Criminal Defense Law Firm in Seaside Heights
A criminal charge can be confusing and frightening. Your actions after the fact may have an effect on the outcome of your case, so it is important to know what to do if you are arrested or charged with a crime.
Understanding your legal rights is an important beginning.
- A police officer may ask for permission to conduct a search of your residence, vehicle, or even your clothing. You are not obligated to consent to a search. If law enforcement officers have a search warrant signed by a judge, or has another legal justification to conduct a search, he may do so without your permission. If you are asked, though, you may refuse.
- A law enforcement officer may believe he has a legitimate right to conduct a search even though you disagree. If he insists, do not resist. The question of whether the search was appropriate can be decided later in court.
- If you are detained or have been charged with a crime, you may not be forced to give any statements or answer any questions. You should always ask for an attorney before talking to the police. The police are obligated to read you your rights if you are under arrest. If this is not done, make sure to let your lawyer know.
- Do not post any statements on social media about the crime. Everything you post could be used against you. Even a seemingly harmless post may come back to haunt you later.
- Do not wait to consult a lawyer. Waiting too long could make things more difficult down the road.
- You must never try to hide any relevant information from your lawyer. He requires as much information as possible to do his job properly. Anything you say will be kept private.
Seaside Heights Criminal Lawyer
A criminal defense attorney does the majority of his work long before a trial date is set. Often, cases are dismissed well before trial due to unlawful searches, improper handling of evidence, or other technical issues. In those cases, pre-trial motions can lead to the reduction of a charge, or even complete dismissal of all charges.
Most criminal cases do not go to trial. Charges are also frequently dismissed or reduced as part of a plea bargain. Criminal defense lawyers may work with prosecutors for a reduction in charges or penalties in exchange for a guilty plea. There might be many reasons to take a plea bargain, and it is up to each individual and his lawyer to decide whether such an action is appropriate.
A criminal record can affect your life in numerous ways. It might be possible to have your criminal record expunged. Expungement means that the record of your conviction is erased, just as if it never occurred. Look for a lawyer that has specific expertise handling expungement requests.
Criminal Defense Attorney Near Me
Picking the right attorney is the most important decision you will make. Experience counts, especially when the stakes are high when your liberty and your future is on the line. Call the office of Pepe & Wintrode at (609) 294-8300 for a free consultation, and know that you are in good hands.