Why do I need a lawyer for something that never happened?

I am being accused of assault. I have witnesses that
were there and know nothing like that happened. My
accuser doesn’t even live here anymore. I was never
arrested or questioned. The courts say I need a
lawyer, why?

Asked on March 20, 2017 under Criminal Law, Missouri


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

YOU may know this did not occur, but the court doesn't know that, not until there is a trial or hearing and they can weigh the evidence, including the credibilty of your accuser, and decide whether or not it occured. So from the court's point of view, this could have happened--they don't know yet. You are being advised to retain an attorney because you are evidently facing criminal charges, and so are facing punishment: an attorney knows the rules of court, court procedures, etc. and can help make sure that you evidence that this did not occur is presented properly to the court and you can put this behind you. Without a lawyer, it's possible you will make some procedural, etc. errors and fail to get you evidence or testimony in, and could be convicted.

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