Being arrested presents challenges and numerous areas of your life. Besides your mental health and reputation, an arrest could challenge your finances. You will need to have money to pay for legal defense, so you must manage your finances during this time, as difficult as it may seem.
You Cannot Spend as if Nothing Is Happening
There are no two ways around the fact that you will need to cut back your spending until your case is resolved. If your case involves potential jail time, your family will need to survive while you are in prison. You will also need money to pay for your legal defense. You simply cannot continue to spend like you were before the arrest because a criminal defense costs money. You should inventory your expenses to figure out what you can eliminate or reduce. Ideally, you should reduce your expenditures to the bare minimum possible and only the necessities. There is simply no room for luxuries when you are facing a potential criminal defense.
After you have been arrested, you do need to sit down and evaluate your finances as part of your overall picture. You should extensively catalog both your assets and debts to figure out how much money is available to pay for your legal defense.
You will need to continuously re-evaluate what you are spending to figure out what may be able to be cut. Every month, you should go through your bills and review how you spent your money in the previous month, with an eye toward cutting back where you can. It is not always easy to stick to a budget when you are under stress, hence the need for a retroactive review each month.
You Will Need to Manage Existing Bills and Prioritize What You Can Pay
You should also figure out whether you can continue to pay your other bills while your case is pending. You may be able to speak with your creditors to get extra time to pay bills or some leeway. They know that they would get pennies on the dollar – if they got anything at all. Therefore, they may be more willing to work with you.
Even if you are the type of person who likes to pay all bills in full when they are due, this may be a time when you need to carry a balance on your credit card. You may even consider a debt consolidation loan or moving a credit card balance to get a lower interest rate to support what you may need to borrow during this time.
In addition to learning as much as you can about the legal process that you are facing, you should also pay close attention to personal finances. You should research online for ways to save money and cut your expenses. Even though you are not getting your finances in order to get ahead, you still need to take steps to shore up your financial situation because you will need money in the immediate future.
Your Legal Defense Is Where You Need to Spend Your Money
While you should be budget-conscious in general for matters other than your legal defense, you should not spare anything to hire an attorney for your case. Hiring a criminal defense lawyer is an investment in your future, and you may get a far better legal outcome if you have an experienced attorney handling your case. Although hiring an attorney is a large expense now, it could actually save you money in the future. For example, staying out of jail is worth a tremendous amount of money, both in terms of the value of your freedom and the money that you could earn when you were able to continue working. Even if you do not want to spend the money on a lawyer, it is simply something that you have to do.
If you were charged with OUI, you may face a large hike in car insurance premiums as well as adverse consequences of having a criminal record if you are convicted. It is certainly worth it to hire a lawyer to explore the possibility of fighting the charges and potentially getting a reduced sentence if you choose to negotiate a plea bargain.
You should do everything possible to keep your job after an arrest. Since you need to pay the defense attorney, you will need money coming in during this time. Many jobs require that you disclose your arrest to them, and some of them may take action against you.
Your Job Cannot Discriminate Against You After an Arrest
It is important to remember that you cannot face discrimination in the workplace for being arrested under Wisconsin law. However, jobs may fire you if the arrest was substantially related to the duties of your job. For example, if you have been charged with a sex crime and you work with children, you can expect that you may be fired from your job. Nevertheless, you should be aware of your legal rights to maintain your employment in the face of an arrest.
If you are able to continue working, you should save a certain amount from each paycheck to pay for your defense. Even if you were not saving money before the arrest, you should double your efforts to try to save now. Although you may not want to plan for the worst, that is exactly what you need to do when you are facing charges. In some cases, you have no choice but to pay court-related fees and fines. They are what is necessary in your case.
Contact an Appleton Criminal Defense Attorney Today
When you are hiring a criminal defense attorney, you need someone who is both experienced and committed to fighting for you. The attorneys at Hogan Eickhoff fit this bill. We are committed to working as hard as possible to get the best possible result for you. To speak with an attorney, you can contact us here or call us at (920) 450-9800 to schedule your free consultation.