Being charged with a crime, or being investigated as an alleged suspect in a crime, represent truly life-altering situations. There are a number of strategies you need to employ when you face a criminal investigation or criminal charges.
Retain a Skilled, Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer
The most important strategy to employ when you are charged with a crime is retaining a skilled, committed, experienced criminal defense attorney. You need to be proactive when it comes to retaining legal representation in a criminal case.
The reality is that the criminal justice system can move quickly. You jeopardize your legal interests if you are not proactive in retaining a criminal defense lawyer in your case.
You best protect your legal interests by retaining an attorney that has a solid background in the criminal justice system. Make certain that you select an attorney that is experience with practicing in the specific jurisdiction and court in which you face a criminal prosecution.You Really Do Have the Right to Remain Silent
A vital decision you must make when you are charged with a crime is to remain silent until you consult with legal counsel. This is your absolute right. You cannot be coerced to provide a statement to, or to submit to questioning by, law enforcement officials.
Keep in mind that the police are likely to try to persuade you to answer questions. For example, a police officer is likely to tell you that you will be able to obtain a better deal in your case if you cooperate. The reality is that law enforcement cannot lacks the authority to make such a commitment to you.
Once you retain legal representation, your defense attorney will decide whether or not submitting to questioning or making a statement is of value in your case. Your lawyer very well may advise that there is nothing for you to gain in your case by making a statement to law enforcement.
As an aside, you need to refrain from discussing your case or your charges with anyone. The reality is that if you talk about your case or charges with anyone, including family members, with the possible exception of your spouse, your statements can be used against you.
Schedule an Initial Consultation
The first step in retaining legal representation in a criminal case is scheduling what is known as an initial consultation with a lawyer. During an initial consultation, a criminal defense lawyer provides you with an evaluation of your case. The lawyer will provide possible defense strategies. In addition, legal counsel will answer any questions you have about your case, your charges, and the criminal justice system. As a general rule, a criminal defense lawyer charges no fee for an initial consultation with a prospective client.
Consider obtaining recommendations from family members, friends, or other types of colleagues when it comes to retaining a qualified attorney to represent you in a criminal charge. Do not merely rely upon the content of advertisements you might encounter.