Do I Need a Lawyer?

How will a lawyer help you?

People often ask if they need a lawyer to represent them in court. The answer is, ultimately, the choice to engage the services of a lawyer is yours. However, you should get some initial obligation free advice on your case.

Get in touch with a Doogue + George lawyer at any of our offices nearest to you.

Not all lawyers are alike, so you should choose your lawyer carefully. How do you know if a criminal lawyer is a good or great criminal lawyer? Click here for some guidelines. 

I am pleading guilty. Do I need a lawyer in court?

  • Your criminal lawyer will tell you if should be pleading guilty to the charges.
  • You might have been scared and stressed when being interviewed by the Police. Often there is no need to plead guilty to the charges.
  • Having a lawyer shows the Court that you are taking the matter seriously.
  • Doogue + George criminal lawyers are Melbourne-based lawyers who know how to present each case and will make the best submissions to the Court.
  • Equally, our criminal lawyers know what not to say. We will not say anything that will annoy the Judge or make things worse.
  • You need a criminal lawyer who understands sentencing law and how to use it to your advantage.
  • A great criminal lawyer will present you in a positive manner.

I am pleading not guilty. Do I need a lawyer to change the outcome?

  • The question “Do I need a lawyer” depends on what you know about the law on the charges you were given. They may have charged you with a more serious offence than they can prove. Our experienced lawyers can advise you on how to proceed and negotiate on your behalf with the prosecution.
  • The law is very complex. Our lawyers will know the law about each offence and know whether the police will be able to prove their case. Even lesser charges like driving or speeding offences sometimes are quite complex
  • Likewise, one of our criminal lawyers will know there is a strong case against you. Expert advice can save you from running defences which have no hope of success and possibly, increasing your penalty.
  • Preparation is what wins cases. By preparing the case yourself, you run the risk of overlooking key elements. It will also take a lot of time for you to perform the legal procedures that are second nature to an experienced lawyer. The law is complex and changes frequently, you will save time, disruption to your personal life and stress if you entrust your case to an expert in criminal law.
  • A good criminal lawyer knows the rules of evidence and can question witnesses effectively. Many people who represent themselves are constantly interrupted by the Judge. They are prevented from asking questions because their questions don’t comply with the rules.
  • Good cross examination skills and persuasive submissions are skills that are developed and finely tuned with time, practice & experience. You need someone who can match the skill of the Prosecution to defend your case effectively..

Are there any disadvantages to hiring a lawyer to defend my case?

The main disadvantage in the decision to hire or not hire a lawyer to represent them is financial. This is often the only reason someone may not engage the services of a criminal lawyer. In our experience, especially where there is a lot at stake, the costs involved are worth it.

Making an initial call to a lawyer, is free and obligation free. 

Your initial, free consultation should give you a good indication of the difference a lawyer can make to your case. Doogue + George lawyers are honest and up-front with you. We will let you know if we think you do not need a lawyer. You should also ask about costs involved, if that is your concern.

If you are still considering the benefit of hiring a lawyer to represent you, ask yourself the following:
  • What is your financial position?
  • Can you afford to pay for representation?
  • Do you have family members or close friends who may be able to support you financially?
  • What do you stand to lose?
  • What will be the consequences of a criminal conviction?
  • Are you fighting to keep your job, your family or to stay out of prison?
  • Are you fighting the charge out of principle?
  • Is there a long term financial loss based on the outcome of your case?
  • Will you lose your job if you lose your license or go to jail?
  • Will an insurance company not pay if you lose your case?
If you feel that the short-term cost of hiring a lawyer outweighs the long-term impacts that a negative outcome in court can have on your life, livelihood and liberty, it will be worth it.