Informing an officer that you want to speak with an attorney in no way implies guilt. More importantly, the fact that you ask for an attorney cannot be used against you at trial. It is so important to speak with an attorney before making any statements to the police. People sometimes unwittingly implicate themselves in a crime. They do this by answering questions where they place themselves at the scene of a crime. Or they place themselves with another person that the police suspects committed the crime. It is so important to talk to an experienced Salisbury criminal attorney first and let the attorney know all of the facts.
Everything that is shared with the attorney is confidential and the attorney cannot disclose with very limited exceptions what was said to the attorney. After telling the attorney everything, the attorney can then advise the client whether to speak at all or whether it is best to refuse to answer any questions. Sometimes the person has actually committed a crime and the attorney can give that person the best advice about what to do.
You do not have to wait to ask to speak to an attorney. You do not have to wait until you are Mirandized. You should request and speak to an attorney right away so that that attorney can listen to you and then advise you about what to do next.
When To Contact a Lawyer
An attorney can be contacted at any point in the process but the sooner the better. I have had people contact me well before they were charged. They suspected they were getting accused of a crime and they wanted advice right away. Those are usually the best scenarios because I can advise the client about what to do next.
And from there we can determine if they should be interviewed by the police or if they should refuse. Oftentimes, a client will call immediately after being arrested. I have received phone calls from people who were being held at the police department. Even those phone calls can be helpful because I can advise the client to not make any statement until I can talk to them.
It’s important for a person to understand that the police will make a suspect feel like they have to talk right away. They will pressure a suspect to talk without an attorney present. It is so important for citizens to know their rights and to understand that they do not have to talk to the police and they have the absolute right to refuse to make a statement.
Contacting an Attorney Before You Are Charged
Speaking to an attorney before you are charged is one of the smartest things you can do. Everything said to an attorney is confidential. You can explain everything to your attorney and give them all of the facts. Your attorney can then advise you on important matters like whether to agree to speak to the police or whether to remain silent.
Also, an attorney can assist you in getting your defense started right away. For example, are there important witnesses that can corroborate an alibi? Are there eye witnesses who can corroborate a claim of self-defense? Your attorney can handle the interviewing of those witnesses and getting that information to the police.
Advantages of Working With a Private Law Office
It is important to be represented by an attorney that has experience. Often, a private lawyer will have more experience than a public defender.
Another important factor is the amount of time that a private attorney can devote to a case. Private attorneys can spend more time on a case than the public defender can. The public defenders have no discretion to manage their caseloads. They are assigned huge dockets and have to be responsible for all of those cases.
On the other hand, the private attorney can control her caseload. You can see this by attending court in any district court in Maryland. You will see that the public defender may be representing 10 or 15 defendants. And the private attorney is there with just one client or at the most, perhaps two. That one client is getting all of her attention and time.
The same cannot be said for the public defender who has to operate under the task of handling all cases for the individuals who cannot afford an attorney.