For sure, there’s a million things going on in your head after being charged with a crime. At the top of it all, one question will keep repeating: “What now?” Here’s what you should do when you’ve been served a warrant or taken into police custody:
Know your rights.
The law provides protection for individuals charged with a crime. For one, you have the right to remain silent. Lawyers strongly advise that you fight the urge to tell anything, whether that be an explanation or an excuse. Whether you like it or not, police authorities already have a judgment on you, so every word or behavior will be under scrutiny.
If you get out of line, that may hurt your case later. As with silence, that cannot be used against you. Another right you should keep in mind is you are presumed innocent of the charges against you. As legal professionals explain, until the prosecution offers evidence in court pointing to your guilt beyond reasonable doubt, the presumption of innocence remains. On the flip side, you have the right to present evidence in your defense.
Get in touch with a criminal defense lawyer.
Although you can build your own case and represent yourself in court (as long as the judge finds you competent), it’s still best to partner with someone who’s knowledgeable and experienced in criminal law. Access to an attorney is among your rights after all.
When you partner with a Kent criminal defense lawyer, you increase the chances of reducing criminal charges to a lesser offense, getting a less severe sentence, and securing the benefit of a plea bargain. Attorneys can also help you cope with the shame, anxiety, and frustration that comes with being charged with a crime.
Go consider the credentials, specialization, and experience of lawyers in your locale. Make sure that whom you pick is much familiar with the ins and outs of crime scene investigations, including witness and police interviews, polygraphs, facial composites, etc. Talk to the previous clients of the law firm as well. Their experience will reveal a great deal about what it’s like to work with the professionals you’re eyeing.
This would take a lot more effort to achieve, given that your life and reputation are at stake, but as much as you can, stay composed. Remember that you can only think clearly and logically when you’re calm and collected.
When you are arrested, the first rational step you should take is to get out of it by posting bail. Prisons often have a chart setting standard bail amounts on common crimes, so it’s just a matter of paying them. Once you get out, seek solace from family and friends. You would need as much social and emotional support as you can now. Be careful not to discuss your case in detail with people other than your attorney though. Even to your loved ones.
Being charged with a crime indeed brings a lot of confusion and fear. Overcome those emotions and keep your mind focused on these three action steps to mitigate risks.