Getting charged with a criminal offense is not an easy matter. Your freedom is at stake. Plus, it’s a highly stressful situation to be in, especially if you don’t know what to do.
So, what are the best steps to take when you or a loved one has been charged with a felony or a criminal charge?
Contact Your Lawyer Immediately
Perhaps the most essential step you need to take once you’ve been charged with a criminal case is to contact your lawyer.
There are different lawyers for various cases. Make sure you hire a trusted criminal defense attorney in SLC, UT. They know the law and how to help you understand it. Plus, they can create a plan that best suits your interests.
Most of all, your lawyer will defend you every step of the way. They will always be after your best interest.
Always Consult Your Lawyer
If your offense is bailable and you want to bail yourself out, never do it without your lawyer. Whatever action you take, you should always consult them to avoid further incriminating yourself or doing actions that could affect your case.
The Right to Remain Silent
You have most likely heard these words on TV shows and movies. Although it may sound like a good but overused line on police and criminal shows, these are actually used in real life. You do have the right to remain silent and you should exercise it.
Once you are charged with any criminal case, the law gives you the right to avoid incriminating yourself. You can do that by remaining silent.
As you might have heard on the shows, everything you say can indeed be used against you in court. If you are questioned, you can remain silent and insist that you won’t be answering any queries without your lawyer’s presence.
Know What You’re Charged With
The next step is to know what you’ve been charged with. Knowing so will help you know what possible moves you can take and the punishments you might be facing.
You could be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony. The former is typically punishable by time in county jail and/or a fine. However, felony cases tend to be more severe and will land you considerable time in prison and a hefty fine once you’re convicted.
Be Polite and Calm
As much as possible, remain calm. It can be hard during these stressful moments, but you must keep calm and be polite with all authorities, especially if they are questioning you.
It is natural to feel fearful when you’re plunged into a situation that you have no idea how you came to be. Getting questioned can be an immensely stressful situation if you believe you are innocent.
With fear comes the feeling of wanting to fight or escape. But these actions could incriminate you further. Never resist even if you know you’ve been wrongfully arrested.
The Bottom Line
Getting charged with a criminal case can be a long and arduous journey. You won’t be able to get your freedom on your own. So, ensure you work with a licensed and experienced criminal defense lawyer.