Jacksonville Criminal Lawyers
If you looked around and thought everything in life was going your way, that changed in an instant when police informed you that you were under arrest. After that, everything changed. Suddenly, you have lost your freedom, are being pressured by police to tell them what you know and make a confession, and have a prosecutor telling you it will only be a matter of time until you are sitting in a prison cell for decades. With your stress levels continuing to increase, you may think there is no way out of this complex legal nightmare. However, if you do as you should and retain the services of a criminal lawyer who is committed to protecting your rights, you may be surprised at the positive outcome of your case.
Deciding What to Say and Do
Once you are arrested and charged with a crime, the police will be in a hurry to get as much information as possible out of you inside an interrogation room. While they may have the right to question you about your alleged actions, you also have the right to have an attorney present during questioning. Unfortunately, many people who are arrested don’t realize the importance of this aspect of their Miranda rights, and thus go it alone during an interrogation. If you do the same, it’s the worst mistake you will make as your case progresses through the legal system. By not having a criminal lawyer present during questioning, you will incriminate yourself by answering questions incorrectly or in fact answering them at all. To make sure you place yourself in a position to be acquitted or see the charges against you dropped before you ever see the inside of a courtroom, contact and hire a trusted criminal lawyer immediately.
Looking for a Plea Deal
When a prosecutor brings charges against you, they want you to believe they cannot wait to see you inside a courtroom so they can gain yet another conviction. However, much of what they say to you should not be believed. In most criminal matters, prosecutors have cases that are weaker than defendants believe, creating a situation where prosecutors will be looking to finalize a plea deal with your criminal lawyer. Depending on the seriousness of your charges and the evidence against you, letting your lawyer negotiate a plea deal may be your best bet. This is especially true if you are facing felony charges, since they can often be reduced to misdemeanors. Should this occur, prison time will no longer be on the table. Instead, you may have only a short jail term, or perhaps just pay some fines and serve some time on probation.
In-Depth Investigation of Your Case
If there is one thing you want your criminal lawyer to do after you have been arrested, it is to conduct an in-depth investigation of your alleged crime. Though police have already conducted an investigation, remember that their goal is to name a suspect, get evidence supporting their theories as to what happened, and make an arrest as fast as possible. Yet by having your criminal lawyer conduct an investigation, you may get much better results. Since your lawyer’s goal is to find evidence that contradicts the police version of what happened, expect your attorney to conduct numerous interviews of witnesses, pour over police reports, use independent forensic experts to test physical evidence, and rely on the knowledge of expert witnesses to testify in court.
Telling You the Truth
Whenever you may be facing criminal charges, you always want a lawyer on your side who will tell you the truth, rather than just what you may want to hear at that moment. For example, if the best your criminal lawyer can do is negotiate a plea deal that will get you a reduced sentence, you should know this as soon as possible so that you can make a well-informed decision on how to move your case forward. On the other hand, if your lawyer believes you have multiple options open to you and that you have a good chance of being acquitted or having your charges reduced or dropped, you certainly need to know this as well. By relying on a lawyer you can trust during all of your conversations, you will always know the advice given you is the absolute best for your case.
A Speedy Trial
Upon being arrested, you of course want the situation to get resolved as fast as possible. This is actually a good attitude to have, since the longer prosecutors have to build a case against you, the greater the chances they will gain a conviction. By being proactive and hiring the best criminal lawyer available to you, this puts pressure on prosecutors to hurry up and build a case. Since prosecutors don’t like to be rushed when building their cases, this makes them much more willing to entertain offers from your attorney. For example, if a prosecutor knows their case is weak from the start, they may be willing to offer charges that are sharply reduced, or may decide to drop the charges against you rather than pursue a case that they may wind up losing in court. Even if your case does eventually go to trial, having a criminal lawyer working to constantly pressure prosecutors can help you emerge a winner.
While it can be scary to be arrested, it is by no means an end to the life you knew prior to being charged with a crime. Instead, it is quite possible for your life to continue on as you planned despite your arrest. To keep your life on track and keep your reputation intact, hire a highly-skilled criminal lawyer today.