That’s right. I said it. There are times when you don’t need a lawyer. You should be talking to one if you are asking yourself whether or not you need to hire one. Many lawyers will discuss your case with you over the phone or even meet with you for an initial consultation free of charge. I do this all the time. During the course of this meeting we will certainly cover the specifics of your case in detail. I will also advise you whether you need to hire a lawyer at all. As much as I want your business, I will give you a straight answer to this question. Even if it costs me a few bucks. I would rather have you call me when you really need me than pay me a large fee when you don’t.
Every criminal defendant needs a lawyer, no ifs ands or buts about it. If you are facing the possibility of jail time, even if that possibility is remote, you need a lawyer. Civil forfeiture cases (traffic and other matters heard in municipal court) raise interesting questions for the accused. There are technical defenses that the average layman is not equipped to argue.
In most cases, a lawyer can be helpful even if counsel merely relieves you of the stress associated with a court appearance or missed work. In other cases, an experienced attorney simply has means at his disposal to get the accused the best possible outcome. You may not need a lawyer, but you do need to make an educated decision before you go into court unrepresented.