If you are arrested and this is your first criminal charge, there are some crucial things you know to protect yourself. Each action you take after an arrest can have an impact on your case. The following are some things you need to know about after you are arrested:
Do Not Speak to Anyone Without Your Attorney
When you are arrested, you should be Mirandized. This provides you with the right to stay quiet for as long as you want. You do not need to say anything to law enforcement unless your attorney says you can do so. Some of the smallest utterings may come back and hurt your case later on.
Familiarize Yourself with Search and Seizure Laws
There is some time when the police can search your property without having a warrant. They can also take items if they determine those items can serve as evidence. However, there may be some times in which a warrant is required. If your property was searched and there was no warrant, you need to find out why. If anything of yours was taken without a warrant, you need to find out the details and determine if anything was taken unlawfully. If that is the case, the evidence will not hold up in court.
Prepare a Defense
As soon as you are arrested, you need to start thinking about your defense. Work with your attorney to determine a defense that will help you avoid a conviction. Look for details that could help win your case, such as whether or not the burden of proof was there. If you were questioned under duress, you could have your charges dropped. Think about any details that could result in a win in your case.
Clear Your Record
If for some reason you are convicted of a crime, you need to think about how it will impact your future. A conviction can make it difficult to gain employment, keep your current job, or qualify for a lease on a rental home. You could even be kicked out of school if you are a student.
For a first arrest and subsequent conviction, your attorney may be able to clear your criminal record. This can be done through diversion programs. If completed successfully, a judge may opt to dismiss your charges and clear your record.
An arrest and conviction can be life-changing and can cause problems for you for the rest of your life. You need to have a good criminal defense attorney to help you through the process.
For more information, contact a criminal defense attorney near you.