What should I do if I have been charged with a crime?
- If you have been arrested and charged with a crime, you’re probably wondering, “What do I do now?” Start by remembering you have important rights, including the right to remain silent, the right to have an attorney present at questioning, and the right to be free from unreasonable searches. You should invoke all of those rights, and consult an experienced criminal law attorney to plan a strategy for dealing with the charges against you. It’s often best to decline to answer police questions until your attorney is up to speed on your case. This can save you from making statements that could be used against you in court. If you made any statements from the time you were arrested to the time police read your Miranda rights, your attorney might be able to get those statements excluded. Or, if the police obtained evidence in an illegal search, your attorney can move to have that evidence excluded. In some cases, exclusion of evidence can prompt authorities to drop charges. If the authorities decide to go through with charges, an attorney can assert your right to reasonable bail. From there, your attorney can advise you on options such as plea bargaining or taking the case to trial.