Should I Represent Myself In A Virginia Beach Criminal Case?

by J.D. Garrett on June 16, 2013

There are many people who when charged with criminal offenses are reluctant to spend money hiring a criminal defense attorney, especially when they intend to plead guilty. Many people think, I can represent myself in my criminal case. It costs nothing for a defendant to go into court, admit guilt, and accept a punishment when the facts of the case are strong and an attorney may not be able to negotiate anything better. It is true that in some cases, hiring a criminal lawyer will cost you money and may achieve no real benefits. However, it takes an experienced criminal defense attorney to know whether you are guilty of the offense charged as opposed to a lesser offense, whether or not there are some defenses you haven’t considered, and whether there are any alternative dispositions to what may be offered by the Commonwealth Attorney. In addition, an attorney experienced in criminal law will be able to advise you on the consequences of a conviction, whether that charge can be expunged in the future.

If you cannot afford to hire a defense attorney, and are charged with any crime that carries the possibility of a jail sentence, you are entitled to have the court appoint an attorney to represent you. Court appointed attorneys are not free. In Virginia, if you are found guilty of the charge, the cost of the appointed attorney will be added to your court costs. Many people are not aware of this and are shocked when they realize how much their court costs are following a conviction. The only time these additional costs will not apply is if the charges are dropped, or you are found not guilty.

For a free consultation about your criminal charge, or a charge involving a friend or family member, contact our office for a Virginia Beach criminal defense attorneys today. (757) 422-4646. We are happy to speak to you 24/7/365.


J.D. Garrett is a criminal law attorney in the Virginia Beach office of Garrett Law Group, PLC. He has years of experience representing clients in the courts of Virginia Beach, Norfolk and surrounding areas.

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