Speaking to An Attorney for a Virginia Criminal Case
Even before you have been formally charged, it is important that you consult with a Virginia criminal defense attorney to discuss your case and begin building a defense. The following is what you need to know regarding when a lawyer can be contacted and the impact it can have on your case. Call today to learn more.
Your Right to Seek Counsel
You do not have the right to speak to an attorney in lieu of the process of being arrested. If the officer tries to perform an arrest you may not say, “Stop, you can’t arrest me. I want to talk to my attorney.” However, you never have to speak to law enforcement unless they are going to start a legal process on you or they have a probable cause to investigate something further.
If an officer simply asks to speak with you, this may be a consensual encounter and you are absolutely free to politely decline the officer’s request. If, however, you are placed under arrest, your right to counsel is triggered. You may absolutely feel free to decline any questions at that time and you can ask the officer to speak with an attorney.
Does Asking to Speak With a Lawyer Imply Guilt?
It absolutely does not. It is a common misconception that may even be a tactic by the law enforcement officers that they may say that contacting attorney implies guilt. It is absolutely not true. You can feel free to invoke your right to counsel at any time.
Importance of Contacting An Attorney
It is important to speak to counsel right away for a number of reasons. The simplest reason is to understand what is going on. A criminal defense attorney, deals with criminal investigations and criminal arrest procedures on a daily basis and are therefore well versed in a variety of different circumstances that may lead to your investigation and may lead to your arrest. This may be your first time encountering law enforcement, and you want to make sure that you don’t mistakenly give the law enforcement official or the prosecutor ammunition to prosecute you. You want to be available for the best defense possible.
In addition, an experienced lawyer will be well versed in the procedures, and you may have questions as to what will happen next, who you should talk to, and what to expect. An attorney can help you understand what to expect.
Lastly, you want to set up your case for the very best defenses possible without ostentatiously committing new crimes and inadvertently doing things that will unduly influence your witnesses. An attorney will also be well versed in how to set up a proper defense in a timely basis.
What To Discuss With Your Attorney
If you have been arrested, you should have all the documents received at the time of your arrest in front of you when you contact an attorney. The attorney will want to know what documents you have, what you have been served with, what you have been charged with, as well as the timeframe for all these actions. Your conversation during the initial consultation with the experienced criminal defense attorney will be confidential. Therefore, you can appropriately disclose the full facts of the case to them.