Consult With Attorney To Understand The Nature Of Your Criminal Charges
Few people understand the criminal justice process. Our criminal justice system can be overwhelming and frightening. The incarceration rate in the United States is much higher than that of other industrialized countries. Prison sentences are getting longer and more frequent. If you face the possibility of being accused of a crime, contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer as early in the process as possible, preferably even before questioning or investigation by the police. A skilled attorney can fight for your legal and constitutional rights.
You may be stopped for questioning by the police. A stop isn’t considered an arrest if you’re briefly detained and not moved to a different location. Maintain your legal rights when stopped by the police:
Remain calm and polite. Keep your hands in view and don’t try to run away
If you’re stopped when driving, show your driver’s license, vehicle registration and proof of insurance if the officer asks for them
You have the right to remain silent. It’s usually best to give your name, but tell the officer you’re exercising your right to remain silent if you don’t want to answer questions. Don’t lie to the police
Ask the officer why you were stopped and if you’re under arrest
You have the right to leave if you aren’t under arrest. If you are placed under arrest, you have the right to an attorney. Tell the police you wish to remain silent until you speak with your attorney
The police might ask if they can search you, your car or home. You can refuse to give consent to these searches. Officers can frisk you or pat down your clothing if they have a reason to suspect you have a weapon. In most other cases, the police must get a warrant to go ahead with a search.
A search warrant authorizes police to conduct a search of a specific place, such as your home or business. In order for a judge to issue a warrant, there must be probable cause.
Facing a Criminal Charge
A criminal charge is a formal accusation made by a governmental authority asserting that somebody has committed a crime. A charging document, which contains one or more criminal charges or counts, can take several forms, including:
The charging document is what generally starts a criminal case in court, but the procedure by which somebody is charged with a crime, and what happens when somebody has been charged, varies from country to country.
Any person who is facing a criminal charge, no matter how minor, will benefit from consulting a competent criminal defense lawyer. Even if the lawyer is not retained to provide representation in court, a consultation will help a criminal defendant understand the nature of the charges filed, available defenses, what plea bargains are likely to be offered, and what is likely to happen in the event of conviction.
If you are already in jail, your lawyer may be able to assist you with getting your bail reduced or even allowing you to be released on your own recognizance. It is important not to discuss your case with law enforcement or people you know in order to avoid accidentally incriminating yourself.
There is a difference between being arrested and being detained. “Arrested” means you have been taken into custody and can’t leave. For example, if you’ve been handcuffed and placed in the back of a police cruiser, you’ve probably been arrested, even though the officer didn’t say, “You’re under arrest.” This is because you can’t leave the car without getting into more trouble.
You can be “detained” for a short period of time if a police officer believes you were involved in a crime or are about to commit a crime.
If you are under investigation for a crime, your attorney should be present during ALL types of questioning (before and after the arrest).
Hiring Competent Florida Criminal Defense Attorney
Many professional attorneys offer a free initial consultation for potential clients. For the attorney, this meeting is reserved to evaluate the merits of the case and any possible out-of-court settlements. For you as a client, this meeting is used to decide how competent your lawyer is and whether you have the right legal representation for a best chance to win the case.
An experienced criminal attorney will have the background and knowledge necessary for properly defending a wide range of crimes. These crimes can include drug crimes, violent offenses, DWIs or DUIs, theft, juvenile crimes and more. If you or someone you know has been arrested or charged with a crime, a skilled criminal defense attorney can give your case the attention and fierce representation it needs.
Look for these attributes when you searching for a criminal defense attorney:
- Has the right connection in the court system
- Knowledge of cases that are similar to yours
- Many satisfied clients
- Expertise handling a wide range of crime cases
- Years of experience in the courtroom
- The right skills and attitude necessary to persuade other attorneys, the jury, or judge
Choosing the right lawyer may be the most important decision pertaining to your criminal case and could make the difference between the amounts of penalty you are charged, jail time, and a possible dismissal of your case.
Law Firm of Andrew D. Stine
West Palm Beach lawyer Andrew Stine focuses exclusively on criminal defense cases and has an exceptional track record of results spanning the last ten years. A former public defender and medic for the U.S. Army, Mr. Stine is known for being proactive. He represents his clients aggressively, armed with individual attention and a passionate respect for their rights to due process.
Criminal Attorney Andrew D. Stine has helped over 6,000 clients in Palm beach County and all of Florida with their criminal matters. Hiring a lawyer before you speak to the police is imperative. If you are under investigation do not speak to Law Enforcement. Telephone or e-mail an experienced criminal lawyer. An early procedure like invoking your right to a lawyer prevents Law enforcement from questioning you about any matter. This right to a lawyer is found in the US Constitution and Florida Constitution because Our Founding Fathers understood the abuses of the Government. Government abuse through the Executive Branch occurs through Law Enforcement and this very important Constitutional right in invoking your right to a lawyer can be the difference between being charged criminal and walking away a free person.
When you are accused of a crime, your freedom, your family, your reputation and your job may be at stake. Be certain of your attorney’s competence, reputation, expertise and experience as a Criminal Defense Lawyer.
Free consultation 24/7: Call West Palm Beach criminal defense lawyer Andrew D. Stine, P.A. at (561) 832-1170.