When To Consult With A Criminal Lawyer
When Should I Call a Criminal Lawyer?
People under criminal investigation might hesitate to contact a criminal defense attorney in Indiana because they think that legal advice is unnecessary. You might believe that your innocence will ensure that everything will work out fine. You could misjudge the seriousness of your charges and think that the penalty will be minor. Many individuals believe that if they cooperate with law enforcement, it will help their case, but oftentimes statements and admissions are used against you in a criminal prosecution. Decisions and statements you make at the beginning of the case can significantly impact your criminal case, so you need to consult with a criminal defense lawyer if you have been contacted by law enforcement.
Top Reasons To Speak To A Criminal Lawyer In Indiana
- You have been arrested.
- You have already spoken to the police about a suspected crime.
- Police want to question you.
- Your employer is asking you questions about potential criminal activity.
- You think that you will be charged with a crime soon.
After An Arrest
If you are arrested on suspicion of drunk driving, you will likely not have the opportunity to seek legal advice until after your arrest. During an arrest for operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OWI), police officers will typically get admissions that you were drinking, get consent to search vehicles and other statements that will be used to assist the prosecution in a DUI case.
It’s important to be respectful, follow officer commands, submit to a chemical breath test, if requested, but do not give statements or consent to police to search your vehicle. If the police officer is asking questions, you can simply say that you will follow all commands, but will not provide any statements or answer any questions until you have the opportunity to speak with an OWI attorney. In addition, if you voluntarily consent to the search of your vehicle, law enforcement does not have to establish probable cause for the search. Therefore, you may have allowed police to search your vehicle when they may not have had the authority to do so.
Further, after being arrested, do not assume that you must plead guilty to your charges. You need legal advice before making a decision about how to plea in your DUI case.
A criminal defense lawyer in Westfield will examine the circumstances of your arrest to see if you have any viable opportunities for defending yourself from conviction. Additionally, a lawyer will explain your charges and their associated penalties. All of this information allows you to make an informed decision based on the likelihood of conviction and what penalties may result.
You Already Spoke To Police
A situation might have arisen that allowed police to approach you directly for questioning. Law enforcement officers or detectives might have been collecting information after an assault, robbery, drug seizure, or while investigating any criminal complaint.
The problem here is that you might be under suspicion. Your proximity to a criminal situation could cause police to believe that you were involved. Although you have already given a statement to authorities, you can still ask a criminal defense lawyer for advice. Legal guidance will prepare you in case police ask to speak with you again, which could be a big red flag that a criminal charge against you may emerge in the near future.
Police Want To Question You
You have every right to be nervous when law enforcement wants to interview you. Although many people get questioned because police are looking for information about a different person, this alone does not protect you from suspicion. Remember that criminal investigators are investigating crimes.
In such a situation, your efforts to explain things might result in self-incrimination. Police use questioning techniques meant to ramp up the pressure on people or to put their guard down to get them to disclose information.
For all of these reasons, you need legal advice before meeting with law enforcement. In fact, a criminal lawyer in Indiana may recommend not answering any questions at all.
Employer Is Questioning You About Illegal Activity
Missing inventory, missing money, fraudulent actions, and threats of violence in the workplace are all issues that could prompt an internal investigation. When an employer questions you about possibly illegal activities, you are doubly threatened because your career and freedom could both be in jeopardy.
An organization might wish to collect information before approaching law enforcement. In some situations, the actual workplace criminals might be trying to position you as the scapegoat.
The basic Constitutional rights that law enforcement must observe will not protect you during a meeting with your employer. As a private entity, it does not have to inform you of your rights or obtain a search warrant from a court to search your person, workstation, or possessions at work. An employer can turn any evidence discovered at the workplace over to authorities.
Should your employer suddenly want to question you, the need for legal advice becomes urgent. Without it, you will be very vulnerable during questioning.
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You Think You Will Be Charged Soon
If you find out that police have been talking to people about you, then you are the subject of a criminal investigation. You may even know that things occurred that could expose you to prosecution.
You do not have to wait to be arrested to consult a criminal defense attorney in Indiana. Early interventions by a lawyer could protect your rights and inhibit a prosecutor’s ability to convict you. Legal representation during the investigation stage has the potential to deflect suspicion before charges ever get filed against you.
How A Criminal Defense Attorney Could Help You
At all times, a defense attorney strives to protect you from unlawful searches and seizures and making incriminating statements. If you have already been charged, a lawyer will explain whether you are facing misdemeanor or felony charges. This distinction makes a big difference in the length of a potential prison sentence.
A criminal lawyer in Indiana might succeed in challenging evidence. Errors in evidence collection or handling can weaken a prosecutor’s case because the evidence becomes less convincing.
Whenever possible, a lawyer will defend your innocence and try to undermine the evidence presented against you. Such efforts could result in:
- Dismissal of charges
- Reduction of charges
- Favorable plea deal
- Acquittal at trial
Of course, in some cases, the evidence against you is clear. Even so, a criminal defense attorney may succeed at negotiating a plea deal that produces a far better outcome that fighting the charges unsuccessfully at trial.
The Webster Law Firm Will Protect Your Rights
At Webster & Garino, you may speak confidentially with a criminal defense lawyer in Westfield. We are prepared to take every action possible to defend your innocence, fight back against an unlawful search, or avoid a harsh sentence. Although we cannot guarantee the outcome of any criminal case, a more severe result is much more likely without legal representation. To protect your future, call us at (317) 565-1818 or email our office right now.