If you live in Australia and are in a situation where you feel you may need to hire a criminal lawyer, you should always make sure that he has your best interest in mind.Here are three situations where you definitely should do so.

Receiving a criminal charge — If you have been given a criminal charge in Australia and have not yet hired a criminal lawyer, the next phone call you make should be to one.

A good criminal lawyer can first take a look at the charge and the circumstances behind it, and then decide if you need to be represented by a lawyer in court. They will also take a look at the possibility of you easily being acquitted and at the likelihood of you being found guilty and then fined or jailed.

With a long history of representing cases in Australia’s criminal court system, this is much easier for an experienced criminal lawyer to ascertain than it would be for you. After all, they not only look at your court case itself, but they also look at the person who would be prosecuting you as well as the judge.

Should you plead guilty or not guilty? — When someone who is not a lawyer looks at this question, their first response is likely to be a not guilty decision.

The problem with this is Australia’s criminal court system is not so cut and dried. Sometimes it pays to plead not guilty, while other times it does not. This is especially true if you did commit the crime and want to receive the best outcome.

A criminal lawyer in Australia will look at your case and the facts, assess your chances of being convicted depending on the judge, prosecuting lawyer and a possible jury, and then recommend a guilty or not guilty plea.

Remember, if you did commit the crime, pleading guilty and then allowing your lawyer to try to reduce any possible sentence you would be given could be much better than pleading not guilty and not being believed.

Prior trouble with the law — If you have had prior trouble with the law, even if it is something minor like a traffic offense or shoplifting, this could increase your chances of being convicted of a second crime.

If you hire a criminal lawyer in Australia, however, they know how to present your case to a judge or jury in such a way that the prior conviction is not taken into consideration.

This can mean the difference between being given a fine and community service or being jailed and fined.

An initial meeting with a criminal lawyer — If you are still not sure about hiring a criminal lawyer for your case, make an appointment for an initial meeting with one. More information can be found here: Criminal Lawyers Sydney¬†

They will be able to tell you quickly if hiring a lawyer could benefit your case or if it is simple enough you could represent yourself.