Being arrested and charged with a crime can be a terrifying experience. It is meant to be so. The process of putting you in hand cuffs, booking you, and throwing you into a jail cell is designed to frighten and disorient you. Police and prosecutors may even make it seem like they are on your side, and that they want to do what is in your best interests. To that end, they may say that things will go more smoothly for you if you tell them what they want to know.
You should not fall for this trick. You have the right to remain silent. You do not have to say anything that will incriminate you. In fact, your best move is to say nothing until your attorney arrives.
If you have been arrested and charged with a crime, then you must retain the services of a criminal law firm. You will need legal representation straightaway. Your attorney will advise you on the questions you have to answer and the ones you don’t. They can also speak for you if you do not want to say anything directly to the authorities. Your attorney will also help you put together the legal strategy you will need to defend yourself in court.
Your freedom, reputation, and future are in the hands of the criminal attorney you hire. Your lawyer should be dedicated to protecting your rights and interests. Here are a few tips on finding the lawyer who will work fervently, consistently, and effectively on your behalf:
1. Select an attorney with criminal defense experience
Experience matters a great deal in criminal defense. The attorney you hire should have handled and won a great many cases before yours. An experienced attorney will know what to do and when to do it. In many cases, they will be able to demonstrate the authorities do not have enough evidence to hold you. Law enforcement officials are in the habit of exaggerating the amount of evidence they have against individuals they have arrested. Your attorney can review the facts carefully. If the case against you is flimsy and unsound, they will demand your release.
Experience also brings familiarity with the legal establishment. The fact that your lawyer has handled so many cases will give them deep insight into the prosecutors and judges in the jurisdiction in which you were arrested. They will be able to stay one step ahead of both.
2. Select an attorney who can explain your situation in detail
Your lawyer is your representative before the bar. Yours is the life actually at stake, so you should know and consent to every move they make. Your lawyer should be able to explain every break and development in your case. At no point should you be in the dark about where things stand and what is likely to happen next.
A great many technical terms are used in courts and between lawyers. Your lawyer should be able to break down the jargon and speak to you in a clear and exact way.
3. Your lawyer should have a good support team
Criminal lawyers specialize in the field. They are trained to gather facts, employ expert and eyewitnesses, introduce forensic evidence, and bring the relevant bits of law to bear on your case. To make all of this happen they must work with scientists, medical experts, and professional investigators.
Criminal lawyers use private investigators to revisit the scenes and re-interview the people associated with your case. Any number of facts and circumstances may have been missed during the initial police investigation. The professionals used by your lawyer may discover things that were not previously known.
All of the evidence that has been collected against you can be reviewed and re-analyzed by the scientists that work for your legal team. They may be able to challenge a number of the findings presented by the prosecution. Even the smallest detail can lead to your exoneration. Such experts can make sworn testimony or testify in court if necessary.
4. Your lawyer should be able to handle the press
Even if you are an ordinary person, the crime that you have been accused of committing may attract the attention of the local press. You should always bear in mind that you are not only fighting for an acquittal; you are also fighting to rebuild your reputation. If you start receiving press inquiries, you should refer them all to your lawyer. And your lawyer should be able to put out the kind of public statements that will counter the kind of rumours and falsehoods that can damage your reputation, even if you are acquitted.
5. Your lawyer should be an able negotiator
Not all criminal cases go to trial. The authorities may not even be after you. They may have arrested you as part of a larger investigation. If that is the case, they may be willing to drop the charges in exchange for information. It is important that you let your lawyer handle all such matters. And your attorney should be able to get an outcome that is most favorable to you.
It is not easy to sit in a jail cell for a crime you did not commit. You should work with a criminal attorney who is passionate about the law and dedicated to defending the interests of their clients. You should work with a lawyer who has demonstrated their ability to refute the claims and arguments made by law enforcement and prosecutors and win their client’s freedom.
You also want a lawyer who will help you re-build after the case. The damage done to your reputation, your livelihood, and life will be extreme. You want a lawyer who can advise you on how to get back all that you have lost because of the false accusations made against you. Getting back to some semblance of normalcy will not be easy, but you should work with a criminal defense attorney who can help you take the steps necessary to reach that goal.