Understanding Your Rights
Knowing Your Rights Is the First Step Toward Defending Them
When you have been arrested and charged with a crime, it is easy to feel helpless about your chances of avoiding a conviction, especially if it is your first involvement with the criminal justice system. Fortunately, you have legal protections which you can employ to protect yourself against the serious consequences you face-but they will only serve you if you know how to use them. One of the first actions you should take after your arrest is to learn about your rights and how to exercise them to your benefit.
Perhaps the most important thing to remember is that you are legally presumed innocent until proven guilty. No matter what the police may have told you about the evidence they have against you, the burden of proof is on the prosecutor to demonstrate that you committed the alleged crime. Unless it can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty, you cannot lawfully be convicted. An experienced St. Petersburg criminal lawyer can use this fact to your advantage to fight the charges and possibly have you exonerated.
You should at all costs avoid speaking about the case with anyone but your criminal defense attorney. The Fifth Amendment of the Constitution states that you do not have to act as a witness against yourself, so you can "plead the Fifth" by refusing to submit to questioning, and you can insist on having your attorney present to speak on your behalf and advise you. Don't make the common mistake of trying to clear up the situation by explaining your side of the story to the investigators-they already believe you are guilty, and are simply looking for more evidence to have you convicted. By talking about the charges, you could easily cost yourself valuable defense options. For example, if you are charged with
assault & battery and tell the investigator that you were only defending yourself, you have placed yourself at the scene of the crime, whereas an attorney may have been able to have the charges dismissed by challenging the evidence that you were even there.
Even if there is convincing evidence against you, an attorney from our firm may still be able to resolve the situation in your favor. As an example, a common DUI defense strategy involves moving to have the charges dismissed after showing that the police officer did not have probable cause for a traffic stop. Despite the fact that the suspect was tested over the legal limit for blood alcohol concentration, the evidence was gathered in violation of the Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable search and seizure, and is therefore inadmissible in court.
St. Petersburg Criminal Lawyer Defending Your Rights
When you come to Taracks & Associates for help, you will have over 25 years of combined experience on your side, and a team that includes a former prosecutor. We have represented countless clients accused of all types of misdemeanors and
felony crimes, and know how to effectively use your rights to defend your freedom. Let our skill and dedication to results work for you!
For a free, confidential consultation and to learn more about your rights, contact a St. Petersburg criminal defense attorney
from our firm today.