Speaking to the police can be intimidating and cause stress, leading an individual to speak or act in a way that is not in their best interest. Knowing when to seek the advice of a criminal defense attorney and when to request that an attorney be by your side is the first step in avoiding a situation that could cause undue hardship. If you are involved in a criminal investigation, there is no time too early to consult with an attorney. Here, the ENLawyers have provided guidance regarding the specific circumstances for which you should consult with a criminal defense attorney.

If you have been asked to participate in a police interview or questioning…

Under certain conditions, simple questioning can evolve into a more serious situation. It is always a good idea to have an attorney present when speaking with the police, regardless of whether you are a person of interest in an investigation, or if the questions pertain to an incident that you were not involved in. An attorney can advise you on your rights concerning the interview process, and indicate whether you are legally required to submit to any questioning. An experienced attorney can also help you avoid making statements that are accidentally incriminating, or contradictory to your best interests.

If you think that your rights may have been violated…

Individuals are afforded certain rights that aim to protect them against self-incrimination when in the custody of the police. Specifically, the Miranda rights are a collection of statements that a law enforcement officer is required to advise you of prior to initiating a custodial interrogation. The Miranda Rights are as follows:

  • You have the right to remain silent
  • Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law
  • You have the right to an attorney
  • If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you

If you feel as though you were not advised of these rights, or that your rights were violated during a police interaction or interview, it is important that you consult with a criminal defense attorney.

If you have been charged with a crime…

If you have been charged with a crime, you need to hire a criminal defense attorney. The earlier in the process that you involve a criminal defense attorney in your case, the better your chances of securing a better outcome at a subsequent trial or hearing.

At times, individuals charged with a crime will attempt to represent themselves, or will wait to hire an attorney. Both decisions can have a large impact on the result of a case. It is essential if you are charged with a crime that you hire an experienced attorney from the outset, so that they may work with you to prepare a proper strategy for your case.

ENLawyers’ Bottom Line

Consulting with a criminal defense attorney can be in your best interest in a variety of different situations. This is especially true if you have been charged with a crime, or are required to stand trial for a criminal charge. For additional information regarding the benefits of hiring or consulting with a criminal defense attorney, or to speak with an experienced and skilled Baltimore criminal defense attorney, contact the Law Offices of Eldridge and Nachtman.