What To Do if You Are Charged With a Crime
There are a number of criminal offences that can be charged, including assault, theft, murder, fraud, and drug offences. If you are charged with any of these crimes, it is important to understand the process and what your options are. Keep reading to learn what to do if you are charged with a crime.
Hire a defence lawyer right away.
If you have been arrested or charged with a criminal offence, it is important to speak to a criminal defence lawyer as soon as possible. A Calgary defence lawyer, or a criminal lawyer wherever you are located, can provide you with legal advice and representation in court. Each criminal offence carries a different punishment, depending on the severity of the crime. A criminal defence lawyer can help you understand the charge against you and the potential punishment you could face if convicted.
A criminal defence lawyer will also be able to advise you on your best course of action. In some cases, it may be best to plead guilty and seek a lesser punishment. In other cases, it may be best to fight the charge in court. Your criminal defence lawyer can advise you on what is best for your situation.
Exercise your right to remain silent.
When you are arrested, the police will take you to a station for questioning. You have the right to remain silent, which means you do not have to answer any questions the police may ask you. Anything you say can be used against you in court, so it is important to stay silent until you have talked to a lawyer. You can ask for a lawyer at any time during questioning.
Build your defence.
If you are charged with a crime, you will want to build a defence as soon as possible. There are a few things you can do to help your case. First, you should speak to a lawyer. They will be able to help you understand the charges against you and can provide advice on how to proceed. You should also gather evidence to support your defence. This could include witness statements, photos, or video footage. If you have any of this, be sure to give it to your lawyer.
You should also try to stay calm and be polite with the police. Cooperating with the police can help show that you are not a threat and that you are willing to work with them. However, you should never agree to a police interview or sign any documents without speaking to your lawyer.
Negotiate a plea.
When you are charged with a crime, the prosecutor may offer you a plea bargain. A plea bargain is an agreement between the prosecutor and the defendant in which the defendant agrees to plead guilty to a lesser charge or to fewer charges than those contained in the original indictment. In return, the prosecutor agrees not to pursue more serious charges against the defendant or to recommend a specific sentence.
Plea bargains are common in criminal cases, especially when the prosecution has strong evidence against the defendant. The benefits of agreeing to a plea bargain include avoiding a trial, which can be costly and time-consuming; knowing exactly what sentence will be imposed; and avoiding the risk of being found guilty of a more serious charge at trial. The potential drawbacks of pleading guilty include giving up your right to appeal; admitting guilt, even if you believe you are innocent; and receiving a harsher sentence than you would have received if you had gone to trial.
Overall, it is important to remember that you should always consult with an attorney if you are charged with a crime. The decisions you make in the early stages of your case can have a significant impact on the outcome.