After you have been arrested for a criminal offense, the two most important things that you can do are to:
- Ask for a Lawyer.
- Do not talk to anyone about what happened, without your lawyer telling you it is all right to talk.
Among your constitutional rights, is the right to be represented by a lawyer. When you are charged with a crime, you need an experienced criminal defense lawyer like those at Bailey & Orozco. Experience matters when your freedom is at stake. A criminal defense lawyer who knows what to do when he is representing you can make all the difference in whether you are found "Not Guilty".
When the police tell you your rights, tell them "I want a lawyer". Tell them you want a criminal defense lawyer. Tell them you will not talk about your case until your criminal defense lawyer is there beside you. If you call Howard W. Bailey, he will be there as your criminal defense lawyer to help you decide whether you should answer the questions of the police.
You also have the constitutional right to remain silent. Do not talk about the case without a lawyer. Do not try to explain what has happened or try to tell your side of the story. That is a job for your criminal defense lawyer. Do not give a statement without a lawyer. Telling the officer "your side" of what happened is the same as writing it down and signing it.
Do not sign anything before you write "I WANT A LAWYER", and then you can sign your name. If you protect yourself this way, the criminal defense lawyers Bailey & Orozco can use your assertion of your constitutional rights to protect you.
When asked by the police, tell them your name, address, phone number and other information that identifies who you are. After you have given them this type of information, do not talk about the incident or offer any other information. This is not a social encounter. Anything you say can be used against you. A statement does not need to be a formal written statement signed by you in order for it to be used against you. This is the time to BE SILENT.
The charges will be written on either a Summons or a Warrant. If you are charged on a Summons, you will be released after you are processed. If you are charged on a Warrant, you will not be released until a bail has been set and someone posts the bail for you.
If you are released, immediately write a complete account of the incident. DO NOT SHARE THIS NARRATIVE WITH ANYONE ELSE.
Consultation with a Criminal Defense Lawyer
Within twenty-four hours of your arrest or being charged:
If you are released, call a Criminal Defense Lawyer like Howard W. Bailey. If you are not released, have your family call the Criminal Defense Lawyer. Make this appointment within the first twenty-four hours of your arrest. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can impact the lowering of bail, and preserve evidence that may establish your innocence.
Ask the lawyer how much experience they have as a criminal defense lawyer. How much of their practice is criminal defense? An experienced criminal defense lawyer should already have handled the type of charges you are facing, by filing Motions and representing a client like you at trial.
Some types of crimes require the criminal defense lawyer to have specialized knowledge in order to properly protect you. Examples of these types of crimes are when the State used wiretapping or electronic surveillance during their investigation; DNA evidence is being used against you; or, a person was killed or died from injuries received during the incident.
If you are able to retain a criminal defense lawyer, do so before your first Court appearance. The sooner the lawyer can start preparing your defense the more effect the lawyer can have on whether you hear the words, "Not Guilty" when the case is over.
What to bring when you meet with the Criminal Defense Lawyer:
- The narrative writing you prepared of all the details of the incident;
- All documents you have received regarding this incident;
- All documents regarding any prior arrests or convictions;
- Medical documentation for any condition you had at the time of the incident; and,
- The names, addresses and telephone numbers of any witnesses.
Considerations to discuss with the Criminal Defense Lawyer:
- The nature of the crimes you are charged with;
- The possible sentence for the current charges;
- Defenses that can be raised and Witnesses you have;
- Motions that can be filed to protect you; and,
- What the Court will do with your case.