Everyone is presumed good, and in doubtful cases, the resolution should be for the accused.
6 Most Commonly Asked Questions Defense Lawyers Face
When you’ve been arrested or become aware that a warrant is out for your arrest, you will want to know what your rights are and what you should do to avoid jail time. It’s understandable to have fears and concerns, so here are the most commonly asked questions defense attorneys receive.
1. What happens after I have been arrested?
You will be held in custody until your court hearing, which can be up to 48 hours. Certain procedures are standard, such as fingerprinting, when you are arrested. During this time it is your right to speak to a criminal defense attorney before answering questions. If possible, speak to one before appearing before the judge for your charges.
2. What is the process after criminal charges are filed in court?
Being arrested for a crime is not the same as being charged. The prosecutor will receive a copy of the police report and determine if filing formal charges is appropriate. At your arraignment hearing, the prosecutor will announce the charges being filed against you. Alternately, in some cases, the prosecutor will go before the grand jury to see if criminal charges should be filed, which would lead to an indictment.
3. I was told there is a warrant for my arrest. What should I do?
The most important thing is to not avoid it or try to outrun the police if you know they are coming to arrest you on a warrant. However, if you find out later that one is going to be issued, such as after having missed a court date, then call an attorney immediately. They may be able to make arrangements for you to avoid being arrested, or plans to help turn yourself in to avoid an embarrassing arrest.
4. Do I have to speak to the police after being arrested?
After you have given your name, date of birth, and address, you do not have to say anything else to the police officer. Remember, you have the right to remain silent. The important thing is to use that right. People try to argue with cops all the time on the side of the road, and that’s never a good idea. Instead, leave that for the courtroom. What you say to the officer can and will be used against you, so err on the side of caution.
5. If I’m planning on pleading guilty do I still need a lawyer?
You want to think very hard before pleading guilty. Consult an attorney. A lawyer experienced in negotiating plea agreements can get you a reduced sentence. You may be advised to plead “no contest” to the charge, which can have significant effects on the punishment you receive.
6. How much do you charge?
Criminal defense lawyers work on an hourly or per case basis. Many people are afraid they will have to put down a lot of money they don’t have, on top of being out of work. So they delay calling an attorney about their criminal case, but delaying your case could harm it.
Speaking with an attorney will ensure that you get justice and the best possible outcome. Call today to speak to a lawyer about your specific case. We are here to listen to you.