When Should You Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney?

Criminal defense attorney in Raleigh

When You Need to Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney

If you or a loved one is facing criminal charges, every second counts when it comes to defending your rights and building a defense strategy. We’re looking at why and when you need to hire a criminal defense attorney, along with four instances you didn’t know you needed legal representation. 

Why You Need a Criminal Defense Attorney

If you are facing criminal charges, you need legal representation from an experienced attorney. Before we get into when you should hire one, let’s cover why it’s so important to have a lawyer on your side.  

Protect Your Rights

You have Constitutional rights, whether you’ve been served a warrant, have been arrested, or have been held for questioning. A criminal defense attorney will not only protect your rights and advocate on your behalf, they will also be able to determine if your rights were violated at any stage in the process. 

If the proper steps were not taken and your rights were violated in any way, evidence may be deemed inadmissible, warrants can be thrown out, and charges may be dropped altogether. 

The legal system is incredibly complex, and having someone who can walk you through an investigation, arraignment, and the other steps can help you understand what to expect. Knowing you have an experienced legal advocate on your side can make the experience less stressful and help you feel more confident. 

Advising You During Questioning

If you are implicated in a crime, you should never answer questions from police, detectives, or prosecutors without your criminal defense attorney present. They can advise you of what and how to answer questions and prevent you from inadvertently hurting your case. 

It’s important to remember that having an attorney during questioning does not “make you appear guilty.” You are protecting your legal rights. 

Advise You of Outcomes

Your criminal defense lawyer is acting in your best interest and will only advise you to take steps that will improve the outcome of your case. They understand and can walk you through your legal options and also prepare you for likely outcomes. 

Evidence in Your Favor

When you have been arrested, your attorney will get to work gathering and analyzing evidence and securing witness statements to support your case. 

Saves Money

One of the biggest concerns people have about hiring an experienced defense attorney is the cost. However, having proper legal representation can save you money in the long run by helping you avoid losing work due to incarceration, minimizing fines, and improving your future opportunities. 

When Should You Hire a Defense Lawyer?

Ideally, you should hire a criminal defense lawyer as soon as you become aware you are under investigation. It’s important to act quickly as prosecutors and investigators are working to build the case against you, and the sooner you have legal representation, the sooner your own lawyer will begin building your case and having a strategy in place in the event you are arrested. 

However, you should absolutely hire a defense attorney as soon as you have been arrested and are facing charges. Once this happens, you will need an attorney who will advise you on how to plead during your arraignment, explain the charges and possible outcomes, and fight for you to be released. Additionally, your attorney can begin negotiating on your behalf or working to get the charges dropped. They will speak with investigators and prosecutors and can even talk to the press on your behalf if it’s a higher-profile charge. You don’t want to delay securing legal representation because timing is critical.

5 Instances You Need a Criminal Defense Attorney 

While you are probably aware that you need an attorney when you’re facing felony charges or serious allegations, there are several instances when hiring legal representation can protect your future and help you move forward. 

Traffic Offenses

A speeding ticket or accidentally running a red light may not seem that serious – more of an inconvenience than anything – but traffic offenses can negatively impact your life. Too many tickets and you may be facing high insurance rates, loss of your license, or a ticket may even violate your probation. A defense attorney can help you fight a ticket and in some cases, get rid of them altogether. 


Driving while intoxicated (DWI) has serious long-term consequences and can lead to jail, fines, and losing your license for extended periods. A defense attorney can look at your case, challenge test results and look for procedural mistakes that can have your charges reduced or dismissed. 


You are legally allowed to defend yourself and your property against threats and imminent harm, but if the other party is claiming assault and battery, you need to be prepared to fight back, even if you were clearly in the right. Having a defense attorney who will prove you were acting in self defense beyond a reasonable doubt can save you a great deal of suffering and stress. 

False Allegations

False allegations of sexual abuse or domestic violence can be devastating to your future. Even when you know the allegations are false, an attorney can help you navigate the system, stop you from incriminating yourself accidentally, and shut down allegations quickly. 

Probation Violation

When you are on probation, you are facing strict rules and guidelines in order to maintain your freedom, and even a small mistake can lead to incarceration. If you’re accused of violating your probation or parole, a defense lawyer will work to keep you from going back to jail by negotiating with the court, showing you made a mistake that is not indicative of criminal behavior, or by fighting back against the allegation of the violation. 

Schedule a Free Consultation with a Criminal Defense Attorney in Raleigh Today

When you need a criminal defense attorney in Raleigh and throughout Wake County, we’re here for you. We represent clients in all types of cases, from DWI to felony charges and are dedicated to fighting on your behalf to get the best practical results. To schedule a free consultation, reach out to us today at (919) 239-8448 or fill out the form below to get started. 

Client Testimonials

  • 5 stars
    I can not say enough good about David Coolidge and the Law Firm! From the moment of our 1st interaction, I could tell that David TRULY cares and has a passion about the cases he takes on. I was anxious and nervous about my case from the beginning. David immediately showed his support and listened with an empathetic ear. From that moment on, I felt as though I knew I could trust him to put his whole heart into helping me with my case. He is intelligent, kind and completely nonjudgmental. He will listen to you and is so very supportive. I really felt, and still do, that he really cared about helping me. His passion for his work and in helping others shines. We VERY HAPPILY, had a GREAT outcome from the case and I could not be happier. As I told him when we left the court room that morning... “David, you have changed my life forever”. I would recommend David and this Law Firm to EVERYONE who is reading this review.
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  • 5 stars
    David Coolidge is a wonderful attorney! I hired him twice for two different cases that I had which were only 2 months apart. He's very thorough and efficient. I was even able to reach him after hours through phone calls, texts, and email. Hopefully I never need his services again but if I am in a similar predicament I would most definitely hire David again.
    - Tiffany C.
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    Excellent Customer Service. I had a Speeding ticket and they resolved it positively with no points on my Driver License. They represented me in Court and by midday on the Court date, they had updated me on the outcome. Very efficient service. I highly recommend them if you are in need of Legal Services.
    - Stephen O.
  • 5 stars
    I got a speeding ticket for going 17 over. They sent me a letter in the mail explaining that I could plead improper equipment and get no points on my insurance or license. They even gave me the fees straight out on the letter including court costs. They represented me and made the ticket go away.
    - David G.
  • 5 stars
    I cannot say enough about Attorney Coolidge and his staff. He’s handed several matters for me and in every instance he has exceeded my expectations. He even answered a frantic call from me on a Saturday night. I called in desperation not really expecting an answer. Mr. Coolidge delivered on all that he promised and more. I highly recommend.
    - Craig S.
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