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Published On: Mon, Apr 30th, 2018

What Do I Do If I Am Facing Criminal Charges?

Of course, you wouldn’t wish it on your worst enemy, and for some Australian citizens, being arrested moves from being a fear to a reality. Criminal law covers a wide range of offences, and despite taking the greatest of care, it is sometimes the case when a person is charged with a criminal offence, and with that in mind, here is some very useful information on how best to handle such an experience.

photo/ jessica45

  • Seek Legal Representation – The very moment you realise you are about to be arrested, you should be using your smartphone to source a lawyer, yet this is hardly the time to browse, therefore, it is wise to presource an experienced criminal lawyer (who it is hoped you never have to call) and store the number in your phone. You might be at the police station, at home, or at another venue, but you should remain calm and collected and say nothing to the arresting officer(s), as anything you do say can be used in a court of law as evidence against you. Anyone who has watched the detective movies will know about their right to remain silent, and the arresting officer is bound by duty to inform you of your rights, which also includes the right to seek legal counsel. One must always remember that there is no second bite at the cherry with criminal proceedings, and hiring an incompetent lawyer could have very serious consequences indeed, which is why you must choose an experienced and established criminal lawyer. Every law firm would have a team of legal specialists, and with experts in criminal, traffic and company law, you can rest assured you’ll have the best defence.
  • Acknowledge your Identity – When the arresting office has read you your rights, he or she will ask you to confirm your identity and acknowledge the charge(s), which you can do with a simple nod of the head. Stay calm and take immediate steps to contact a criminal lawyer, who can be found with a Google search, and if you call him, it is likely he will drop everything and come to your aid. There are very experienced criminal lawyers to be found online, and most would have a 24-hour number to call, and hopefully, your legal expert will be with you in no time. If you are being held in custody, then the lawyer would obviously make haste and nine times out of ten, they can secure their client bail.
  • Preparing a Response – You would need to sit down with your lawyer and discuss the situation, and he or she would want to know the ins and outs of the circumstances before advising you whether to plead guilty or not guilty. Fortunately, in Australia you are considered innocent until proven guilty, and when deciding on your plea, you must listen to the lawyer. There might, for example, be compelling evidence, in which case the lawyer would advise you to plead guilty, but if you have a strong case, not guilty is preferred. An experienced criminal lawyer has seen it all before and he would be able to give you an accurate assessment that is based on the evidence, and with a copy of the police report, the lawyer will help you to prepare a strong defence.

Facing a criminal charge can be a stressful experience and whatever the charge, one should always remain calm and collected, and with expert legal advice, you can prepare your response in the best possible way. Even though you have no intention of committing a crime, you could still be charged, and by sourcing the number of an experienced and local criminal lawyer, should the worst ever happen, you will know exactly what to do.

Author: Sophie Fenns

On the DISPATCH: Headlines  Local  Opinion

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