If you have been charged with a crime, you are likely to be shocked and dismayed, especially if the charge is a felony, the most serious of criminal penalties. Even if this isn’t your first time being charged with a crime, you’re likely to be at a loss for what to do next. As experienced criminal defense lawyers we realize that many of our clients who are facing felony charges face substantial worry.
That is why we have compiled a list of suggestions for what you should do if you have been charged with a crime in California. Read on to learn the facts and then contact Chambers Law Firm at 714-760-4088 for a free legal consultation.
You have the right to remain silent – use it
The first and most crucial thing you should do is to assert your right to silence. This right is guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution, and you should exercise it to protect yourself and your capacity to defend yourself.
Refuse to answer any questions without the presence of a lawyer and advise the police of your decision. However, maintain a calm and courteous demeanor while doing so. While the police may not treat you with respect, and you may be irritated at being wrongfully accused, remaining respectful will benefit you in the long term. Even if you are innocent, resisting, becoming confrontational, and losing your calm might make you appear guilty.
Request an attorney right away
In addition to exercising your right to remain silent, you should express your desire for an attorney by saying, “I want a lawyer.” Having a criminal lawyer on your side can make the difference between getting convicted of a felony charge and having it reduced or even dismissed. Without your lawyer present, do not speak to the police or anybody else.
Tell your lawyer the truth
While it may be difficult to discuss the specifics of your case with your lawyer, keep in mind that your criminal lawyer is on your side. Attorney-client privilege means that he or she is bound by the rules of the profession to keep your secrets. Being truthful will aid your attorney in providing the best defense possible.
Avoid discussing your case with others
If you’ve been charged with a felony, there’s a significant probability that others have heard about it. It’s possible that your alleged offense reached the local news. Avoid the urge to try to explain oneself to others or simply complain to family or friends.
Although your interactions with your attorney are kept private, your family and friends are not (with the exception of your spouse). If you inform a buddy about what happened, he or she may be summoned to testify against you, which is not a good scenario to be in.
If you have been charged with a felony offense in California, you will need the assistance of a skilled criminal defense lawyer. To schedule a free first consultation or to learn more about how we can help, call Chambers Law Firm at 714-760-4088 or email firstname.lastname@example.org now.