In most cases, arresting those accused of a criminal offense comes as a shock. When the individual knows that they are innocent, their first instinct might be to start talking and try to convince the officer that some mistake has been made. This can be a person’s worst thing to do for their own defence. Let’s look at some points to ask about when finding a good lawyer for criminal defence. Learn more about how to hire a criminal lawyer in Harrisburg.
You should be reading your rights during the arrest process which include the right to remain silent. Follow those prompts. At this time, the only thing you should say is to remind law enforcement that you are allowed to make a phone call, and then call someone who can find you an attorney. It may take several phone calls before being able to decide which lawyer to choose.
There is an arraignment process during which you’ll read the formal charges against you. It is important to have an attorney there to speak on your behalf, and to represent you in court. This is not the time for you to start talking. Let your attorney do the talk and ask the court as to the amount of bail to be set.
The process of discovery is where your lawyer is allowed to find out what evidence is already being collected against you, and if any, a list of witnesses. Then your defense starts by trying to find proof that contradicts that existing evidence. This can involve taking statements, making depositions, and interviewing other individuals who may be able to prove that you were not near the crime scene at the time it occurred.
Jury selection is made to select up to 12 people to listen to the case and to determine whether they believe you are guilty. The lawyer you have chosen will counter each of the choices with questions that are in your best interest, and then either accept or decline these based on the answers, and sometimes the beliefs, of the people being screened.
When the trial starts, you’ll be expected to be there in person and on time. In some situations, the defendant may not be able to appear physically in court. These matters will be brought before the judge who will determine whether it is in the best interest of the accused’s health to permit the trial to continue without them being in the courtroom.
If you are found guilty, a court appearance will be held where the verdict is read, and sentencing will be determined. Your counsel will immediately come to your aid and ask the court to allow lighter charges and limited prison time. He can also petition the court for an appeal based on factors that only an attorney can handle.
When a person finds himself under arrest, the best thing they can do is not make any effort to resist, and keep their mouth shut. Don’t talk to anyone except an attorney, or a loved one who will find you a lawyer. Then ask as many questions as you can about each of these steps involved in creating your defense, and only discuss these matters with your criminal defense attorney.