It is no wonder, as the world continues to get smaller, the crime rate continues to rise every single day. Despite so much awareness and security measures being taken by governments, yet the crime rate doesn’t seem to be coming down. With the inception of different types of crimes, there are laws that are designed to control those issues. Millions of people get charged with felony every year which means the criminal rates are staggering. However, this doesn’t mean every person who is charged with a felony is necessarily a criminal. In this article, we will guide you through ten things you need to do if you are charged with a felony. Most people lose their control when they’re charged under a criminal offence. It is crucial to remain calm and handle the situation with wisdom. You must do the following things as soon as you get charged with a felony;
1. Exercise the right to remain silent
This sounds bizarre but is very substantial. You must have heard people talking about, “your right to remain silent”, right? There are dozens of films and dramas in which people are told to remain silent as soon as the senior authorities hold them accountable based on a criminal offence. The Fifth Amendment says if you want to get yourself out of trouble you must remain silent. People who often rebel and start shouting are ones who get in trouble. So if you have been taken in custody and are being asked questions, you can always insist on waiting for a lawyer. It is your legal right to have a lawyer by your side before answering any questions. It is your right to remain silent throughout the situation. You don’t need to wear a hostile attitude on yourself to tell the authorities about your unwillingness to answer.
2. Contact a lawyer immediately
Do you have a family lawyer who has helped anyone from within your social circle before/ what are you waiting for? If you have one, you must contact that attorney immediately. However, if you don’t have one, there’s no harm in hiring. Choosing a faithful attorney is a tough task, but you need to be quick in this. When you are held accountable by the police without an attorney, you will have a very difficult time. So it is better to contact a lawyer on time. The moment you are accused of a crime is exactly when you should contact a criminal lawyer. Make sure you are confirmed about the veracity of a person’s experience, online social profile, and availability. Furthermore, you must hire a person whose fees are flexible and also gives you a comfortable space as a client.
3. Do not register for bail without consulting the attorney
Many people register for bail as soon as they are convicted of a crime which is not a mindful move. Furthermore, tell your family members not to post bail unless a suitable attorney has taken your case. Once your lawyer is on your case, he or she should have the liberty of posting bail. You must check Edinburg bail bonds to know about the quick services they provide in terms of helping clients apply for bail. After speaking to an experienced criminal attorney, you must make the decision of whether or not to apply for bail. Your lawyer will review your case history and see if it is feasible to take this hefty step.
4. Refrain from talking about your arrest with your friends and family
Sometimes the criminal case isn’t as hefty as people make it sound. Refrain from talking about your arrest with your friends and family, for they will always create a euphoric situation for you. If you have negative people in your circle, they might start using your weak points against you. As with a lawyer, there are rules of sharing information and you are bound by law, but with family, there are no rules as such. You will be interested to know the courts have even identified rules which limit the amount of information even friends and family members can share with the courts. Therefore the best way to avoid this issue is to ask your friends and family members to not talk with the police or any journalist unless the case hasn’t finished.
5. Make a list of witnesses
You must jot down the list of all witnesses who can provide great help in solving the case. Sometimes people tend to run away from such events in the pursuit of avoiding any possible problem. However, you must not try to eradicate anyone very close to you. This should be done around the time you are writing down your statement of events. Even if you try to hide the name of any family member or friend who was a witness, security cameras will provide proof, so it is better, to be honest when writing down things during such events. Additionally, you must mention the names along with contact numbers so police can contact them fast. If your witnesses are people with good characters they will help you in getting out of the case.
6. Remain calm and polite
This is perhaps one of the most difficult things to do during such instances but is also the right step to take. Especially when you’re innocent, it becomes difficult to get convicted and then to be held in custody. It can be quite frustrating when authorities are asking questions in a hostile manner. However, the best thing to do in such a situation is to remain calm and polite. Even if you have been arrested in the wrong case, you should always cooperate with security officers instead of trying to run away from the scene. If you try to fight them back and rebel, they’ll start believing your involvement in a criminal case. Furthermore, you could also be charged with fighting back the police, so best to be careful.
7. Have complete information of the crime
The biggest misconception is most people consider felony and misdemeanor to be the same things. However, both of them are different. This means most of them don’t even understand the reason they’ve been arrested and the harsh consequences which they might have to suffer. A misdemeanor is a punishment for a specific time which then can be eradicated with county jail or fine. However, a felony is a criminal conviction that might last for years or even never end. Most people don’t even know their rights when they’re convicted of a crime. Therefore one must have complete information about what’s happening and should politely request the authorities to explain the scene. Once you learn about the repercussions of the criminal conviction you must contact an attorney.
8. Don’t lie to your attorney
A lawyer is like a doctor from whom one doesn’t shy away from discussing anything. Even if you have a different story to tell t the cops, you should remain upright and honest with your lawyer. You must be 100% correct with your attorney. For instance, if you tell a different story to your lawyer and end up saying something else in the court because of the prosecutor’s pressure, you will very likely lose the case and get convicted for a long time. Your attorney needs to have complete information so he/she can plan for all kinds of situations. Many people are afraid to speak to their lawyers which is why their often lose cases. Don’t be one of them and be vocal in front of the attorney.
9. Write down everything you remember
Though one cannot remember everything that happened, most important facts can always be written down. Even courts do not force accused to write down everything, but it is imperative to jot down important facts which can help. The best time to give all the information to the attorney is immediately after the incident. Don’t forget to include the names of all the people who were part of the event. Keep in mind, the moment you are arrested, the prosecution will start documenting everything. Therefore you should do your homework before somebody holds you accountable. So prepare the most accurate information and give it to everyone who secures the right to know about it.
10. Attend all court hearings
There are few cases in which it is not mandatory for the accused to attend the legal court proceedings. As a responsible citizen, it is your responsibility to respect all the court proceedings and not miss any. People who often overlook court proceedings are ones who lose the battle. It is crucial to remain upright with the court and to be a disciplined person when it comes to attending the court. In some states, there are strict laws which punish convicted to fail to appear in court proceedings. If you don’t appear in the legal battle the court will regard your attitude as hostile. Even if you have a tough schedule at work you must jot down all important dates with your criminal attorney and attend all meetings.
Lastly, maintain your cool and cooperate with your lawyer. Court proceedings take a long time to finish therefore you must remain patient.