Consider hiring an experienced Criminal Lawyer in Stuart
The words "you are under arrest" can substantially alter the course of a person’s life. In an instant, the liberty we so often take for granted is taken away. Police officers know that as soon as they apply the handcuffs most people feel terrified and powerless thus making them more likely to do or say something that can be used against them in a court of law.
By knowing your rights, you can mitigate a policeman’s advantage and reduce your risk of doing harm to your case. Below are a few basic legal concepts you should be aware of if you are ever arrested or wanted for questioning by law enforcement.
What should I do if I’m arrested in Stuart?
If you’re arrested in Stuart, doing or saying the wrong thing in the presence of a police officer could hurt you later on in the investigation, or even at trial. Knowledge is power, and the following simple tips could help prevent you from making an irreversible mistake.
Do not consent to any searches. Officers have the right to search your person after you are placed under arrest. They can also search your vehicle or your belongings in certain situations. However, if an officer ever asks you if you will allow him or her to conduct a search of any kind, your answer should always be a polite "no." If you grant an officer permission to search, you might not be able to make certain legal arguments challenging the search in court. Answering "no" to a request to search will better protect your rights. If an officer conducts a search after you specifically ask them not to, and you end up being placed under arrest, contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to discuss the possibility of evidence suppression or even the dismissal of your case. What should I do if an officer wants me to answer questions in relation to a crime without placing me under arrest?
When the police investigate crimes they often use a tool called a "consensual encounter" to gather information from potential suspects. This is where an officer approaches you in an informal setting, tells you that you are not under arrest, and asks you questions in a seemingly non-threatening manner. What most people don’t know is that any statements they make during a consensual encounter can still be used against them in court should the police later decide to go forward with charges. If you find yourself in this situation, remember:
You can stop the questioning at any time by saying "I want to speak with a lawyer." Even if you haven’t hired an attorney yet, these "magic words" require that the police break off their questioning or risk having the evidence they collect be excluded from future legal proceedings. What should I do if the police want me to provide information against other people?
In some instances, an individual who has just been arrested in Stuart will be asked to implicate other people who are engaging in criminal activity. The officer will suggest that by providing this information, you may avoid going to jail or perhaps receive positive consideration when it comes time for punishment. However, police officers simply do not have the power to decide what charges are brought against you or what your punishment will be. These decisions lie solely in the hands of the prosecutor and judge. The police can go to extreme lengths to make you believe otherwise, but it’s just not true.
Don’t say anything until you’ve retained an attorney. A criminal defense lawyer will tell you about your rights and help you better understand the options based on the facts related to your arrest. Communication with your lawyer is confidential, and will enable you determine a course of action that best protects your interests. Your attorney can then communicate with the prosecutor and the judge directly on your behalf.
If you are arrested in Stuart, you probably will need to retain a criminal lawyer. The lawyers at Ohle & Ohle, Attorneys at Law, are available 24/7 to meet with you and discuss your case. The initial consultation is always free of charge.