Do I Still Need a Criminal Defense Lawyer If I Am Innocent?
May 22, 2021 04:47 PM EDT
When Alfred Hitchcock was asked about his greatest fear, he said that being arrested for a crime he did not commit worried him constantly. He explored this phobia in the film "The Wrong Man." Being falsely accused remains a common fear among people.
If you believe the movies, you will believe the true perpetrator will be caught, and you will be exonerated. Unfortunately, justice does not always prevail, and innocent people go to jail all the time. It is important to find a good defense attorney and to work closely with them to ensure your freedom.
What an Attorney Can Do
Even if you have been accused of a crime before, you are unlikely to have as much experience with the criminal justice system as would a professional attorney. An attorney will be well-versed in the laws of Missouri. They will have years of experience in negotiating with the courts. Be sure to find a criminal defense attorney who has experience in dealing with cases that are just like yours.
A criminal attorney will know the ins and outs of the court system in Missouri. If the police were negligent in their duties when they arrested you, if there was never sufficient evidence to arrest you, or if the paperwork was mishandled, an attorney may be able to get the charges against you dropped or reduced.
Choose Your Law Firm Carefully
The law firm that you select should specialize in criminal law, and it should have enough staff to support the workload that it takes on. When you go in for a consultation, be sure to ask how many hours they will have to devote to your case.
What to do When You are Arrested
You should never put up a fight when the police come to arrest you, even if you are innocent. You should be very calm and collected.
Talk to a Lawyer First
As most everyone knows, you have the right to remain silent when you are arrested. The police must inform you of this, and they should not put pressure on you to talk without an attorney. The police have the right to use anything that you say to them against you. Hence, the less you say, the better.
There are only two exceptions to this rule: if a police officer has reasonable suspicion that you committed a crime, they may ask for your ID, and they may ask for you to verify the name on the ID. In the state of Missouri, If a police officer asks you where you are going after they have pulled you over, you are required to tell them.
It may be your first inclination to defend yourself and tell a police officer why you could not have committed the crime of which you are accused. It may also be your first inclination to post bail or hire a bondsman to do so for you. You should wait to talk to an attorney before you post bail. An experienced lawyer may be able to get bail lowered or waived.
Being accused of a crime can be terrifying. Knowing what steps to take and what to look for in an attorney will give you a good chance of proving your innocents.