Receiving a felony charge can change your life for the worse. Felony charges are a serious matter, and being arrested and charged with one can be a terrifying and life-altering experience.
There may be huge fines or even prison time waiting for you at the other end of a felony charge. This isn’t helped by the fact that the criminal justice process is extremely difficult to navigate.
If you’ve recently been hit with first time felony charges, it’s important that you understand the proper steps you should take to help your case. Read on, and we’ll walk you through everything you need to know.
Exercise Your Miranda Rights
You’ve heard it a million times in movies and TV: you have the right to remain silent. You’ve heard it so many times because it’s true. The 5th Amendment of the Constitution gives us all citizens the right to keep quiet and avoid incriminating themselves in a criminal case.
If you’re arrested for a felony charge, you should keep your mouth shut and wait until you have legal counsel before answering any questions. You do not need to act hostile to the police in doing this, just politely explain that you’ll be refraining from discussing anything at this time.
This can help you avoid any legal pitfalls you may get into by saying the wrong thing.
Do Not Post Bail Right Away
Many families make the mistake of posting bail right after their loved one is charged with a felony offense. You should always speak to a trained law professional before getting bail money together. This is for a variety of reasons.
For one, an attorney will be able to tell you if the bail is likely to be lowered or waived altogether. An attorney is also able to tell you how likely it is that the felony charges will be dropped, meaning the individual will be able to walk without posting bail.
Find an Attorney That’s Right for You
There’s almost no way to get out of felony charges without a trained legal professional at your side. The first call one should make after being hit with a felony charge is to an attorney’s office. You should never consider representing yourself.
If you are unable to afford an attorney in time for the arraignment, you can consider using a public defender. The help of a public defender can be great, but they will likely not have the time to fully commit to your case.
If you have the money, finding an attorney who can really hone in on your case is well worth the expense. Be sure to be honest with your attorney and present the facts as they really happened. Withholding information from your lawyer does nothing but weaken the strength of your case in the courtroom.
A lawyer will guide you through the necessary steps to help build a defense case and will ensure you arrive at expected court appearances.
Facing First Time Felony Charges
No one wants to look a felony charge in the face, but it does happen. If you are facing first time felony charges, it’s important that you take the above steps seriously if you want to avoid serious fines or jail time.
Need help with your case? Feel free to contact us at any point for a free consultation.