You may have the ability to negotiate for a lower criminal charge, and thus, a reduced punishment. Many prosecutors will not work directly with a defendant who represents themselves. This removes the ability to negotiate for the accused and limits their options. Additionally, a skilled criminal attorney will know what to negotiate for and how to go about requesting it. Depending on your criminal history and the specifics of your case, there may be deferment programs available to you. This could give you a better chance at a more favorable and less severe charge.
In some cases, the attorney may not be able to negotiate the charges. However, they could represent you during the sentencing. Based on your criminal history and the circumstances surrounding your current charges, your attorney may be able to negotiate for a reduced sentence.