Understanding Your Rights: Frequently Asked Questions About Criminal Defense
Individuals from all walks of life can end up facing criminal charges, and the occasion can be cause for bewilderment. Unless you are uniquely knowledgeable of the law, you will likely have several questions upon being arrested. At the Law Offices of Walter L. Lutes, P.C., I routinely offer criminal defense services to individuals in Cherokee and Cobb counties, and these are some common questions that I am often asked:
Can I represent myself?
You do have the right to represent yourself, but this is not advisable. A criminal defense attorney will be able to provide you with valuable experience and perspective, as well as an objectivity that fosters a necessary emotional distance.
Does an officer need to read me my Miranda rights?
Technically speaking, a police officer does not need to read you your Miranda rights upon an arrest. However, a failure to advise you of these rights will render anything you say in an interrogation inadmissible in court.
What happens at an arraignment?
An arraignment is when a judge formally informs you of your charges. This process typically takes place within 72 hours of an arrest. An arraignment is also when you must enter your plea, so consulting with a lawyer beforehand is prudent.
When do I have the right to an attorney?
If you have been taken into custody and authorities plan to interrogate you, you can ask for a lawyer. Per your Miranda rights, this will immediately suspend any questioning — though your failure to remain silent could nullify that. In truth, if you believe that you are the target of a criminal investigation, you should consult with an attorney.
How does a plea bargain work?
A plea bargain is a deal brokered between the defense and the prosecution. A defendant will typically plead guilty in exchange for a gain on their end. This can mean the removal or reduction of certain charges and/or a more favorable sentencing recommendation. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can greatly assist you in negotiating a plea bargain.
I Can Offer Guidance During An Uncertain Time
When you have been charged with a crime in the state of Georgia, the legal assistance that you seek is important. Call 770-479-1400 today to arrange for a free consultation regarding your case. You can also send me an email by visiting my contact page. My office is in Canton.