If you've watched any crime show on television, you know that you should not talk to the police without an attorney present. But rarely do things happen on TV like they do in real life. What really happens after an arrest? When is it reasonable to call your attorney? In which situations should you have an attorney present?
California citizens who had been arrested or accused of a crime should understand their rights when it comes to contacting an attorney and securing legal representation. In this article, we will explore the situations in which you should contact a San Diego defense attorney to represent your best interests.
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After an Arrest
You’ve been arrested. Normally, police will take you into custody and bring you to the station for booking. In previous posts, we have discussed what you should and should not say to the police. During or after an arrest, it is recommended that you not divulge any information other than basic identifiers such as your name.
You have the right to invoke the 5th Amendment and to remain silent until your attorney is present. However, most defendants are not able to contact an attorney immediately. Generally, you must be booked first and then you have the opportunity to make a phone call to your attorney. If you do not have an attorney, you may be able to contact a friend or family member who can secure one for you.
Before an Interrogation
Before sitting down to an interrogation by law enforcement, it is critical that you have an attorney present. Anything that you say during a police interrogation can be used against you in court. Your Miranda rights state that you are entitled to an attorney, and if you are suspected of committing a crime it is critical that you make use of that right.
Popular crime documentaries and television shows have clearly shown that some police officers will attempt to interrogate a defendant without the presence of an attorney. They do this with the hope of obtaining information that can be used against the defendant in court. Even if you are not officially placed under arrest and given your Miranda rights, it is in your best interest to remain silent until your attorney is there with you.
While Under Investigation
If you are in a situation where you know or suspect that you are under investigation by law enforcement, you should hire an attorney immediately. During this time, police and investigators could be obtaining evidence against you or following your movements. Hiring a skilled and competent defense attorney can ensure that your rights are protected and that investigators are not in violation of the law.
While Accused of a Crime
Similarly to those who believe they may be under investigation, if you have been accused of a crime you should hire an attorney right away. Even if you are innocent, it is in your best interest to have an attorney at your side to protect your rights. While waiting to see if charges are filed, you should avoid contacting the accuser and you should be vigilant about not committing any crimes. Your attorney will be able to advise you on how to best handle the situation and avoid an arrest or conviction.
During a Property Search
Police and investigators must have a warrant in order to search your property. If they do not have a warrant that they can provide to you, do not allow them in your home. If the police do possess a warrant, review it to ensure that the information on it is accurate before allowing them inside. At this time you should also call your attorney and refuse to answer any questions.
Contact San Diego Criminal Defense Attorney
Anytime you've been accused, under investigation or arrested for a crime, you have the right to an attorney. Before speaking to law enforcement, it is important that you contact an attorney as soon as possible so that you can ensure that your rights are protected. If you are facing criminal charges or investigation in the San Diego area, you need a skilled criminal defense attorney who understands the law and cares about obtaining justice for her clients.
Attorney Joni Eisenstein has been representing criminal defendants in San Diego County for over 25 years. Her competence and experience make her a valuable partner when you are facing criminal charges. Call the Law Office of Joni Eisenstein today at 760-721-3161 to speak with our attorney about your situation and identify the best plan of action going forward.
If you are on the fence about hiring a defense attorney, stop thinking about it, and do it now
Hiring a criminal defense attorney like Joni Eisenstein can help you go from a place of uncertainty to freedom.