When Should You Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney?

Dec 7, 2021

We know that hiring the right attorney for your case can be daunting, but you should not hesitate to seek legal help after an arrest.

If you have been arrested and charged with a crime, it can be difficult to know what to do next. Should you work with a public defender? Should you hire your own attorney? Should you simply plead guilty to the charges presented against you?

A criminal conviction can impact your life in many ways. You may spend months, if not years, in prison. Your ability to travel can be significantly restricted. Employment and education opportunities may be limited.

It is typically at this crossroad that a criminal defense attorney can help. At our law firm, we help our clients understand the charges brought against them, explain their rights, and help them build the best defense possible. Should you have questions about your criminal case, we encourage you to contact our office to schedule a consultation.


If you have been arrested for committing a crime, you have the right to speak with legal counsel. Officers may attempt to question you without an attorney present. You have the right to remain silent and request to speak with an attorney. These are important constitutional rights that only you can assert.

While it may be tempting to cooperate with the police and provide answers to their questions – or even argue against the allegations of your conduct – you should not say anything to law enforcement without first consulting with a criminal defense attorney. Your case should be heard in court, not in the back of a police car.

The sooner you can involve an experienced Athens criminal defense attorney in your case the better. After an arrest, you should immediately contact an attorney to review the facts of your case and begin building your defense.


In some cases, a criminal investigation may occur prior to an arrest. If you find yourself at the center of a criminal investigation, you should contact a criminal defense attorney right away. Again, it may seem like it is in your best interest to simply cooperate with law enforcement and simply answer the questions you are asked. However, you may provide information that can be used against you in a criminal trial.

If law enforcement calls you in for questioning or summons you to provide a statement regarding a criminal investigation, you should call a lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your next steps. Our law firm can help you determine how to respond to law enforcement and protect your rights in the event you are arrested and stand trial.


Rather than fighting it out in court with the chance of losing your case, pleading guilty can sometimes feel like the easiest thing to do. The prosecution may even try to compel you to admit your guilt in return for a reduced sentence.

If you are considering pleading guilty to criminal charges, we encourage you to speak with a criminal defense attorney first. Even if a plea deal is in your best interest, a criminal defense attorney can build the best possible case and negotiate the terms of your plea deal with the prosecution.


We know that hiring the right attorney for your case can be daunting, but you should not hesitate to seek legal help after an arrest. At Ryan Swingle Law, we help clients just like you assert their rights in court and defend them against criminal charges spanning from DWI to felony murder. When you need an Athens criminal defense attorney, we are here for you. Contact us online today to schedule an initial consultation with a criminal defense attorney.