The Phone Call
Most people don't know what to do when they've been arrested. Being handcuffed and booked into jail is a demeaning experience, in the midst of which you may not be able to think clearly about how to protect yourself. For this reason, the first thing you should do after an arrest is to contact an attorney. An attorney can do many things for you before you even appear in court. Most importantly, an attorney can protect your rights from the very beginning of your case, and this can significantly increase your chance of beating your charges. Here are a few other ways an attorney can help you when you need it most.
An attorney can advise you of your rights. Law enforcement has a responsibility to do this, but only to some extent and under certain circumstances. Don't expect the police to carefully inform you of all your rights from the get go. Also, don't assume you know what all your rights are. An attorney can explain your rights to you over the phone, and you need to know those rights in order to defend them when interacting with the police or with the court.
An attorney can break your charges down. You may have been told what you were being arrested for, or you may not even know yet. An attorney can contact local law enforcement and/or the office of the prosecuting attorney to find out what you are being charged with if you don't already know. Then, an attorney can explain your charges to you. Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to fighting criminal charges.
Along those same lines, an attorney can explain what kind of a sentence you could face. An attorney can't tell you exactly what you would face if a judge convicted you. But he or she can explain the range of penalties you may face. This is important because it allows you to focus in on what your real concerns are. Are you concerned about going to jail? Worried about deportation? Fretting over steep fines? Knowing what kind of sentence you face can help you make better decisions in your case and your defense.
An attorney can start working on your case right away, even when you are still in custody. A good criminal defense attorney will know what steps to take immediately to strengthen your case if you decide to fight your charges. An attorney can obtain a copy of the police report, talk to the prosecuting attorney, contact witnesses, gather and preserve evidence, and research applicable laws before you even appear in court. An early start on your defense can make all the difference. An attorney can stay one step ahead of the court to give you the best chance at beating your charges.
An attorney can protect your rights. This is why it is crucial to call an attorney as soon as you can after being arrested. Fighting a criminal charge isn't impossible, but it gets more difficult as time passes without legal representation.
An attorney can help you fight your charges. If you involve an attorney from the very beginning of your case, he or she will have a better chance of fighting your charges in court. Too many defendants wait until the last minute before hiring an attorney, at which point the attorney may not have enough time or access to the information needed for a successful defense. This is a waste of time and money.
Call a California criminal defense attorney if you have recently been arrested. The sooner the better. Enlisting skilled legal representation from the beginning is the best thing you can do to have a shot at fighting your charges. Even if you don't feel ready to hire an attorney, a simple consultation should be enough to inform you of your basic rights and get a clear picture of what charges you face and what will happen next. Being arrested is a confusing and stressful experience, and an attorney can provide you some reassurance and peace of mind.
Have you recently been arrested? If so, contact attorney Christopher Martens and his legal team for expert counsel. Experienced in criminal defense, our Visalia area legal team can advise you of your rights and help you fight your charges. With over ten years of criminal defense experience, Christopher Martens will aggressively defend your rights at trial and help you get the outcome you want. Call our Visalia or Hanford, CA offices at 559-967-7386 or email us at [email protected] for a free consultation.