What To Do When You’re Charged With A Crime

Knowing how to handle a situation can help you get through it less stressfully. Being arrested or charged with a crime is going to be stressful, and, unfortunately, there’s no way around that, but if you know what to do to protect your rights, you may get a better outcome. A lawyer who works in the realms of criminal defense law can help you strategize a legal plan to find a good solution for your situation. Here are some things to consider.

When You’re Arrested

You can be arrested and taken into custody without a warrant if law enforcement believes you violated the law. A judge can also issue a warrant for your arrest. You can turn yourself in if you aren’t already in custody when you become aware of the warrant or you can wait for law enforcement to find you and take you into custody. It depends on the charges, but for lesser offenses, you may just be issued a citation to appear in court. If you are arrested, just know that what you say to the officers can be used in a court of law to convict you. You do not have to say anything without a lawyer present to protect your rights. It can be better to wait to say anything until after you’ve spoken to a lawyer. A lawyer understands what statements can be taken out of context and used against someone later in the court or case.

Going Through an Arraignment

The arraignment is the formal hearing in which you’ll be advised about the charges you’re facing. You will also be advised about your rights, such as the right to an attorney, the right to a speedy trial, and the right against self-incrimination. You will also be asked how you plead. This is not the time to tell your side of the story. Generally speaking, you either plead not guilty or guilty. At your arraignment, the judge may place you into custody pending bail. You could be released on your own recognizance. Your lawyer can help you understand the process based on the charges against you and the procedures in the local jurisdiction.

Does Getting a Lawyer Involved Delay Your Case?

If you’re in custody, you may not want to wait to get a lawyer involved in your case. The short time you spend waiting for your lawyer before you get released can be a huge time saver in the long run. Advice from an experienced lawyer can help you get through the system more effectively without incriminating yourself and help set you up for a more positive outcome. You don’t necessarily need a criminal defense lawyer on speed dial, but you should expect to contact one if you are arrested and facing criminal charges. Consider making an appointment to discuss your case today with a criminal defense lawyer in Des Moines, IA from an experienced law firm like the Law Group Of Iowa.

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