If you or a loved one have recently been arrested or are being investigated for a crime, odds are you’re feeling stressed, anxious and scared. The uncertainty of what to do next when you’ve been accused of a criminal offense can be paralyzing – at time when it is imperative you take immediate action.
First and foremost, it’s important to remember that your case is far from over if you are arrested. The prosecution still has to build a convincing case against you and establish guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. During this time, you should be meeting with your defense lawyer regularly to plan your legal defense. Doing so gives you the best possible shot at overcoming this huge obstacle in your life and moving on.
The stakes couldn’t be higher than when you face a criminal charge, which is why you should be wise in selecting a criminal defense attorney with the right experience, knowledge and background in resolving cases just like yours.
Defendants who have been arrested or charged with a crime for the first time often have many unanswered questions. Unfortunately, finding accurate information that takes into account your specific criminal charge and local/state laws is difficult.
If police do stop your vehicle, you may be wondering what’s next. Often an officer asks that a driver exit the vehicle, though legally you don’t have to do so. However, you probably should step out of the vehicle anyway as a sign of cooperation and good faith.
This doesn’t mean you have to let police search your vehicle. You do not have to give such consent.
Police also have a right to ask for your name and identification. But police do not have a right to keep you at the scene any longer than it takes to handle the reason for stopping you — which may have been a minor traffic violation– thanks to a Supreme Court decision in 2015.
You shouldn’t have to wait for a police dog or other police to show up. You can ask to leave and should be allowed to do so.
Even so, keep in mind that it’s best to be polite and not belligerent when dealing with the police – even if you refuse to allow a search.
But what about if police have or obtain a warrant to search your vehicle? What then? Do you lack any legal rights?
You do still have rights even if police have a search warrant. For instance, if police want to search for a gun in your vehicle, they can look under the seats or in a glove box, but they do not have a right to search in a place too small to conceal it, such as an ashtray.
What happens after I’m arrested?
If you or a loved one have been arrested, or are currently being investigated for a crime, you probably have a lot of questions, like:
Confronting the criminal defense process by yourself is a daunting task. You may be feeling intimidated, confused and overwhelmed, especially if you have no prior experience with the justice system.
Fortunately, you don’t have to take on the criminal defense process alone. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you through this complicated process and ensure the best possible outcome. Talk with the criminal defense attorneys at Hays Law Firm LLC about your concerns and questions.