The short answer to this question is that you should contact an experienced Plano, TX criminal defense attorney as soon as you possibly can following an arrest. Sometimes, it is critical to call a lawyer immediately after an arrest – before any charges are even issued. The following are some examples of when your first call should be to a lawyer who can protect your rights.
The Police are Asking Questions While You are in Custody
Sometimes, after an arrest, police officers will need to gather more evidence before charges can be issued or to strengthen the prosecutor’s case. If police want to interrogate you while you are in custody, they must inform you of your Miranda rights, which include:
- The right to remain silent
- The right to legal representation
It is imperative that you invoke these rights in this situation and contact an attorney before you answer any questions. Many people assume that “lawyering up” at this stage only makes them appear guiltier, but in reality, exercising your right to an attorney cannot be used against you in a criminal case. A lawyer can ensure your rights are protected and that nothing is said to law enforcement that could be incriminating.
You Have Bail Set or are Denied Bail
If you are not released on a personal recognizance bond (PR bond), the judge will set a specific amount of bail you must pay to be released from jail, or they might deny bail altogether for very serious offenses. Many people cannot afford to pay their bail, which means they will remain in jail until their case is resolved. If you are denied bail, the court wants to keep you behind bars while your case is pending.
A skilled criminal defense attorney can represent you at a bail hearing and present arguments to the court for one of the following:
- To release you on a PR bond
- To reduce your bond
- To set bond if it was initially denied
In many cases, this can result in you being able to wait out your case at home while you are able to work.
The State Issues Charges
If you learn of any criminal charges – even a traffic citation – you should discuss the matter with an attorney right away. The sooner you call a defense lawyer, the sooner they can begin preserving evidence and formulating your defense. Never plead guilty to any offense or speak directly with law enforcement or prosecutors without a defense lawyer on your side. Your attorney will handle all communications to set up the strongest possible defense strategy in your case.
Learn How a Plano, TX Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help
Whether you are facing misdemeanor or felony charges, you want a Plano, TX criminal defense attorney from the law firm of J. Michael Price, II handling your case. Contact us online or call 214-765-8000 to learn how we can help you fight your charges and minimize the long-term effects of your criminal case.