No one wants to commit (and be charged with) a crime, but the circumstances often leave you – or your family member – with no choice. You may be involved in a negligence case or an accident that resulted in a criminal charge being filed. In this circumstance, it is important that you know the right steps to take to protect your legal rights.
So, what should you do when you’re arrested and charged with a crime? Here are some of the important steps to remember.
After the Arrest
Being arrested doesn’t mean you’re being charged with a crime. The police are obliged to create an arrest report and send it to the prosecutor’s office. This report details everything about the circumstances of your arrest, including the possible crimes you may have committed.
It is up to the prosecutor to determine if a charge needs to be filed. The prosecutor also has a role in determining the kind of charges that will be filed against you based on the initial arrest report. There will be times when the prosecutor chooses not to pursue the matter for several reasons. If this is the case, you will be released almost immediately.
The best thing to do at this point is to get your situation reviewed by a lawyer as quickly as possible. The law can be very complicated, and the experience and expertise of an attorney can help you navigate through the process. In fact, getting the assistance of a criminal or civil rights attorney can improve your chances of getting a fair resolution.
Why a Civil Rights Attorney?
It is not a secret that there have been a lot of wrongful arrests and malicious prosecutions in recent months. A civil rights attorney can provide a different insight into your predicament while providing legal protection against misconduct.
Most experienced civil rights lawyers also have a criminal law background, so they can also help you deal with legal proceedings effectively. The attorney will take the necessary steps to pursue justice on your behalf.
If you are charged with a criminal offense, the next step is to take the case to court. Once again, having an experienced attorney assisting you from the start is a huge plus. There are plenty of things they can do to defend your case, from talking to witnesses to reviewing pieces of evidence and documents.
You have the option to request a pre-trial too; your attorney will let you know if one is necessary and beneficial based on the situation you are in. Alternatively, you will face a preliminary hearing. During the hearing, the prosecutor must demonstrate that the state has enough evidence for a strong case. It is up to the judge to decide whether the case can be taken to court for a full trial.
All these procedures take time, and you may not always have the focus, knowledge, and energy to keep up with the legal proceedings. Make sure you get an attorney on board as early as possible to secure the best resolution for the case.