Facing Criminal Charges? Know Your Constitutional Rights

Facing Criminal Charges? Know Your Constitutional Rights

A criminal conviction can impact your life in many ways that go beyond the courtroom and the penal system. It can harm your career and job prospects, and in a number of cases, can severely limit your options when it comes to housing. This is especially true for convicted sex offenders and some drug convictions. If you are accused, having an experienced criminal defense attorney durham nc on your side is vital.

If You Are Arrested

Take the Miranda warning to heart. Everything you say is recorded and will be used by the prosecution if or when your case goes to trial. Under the Fifth Amendment, you do not have to say one word to the arresting officer or any other law enforcement personnel. The telephone call with which you are provided should be to a lawyer, especially if you are unable to make bail; an attorney can help in arranging your release and contact family members on your behalf if necessary.

When you do have an opportunity to speak with counsel, provide do not withhold any information pertinent to your case. Your attorney needs to know all the facts in order to plan your defense.

If You Are Guilty

Criminal law in the United States rests on the presumption of innocence. If you are arrested on criminal charges, it only means you are a suspect. The prosecution must still prove beyond reasonable doubt that you are guilty of the crime.

Even if the law has you dead to rights, all is not lost. At the very least, a good defense lawyer can help to get the charges reduced. You may even be eligible for a work-release program, which will allow you to continue living your life with a degree of normalcy while serving your sentence.  The sooner you speak with a lawyer, the better your outcome is likely to be.

About the Author: Jill T Frey