Did you know that there were north of 7.63 million arrests for all offenses in the U.S. in 2020?
While that number might be mind-boggling, it’s a sharp decrease from 1990, when the number of arrests was north of 14.1 million. Many people jump to conclusions when someone is charged with a criminal offense. But the truth is that being accused is not the same thing as being guilty. In fact, many charges get dismissed before the trial dates.
What should you do if your worst-case scenario becomes a reality and you face criminal charges? Having the police come to your home or workplace will feel like a nightmare. What should you do if you pinch yourself and find that you’re very much wide awake?
Keep reading to find out exactly what steps to take when dealing with a criminal offense. No one wants to face this sort of situation. But knowing what to do is nonetheless a good thing.
Exercise Your Miranda Rights
If the police arrest you, they’re required to advise that you have the right to remain silent. It’s called your Miranda Rights. Police who, for whatever reason, don’t read you your Miranda Rights could inadvertently invalidate any case the state has against you. It’s in your best interests to avoid saying anything that might be used against you.
Inform the authorities that you don’t wish to say anything until you consult with an attorney. The police should respect your rights if you don’t want to provide information without your lawyer present. Remain as calm as you can, and don’t be confrontational since you could make matters worse by losing your cool.
Find Out Why You’re Being Charged
Exercising your right to remain silent doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t ask about the charges against you. Knowing what charges you’re up against will help you find the right lawyer.
Contact Criminal Defense Attorney
Get in touch with a reputable criminal defense attorney–not a free court-appointed attorney. While the former is a criminal defense specialist, you can’t be sure about the latter. It might be tempting to go with the least expensive option–who doesn’t like free, after all? But accepting a court-appointed lawyer can hurt your case. These lawyers tend to be overloaded with cases and won’t have the time to develop a strong defense on your behalf.
Skilled criminal defense attorneys know the process inside and out, so they won’t make mistakes that overworked and underpaid court-appointed lawyers might make. You’ll want a lawyer who can devise the best game plan to get you the best result.
Whether you’re facing charges related to drug offenses, sex crimes, cybercrimes, or any other criminal offense, you’ll want the best legal representation possible to get an acquittal, a settlement, or less jail time.
Don’t Contact Anyone Involved in the Alleged Crime
A good lawyer will advise you to avoid contacting anyone involved in the alleged crime. Even if you know you’re innocent of all charges, you can get yourself into serious problems if you contact the alleged victim or anyone close to the alleged victim.
Don’t Talk About Your Case With Anyone But Your Lawyer
It’s essential that you not talk about your case to anyone but your attorney. Confidentiality rules will bind your attorney. But if you share details of your case with anyone else, what you tell them could work against you.
No one wants to face criminal charges. But if you ever find yourself facing that very situation, it’ll be helpful to understand what to do and what not to do. Finding an experienced criminal defense lawyer will make things easier since you’ll get the advice and representation you need.