned by both the prosecution and the defense in order to add credibility to the case.
Do I Have to Show up for My Court Hearing in Florida?
Depending on the charge in Florida, you may not even have to appear for an arraignment, case status, or case disposition in court. It is always best to check with your attorney to know whether you must appear or if your appearance can be waived.
Whether you’re guilty or not, being charged with a crime is scary and serious. You want reassurance that everything is going to be okay. If you were charged with a crime and need expert advice or representation in Florida, contact us immediately at (561) 671-5995 and our experienced criminal defense attorney will provide the help you need. To learn more about how the criminal defense process works in Florida, download our free guide 'My Loved One Has Been Arrested: What’s Next?'