• June 22, 2022

Criminal Defense Lawyers: Is It Time to Call One?

If you’ve wondered if you should work with a criminal defense attorney, the answer is certainly “yes.” Criminal defense attorneys have the ability to influence the outcome of a criminal examination or trial. Your criminal defense attorney will ensure your rights are protected during the police investigation, examine the criminal justice system after charges have been filed, and challenge the government’s case against you at trial.

AFTER THE CHARGES ARE FILED

You may not realize you need a lawyer until you receive a subpoena or court order. Law enforcement officers can conclude their investigation without even contacting you. Even if you were contacted by the police, the officers may not have informed you of their intent to press charges. For these reasons, attorneys are generally hired after criminal charges have already been filed.

If you receive a notice that felony or misdemeanor charges are pending against you, you should contact a criminal defense attorney immediately. Criminal charges have the potential to change the course of your life. Felony charges in Utah are punishable by imprisonment for zero years to life and a fine of up to $10,000.00. Misdemeanor charges in Utah are punishable by imprisonment for up to one year and a fine of up to $2,500.00. Your criminal defense attorney will play an invaluable role in obtaining a favorable plea agreement or obtaining a not guilty verdict at trial.

Your defense attorney’s job begins as soon as you are hired. In some cases, he may be arrested and required to post bail or remain in custody. At the time of arrest, the arresting officer must read you a statement of your rights. He has the right to an attorney, and his attorney must be present at all interrogations that occur while he is in custody. His attorney can also help you lower his bail or secure his release through a pretrial supervision agency.

After you have been released from jail and have appeared in court for the first time, your attorney will obtain discovery and evaluate the evidence to determine your options. Your attorney will attend pre-trial conferences, where he will negotiate with the prosecutor to get the charges dismissed or reduced. If no plea agreement is reached, your attorney will file the appropriate pretrial motions and prepare your case for trial.

BEFORE LAYING CHARGES

Law enforcement officers frequently contact suspects before charges are filed, hoping to elicit a confession or other information that will help them in their investigation.

DO NOT TALK TO THE POLICE. You are not required to assist in criminal investigations. You have the right to remain silent and to have a lawyer present during questioning. It is important that you know your rights, because the investigating officers are not required to inform you of your right to an attorney during the investigation stage. You will not be informed of your constitutional rights unless you are placed under arrest and taken into custody. In fact, police officers often mislead suspects into believing that a lawyer is not necessary during “routine questioning.”

If you have been contacted by the police, you should immediately hire a criminal defense attorney to contact the police on your behalf. Your attorney will make sure that you do not provide the police with any statements or evidence that can later be used against you. Your attorney will also work to investigate and preserve evidence that is favorable to your case. If there is favorable evidence, your attorney will use that evidence to persuade prosecutors not to press charges against you.

TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS

There may be other signs that you are the subject of a criminal investigation. If you have engaged in criminal activity and your accomplice begins to exhibit unusual behavior, you may be working with the police. If you find your boss sitting in front of his computer or going through his files, you may suspect that he is doing something wrong. Trust your instincts. If something feels wrong, it usually is.

Most criminal defense attorneys have a policy against consulting with people who plan to commit a crime in the future. However, your criminal defense attorney can advise you on the possible consequences of prior criminal activity. Your attorney can also contact law enforcement agencies to determine the status of the criminal investigation and help you reduce or avoid criminal charges.

If you are facing criminal charges, it is never too early to seek the advice of a criminal defense attorney.

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