If You Have Been Arrested - The Legal Process & Sandefer Law Firm's Role
Larry Sandefer Criminal Defense Attorney & DUI Defense Attorney
Sandefer Law Firm - Serving Clearwater, St. Petersburg & Tampa Bay Florida
If You Have Been Arrested What To Do And What Not To Do
As part of Sandefer Law Firm’s commitment to you and commitment to excellence, Sandefer Law Firm prides itself in educating and counseling the firm’s clients and being available at this time of need. There are some important things you need to know.
|Do not discuss your case with anyone other than your Criminal Defense Lawyer. This includes not discussing it with your friends, family members, cell mates, or anyone else. What you say, can be used against you and may be misinterpreted.
|Do not call or make any contact with any law enforcement agency, State Attorney, or anyone else without first requesting your attorney or consulting with your criminal defense attorney.
|Immediately identify any potential witnesses or evidence that may need to be collected and any information that will help your lawyer so that you can present it to him. If immediate photographs may be helpful for your attorney and you can take photos, take them.
|If you are contacted by law enforcement, immediately and politely ask to have your Criminal Defense Attorney present and do not answer any questions no matter how mundane.
|Never consent to any search or turn over anything to law enforcement without first consulting with your Criminal Defense Lawyer.
|Remember, anything you tell your Criminal Defense Lawyer is confidential. It is essential that you be truthful and communicate thoroughly with your Criminal Defense Lawyer.|
What Rights do you Have?
You have certain rights when you are arrested regardless of whether you are an adult, juvenile, a citizen, or non-citizen. If you are in custody before a law enforcement officer may question you, he or she should advise you of your right to remain silent, that anything you say may be used against you, that you have the right to have a lawyer present while you are being questioned, and if you cannot afford an attorney that one will be appointed for you.
These are your “Miranda Rights.” They are guaranteed by the US Constitution. If you are not given these warnings, and you are in custody, it is possible that your Criminal Defense Attorney can file a motion that any statements that you made to the police may not be used against you in Court. You should keep in mind, however, that even if statements are “suppressed” that the case still may not be dismissed. There are many other issues you will need to discuss with your attorney.
Once I Am Told My Rights, Can I Be Questioned?
You can be questioned, without a lawyer present, only if you voluntarily give up your rights and if you understand what you are giving up. If you agree to the questioning, then change your mind, questioning must stop as soon as you say that you want a defense lawyer. If the questioning continues after you request a lawyer and you continue to talk, your answers can be used against you if you testify to something different.
Once you are booked into the Jail, fingerprinted, and photographed, you will have a right to make a telephone call. Most jails with allow you to make calls once you are placed into general population also, however, these are usually collect phone calls. This law firm accepts cdollect calls from the jail.
What is Bail and How is it Set?
The amount of bail or other security deposited with the jail to ensure that you will appear is set by a predetermined schedule in each county. Bail is to ensure your appearance. If someone fails to appear, the person posting the bond may lose that money. If a bondsman is used to post the bond, often they will be paid a percentage of the total bond as your fee to hire the bondsman. You can post bail directly with most jails in the entire amount of the bail. That money will be returned if all court appearances are met, however, if you plead to a charge or are convicted of it, fines and costs are first deducted from the bail money before it is returned.
If you hire a bondsman, no money will be returned to you upon the completion of the case.
When you are taken to court for a bond setting or reduction, the judge will take into considerations things such as the seriousness of the offense with which you are charged, any prior failures to appear, any prior convictions, your time in the community, employment and length of employment, and other factors determining your likelihood of appearance.
It is possible you may be released on your own recognizance or supervised ROR. In that case, you are not required to pay a bail amount but are normally required to contact Pretrial Services on a regular basis until your case is resolved.
If you have been questioned (or are a suspect) and have not been arrested, it is important to consult with an attorney about your rights and the best course of conduct in your particular circumstances. Do not guess or assume what you believe may be the correct action to take. A mistake can be difficult to undo. You should always consult with an attorney before deciding whether to make any statements to the police or to any other persons. Your rights and your future could be at stake.
When should I talk to a lawyer?
The simple answer is as soon as possible. If you have been arrested or think you may be a suspect in a crime, you should seek advice as soon as possible. The firm will be better able to advise you on actions you should take or should not take and we will also be in a better position to gather information which may be needed for your defense. Whenever an arrest is made, the charge does not proceed to court until the State Attorney officially files a charge. It is often helpful for an experienced attorney who is knowledgeable of the system to contact the prosecuting attorney before charges may be filed. Sandefer Law Firm will do that for you. This may maximize your possibilities of a charge being dropped, being reduced, or minimizing your criminal exposure.
It is important to discuss your case with an experienced attorney. Please Contact us today for your FREE initial consultation.
Sandefer Law Firm trial attorneys represent individuals in Criminal Defense, DUI Defense, Drug Crimes, Domestic Violence, Sex Crimes, and Personal Injury cases throughout the Tampa Bay Florida area including Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Largo, Seminole, Pinellas Park, Palm Harbor, Safety Harbor, Tarpon Springs, New Port Richey, Pasadena, St. Pete Beach, Indian Rocks Beach, Redington Beach, Bradenton, Sarasota, Ft. Myers, and all surrounding areas.
Please Contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation