By: Frances Prizzia | Criminal & DUI Defense

Why do you need a criminal defense attorney after you have been charged for a crime? The question has crossed the minds of probably everyone who has ever been arrested for what they considered to be a minor violation. Others still know they are innocent of any wrongdoing and assume that the court will surely see things the same way. That's the point of the criminal justice system, is it not? To sort out the wrongdoers from everyone else?

There is a longstanding mantra that the law and litigation are less about knowing and more about proving. And this is one of many reasons why you really do need a criminal defense attorney, even for misdemeanor charges.


  1. Difference between knowing and proving: Your rights as described under the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States permit you to stay silent when you are being arrested. This is not so you can collect your thoughts, it is so you don't say the wrong things and incriminate yourself of a crime you didn't commit. Innocent people are convicted of crimes every year, mostly because they only knew they were innocent but were unable to prove it.
  2. Penalties can be reduced: Imagine the scenario where you are caught "red-handed" while stealing something. Do you need a criminal defense attorney now, when the evidence is so clearly stacked against you? Yes! Even when a conviction is practically guaranteed, the penalties never are. An experienced defense lawyer can fight to have your sentencing minimized, possibly making it so your arrest and conviction never show up on your criminal record.
  3. One mark is all it takes: And speaking of criminal records, the moment a single mark shows up under your name, you must be aware that employers, landlords, educational institutions, and more will start to turn away from you. Misdemeanor or a felony, it doesn't matter – to many people, a conviction is a conviction is a conviction.

You may also wish to consider that the federal government itself recognizes the importance of a criminal defense attorney. When someone is arrested, the very same Fifth Amendment entitles them to a public defender if they cannot afford their own; albeit, public defenders are often overworked and impersonal, but this does not diminish the importance of their role in our country. Laws are complicated, to say the least, but a lawyer has dedicated their career to understanding, interpreting, and upholding them.

If you live in Southern California and have been arrested for a criminal act, you should contact The Law Office of Frances Prizzia. Our Orange County criminal defense attorney has a long history of successful case results to her name and an "Excellent" Avvo Rating. Find out what she can do for you by calling 888.392.8114 for a free consultation.

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