I Have Just Been Charged with a Felony: What Should I Do?

If you have been arrested for a felony, you are doubtlessly feeling frightened. What is in the cards for you? Should you accommodate police requests for information to demonstrate your innocence? Should you do anything and everything to get out of custody? No, and no! If you are looking at felony charges, your initial decisions will have a massive effect on your case. So sit tight and remember your rights. 

Fifth Amendment

Regardless of how pleasant or how threatening investigators may be, it is crucial that you remain silent. It is the first step toward avoiding self-incrimination and is your Constitutional right under the Fifth Amendment. This is the number one instruction to remember. Outside of identifying yourself, answer nothing. Then, courteously request an attorney, zip your lips, and stay cool. It will not necessarily be easy, especially if you believe you are innocent and you are being pressured by authoritative figures. Were you wrongfully arrested? Was excessive force used? Maybe. But it will require an attorney to get to the bottom of it, so forget the temptation to defend yourself or to accuse officers of misdeeds. It will not get you anywhere except in deeper trouble.

Pronto: Call an Attorney Right 

It is important to have experienced legal counsel by your side immediately. And that means a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney, not your hairdresser’s divorce guy. A good defense attorney will know all the tricks in the book and will protect you from saying things that will lead to trouble or signing a bogus plea deal. Remember: prosecutors and police are in cahoots to lock you up. A criminal defense attorney is working for you.

Tell Your Attorney the Truth

Any defense attorney will tell you there’s nothing worse than being blindsided by new information presented by the prosecution. You help your own defense when you spill it all, knowing that attorney-client privilege keeps that information private. It is the best way to build a strong defense.

Stay Mum Otherwise

It may be tough, but do not talk about the case on social media with reporters who want to know what you have to say for yourself or even with family or friends. And remember, what you say to friends is not protected—so if anyone gets the wrong idea or you reveal a defense strategy, the prosecution could get a hold of it. Let your attorney defend you in court and keep quiet otherwise.

This is Serious

If you are convicted of a felony, it could mean time in prison and hefty fines. And the punishment does not end after you have paid your debt to society. That is when you could re-enter a society that has no concern with your ability to find a home, a job, professional certifications, or happiness. Remember this and make smart decisions going forward.

Fighting for You

At The Law Office of David M. Boertje, our aggressive San Diego criminal defense attorneys always fight for the best possible outcomes for our clients. To discuss your case, schedule a confidential consultation today.

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