Do I really need an attorney if I have been charged with a criminal offense?

Only you can answer the question whether you need a criminal defense attorney  In part it depends on the type of charges you are facing. If you have been charged with a misdemeanor crime you face a maximum penalty of 90 days in jail and/or a $1,000 fine. In Minnesota, a gross misdemeanor charge can mean up to 365 days in jail and/or a $3,000 fine. And a felony charge can mean years, or even decades of prison. In addition to jail and fines, convictions for many types of offenses result in troubling “collateral consequences.”   Collateral consequences are civil penalties that flow from a criminal conviction. The most common types of collateral consequences are the loss of driving privileges, the loss of the right to possess a firearm, immigration issues — such as potential deportation, and the loss of professional licenses. In most cases the aid of an experienced criminal defense attorney gives you a much better chance of beating the charges or avoiding the harshest consequences that can flow from a conviction.