If I recently recieved a charge of criminal mischief in the 4th degree, do I need a lawyer to handle this?

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If I recently recieved a charge of criminal mischief in the 4th degree, do I need a lawyer to handle this?

I cannot afford to pay for a lawyer at the moment and my parents refused to help me with this arrest. Is a lawyer needed to lower the charge or would I be OK representing myself?

Asked on November 18, 2011 under Criminal Law, New York

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I always advise people who have been arrested and charged with a criminal matter that it is always best to have legal representation rather than trying to resolve the charges on your own. The reason is that criminal defense lawyers are expereinced in representing people who have been charged with a crime and understand the appropriate sentencing guidelines for a given charge.

Individuals who are not lawyers have no understanding as to what is an appropriate settlement for a criminal matter. As you are aware, in a criminal matter if a person is convicted, he or she could be fined as well as spend time in jail not to mention having a permanent criminal record.

If you want to represent yourself in this criminal matter, you can but it is probably not a wise idea.


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