Imagine one day you get pulled over by the police, they tell you to put your hands behind your back and put you in handcuffs as they escort you to jail. Whether you are truly innocent or guilty, your heart may be pounding realizing that your whole world is about to change.
Well, you would not be alone as there are about 90,000 criminal defendant filings per year in the United States.
One of the first things that people will tell you if you committed a crime is to speak to a criminal defense lawyer. Some people may not feel like this is necessary, at least not right away.
If you have never been arrested or committed a crime before, you may not know when you should really be speaking to a criminal defense attorney. These are five situations when you need to call them.
1. To Gain Knowledge
Sometimes, you will want to speak to an attorney just to gain more awareness of a situation that you may be entering. This can even take place before you get arrested.
Say someone working with the police just came to talk to you but they did not believe they had enough evidence to put you away for money laundering. Now you, working with a company and keeping track of books, may not even know if you did that by accident.
This would be a good situation to speak to a criminal lawyer because they can tell you the legal ramifications for breaking a law like that AND give you a better idea of what is against the law and what would be allowed for certain situations.
Here, talking to a lawyer that early can either ease your mind and put any doubt about breaking the law away, or make you realize that you are violating a law and/or have a chance at being caught doing it, so you may need to start preparing for that day.
2. When You Get Arrested
An old saying is that you do not want to talk to the police without a lawyer present. This is very important because anything you say can and WILL be used against you.
Asking to call a criminal defense lawyer can very much help you in this situation because it allows you to have someone that is very aware of your rights by your side, but also to have someone that knows the tactics of the police to get a confession out of you better than you do.
The truth is, even if you do not give an outright confession, police can still take something you say and frame it against you to build their case. Say as little as possible, and wait for a lawyer to be present to speak for you and discuss strategy.
3. For Negotiation
This is a good reason to call when you feel like you have no way out and are trying to get as light of a sentence as possible. If your lawyer is good enough at presenting a case and negotiating a sentence, you could even get away with not going to jail at all.
Say you get arrested in Tennessee for possession of cocaine. By the letter of the law, you could do up to a year in jail no matter what amount you had on you.
But, with a lawyer knowing past sentences for similar cases, how specific courtrooms operate, and how to present your case, the lawyer is very likely to get you a much lighter sentence, if any, than if you were to try to represent yourself.
When it comes to any crime that has any type of sentence attached to it, you need to get in touch with a lawyer for the sake of your own freedom.
4. To Get Options and Advice
In most situations, lawyers will know that you have a few options for how to go about fighting a criminal charge, and those options are ones that you might not have expected to have for the better or worse. Regardless, you need to call a lawyer that way you have more peace of mind knowing that you explored all options.
An example would be for that cocaine charge in Tennessee, there may be no negotiating out of jail time for you if you have priors. However, a lawyer may tell you if they cannot definitively prove it that you can fight the case in trial, but not taking a plea can run you the risk of spending a lot more time in jail.
You will most likely not have the legal or courtroom knowledge to know all of your realistic options on your own, so you should consult with a lawyer to know the risks you are taking before advancing in criminal proceedings.
5. To Do Research
Sometimes, the best thing a lawyer can do is dig into your case a little bit and see if it holds. This can even happen before you get arrested or a trial begins, such as if you get a phone call from the police with them asking to talk to you.
If you take this to a lawyer, you can have them reach out to whoever is trying to call you, and then they can get a sense of how much evidence they have against you.
This is another way that a lawyer can give you peace of mind but starting to dig into your case early may be a way to help you later if it does happen to go to trial.
Call a Criminal Defense Lawyer
When in doubt, do not be afraid to call a criminal defense lawyer. They can give you peace of mind and at the very least, give you more knowledge on what your specific situation is.
For more information, read more of our Law articles.
Hemant Kumar is a project manager at Tridindia with more than nine years of commendable experience in writing about LMS, translation, and IT. His unmatched talent and passion for digital marketing gave him the opportunity to work as a multi-tasking project manager at TridIndia’s sister company, Link Building Corp. Today, he contributes to the world by imparting knowledge on SEO, link building and internet marketing etc., that helps business owners grow their online business.