Being charged with a crime is perhaps the most terrifying legal conflict you can experience. When you find yourself in such a situation, your instinct may be to panic, but really, the best thing you can do is calmly but quickly seek appropriate legal counsel. The sooner you reach out to a criminal defense attorney and share your story, the sooner you will be advised on what steps to take next and what to expect as your case moves forward.
Every criminal case is different, but it can never hurt to have a basic understanding of your rights. For starters, if you are arrested, know that you do not have to speak. Your Miranda rights protect you from having to say anything that might put you in a worse position than where you started. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, your Miranda rights are the six sentences you’ve probably heard countless times on TV:
“You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you. Do you understand the rights I have just read to you? With these rights in mind, do you wish to speak to me?”
The Miranda rights are fairly straightforward, but in the chaos of a criminal charge, you may feel too scattered to really understand the significance of those words. Remaining silent can mean the difference between a positive and negative outcome, so don’t ever hesitate to exercise this right. When you’re in danger of a criminal charge, remain silent and contact an attorney as soon as possible.