Innocent Until Proven Guilty: 6 Key Points to Remember If You’re Facing Criminal Charges

Criminal Charges

Facing criminal charges can be frightening, especially if you do not believe you’ve done anything wrong. The court system is designed on the premise that everyone is innocent unless they’re proven guilty in a court of law. This means that you are presumed to be innocent of all charges you’re facing and that the prosecution must prove you are guilty before you can be convicted and sentenced.

What this basically means is that the prosecution has to prove that you are guilty of the crime you’re accused of committing. Your lawyer, on the other hand, just has to show reasonable doubt that you did commit the crime. Depending on the situation, this can be difficult to do, but it does mean that you should receive a fair trial and will not be sentenced before the prosecution has proven you are guilty of the charge.

You Have the Right to a Lawyer

One of the biggest rights people have is the right to have a lawyer assist them throughout the case. This is going to be key in your criminal defense as the lawyer will review over every detail for the case against you and look for ways to show reasonable doubt that you did commit the crime. The lawyer will work to try to get a much better outcome for the situation and will attempt to help you avoid a conviction if at all possible.

Though you do have the right to a lawyer, you will need to exercise this right on your own. It’s important to request a lawyer as soon as possible after the arrest. If you do not have a lawyer yet, once you request a lawyer, you can find one to represent you. Make sure you choose a lawyer who is going to work hard on your case as they will be there to help from the moment you request their help until your case is finished.

Avoid Talking to the Police

It’s natural to try to talk the police out of arresting you. After all, they might not have all of the information and may not realize that you have not done anything. Nevertheless, it’s still important to avoid speaking with the police about what happened. The police will give you the Miranda Warning, which states some of the rights you have after an arrest. This includes the right to remain silent.

Anything said to the police can be used against you, even if it seems like it would help your case. The more people talk, the more likely it is they’ll accidentally say something that incriminates themselves. Instead, it’s typically a much better idea for them to avoid saying anything at all, then let the lawyer handle the case and try to have the charges dismissed.

Avoid Talking About the Case to Others

One of the things you should avoid doing after an arrest is talking to the police about the case, but you should also avoid talking to anyone else about what happened. Friends and family members may be worried about what happened and will want to know all of the details, but this information should not be shared. Like information given freely to police officers, anything that is said to friends and family members could end up being used against you in court.

Instead, it might be a good idea just to let them know that you were arrested and that you are working on handling the case with a lawyer. If they do press for details, simply let them know that your lawyer advised you to avoid speaking with anyone about the case, even if they are close to you.

You Can Ask to See the Warrant

If you are facing criminal charges, you have the right to access information about your own case. If the arrest is the result of a warrant, you have the right to see the warrant and read it. If the police are searching your home, for instance, read through the warrant so you are familiar with what they can and cannot do. You shouldn’t try to interrupt the search, but being able to check the warrant allows you to ensure there is a warrant and can give you points to discuss with your lawyer after the arrest if you noticed anything being searched that shouldn’t have been.

You Shouldn’t Try to Talk to Others Involved

Advice for handling a criminal charge includes avoiding making statements to the police and to friends and family members, but it’s also a good idea to avoid talking to anyone else who is involved in the case. They may say or do something that could complicate the case further or make it more difficult to avoid a conviction. If there is a victim of the case, never contact them to try to have the charges dropped as this could be seen as threatening a witness. If others were arrested with you, avoid discussing the case as they may be fishing for information that could help their case, but that might hurt yours.

Follow Your Lawyer’s Advice

The last key to remember is that it’s crucial you follow the lawyer’s advice throughout the case. Their advice is given to help you get a better outcome for the current case and to avoid further related charges. If you do have any questions about the advice they give, make sure you speak with them. Then, follow their advice and work with them to try to get a much better outcome for your case.

If you’ve been arrested, hope is not lost, and there may be ways for you to avoid a conviction. However, you need to be careful with what you say and do going forward. Make sure you hire a lawyer as quickly as possible so they can help you through this and start working on your case. Then, remember the key points here, so you know what to do and what to avoid doing while you are dealing with this situation.

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