Friday, May 16, 2014

When to Call A Criminal Defense Attorney

An Oakland County criminal defense attorney should be called whenever a person has questions or concerns about illegal activity. A call would also be warranted if the person has reason to believe law enforcement officers may want to question him or her about a pending case. It's important that a person knows his or her rights when it comes to what happens during questioning, as well as after detention or arrest.

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Interrogation or Arrest

Individuals are normally interrogated if law enforcement officers believe they may have knowledge concerning an illegal act or various types of criminal activity. 

If questioning leads them to believe they may be a person of interest or suspect, it is in their best interest to immediately ask for an attorney. At that time, the questioning must cease until a criminal defense attorney can be hired or a public defender is provided by the court.

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If a person has been arrested or charged with a criminal act, hiring an Oakland County criminal defense attorney should be the first order of business. Without adequate representation, defendants may inadvertently say things that could incriminate them. Deadlines set by the court could possibly be missed. A reputable defense attorney would also be beneficial in getting bail set and hasten the process so a defendant can be released to return to work.

Public Defenders

Public defenders are attorneys hired by the county to represent defendants who can't afford to hire legal representation. A public defender can be requested at any time, but may not be secured until after the defendant has been arraigned in court. A court-appointed attorney has the same training and licensing as any other private attorney. The main difference between the two is that people can choose a private attorney. They have no choice which public defender they are assigned.

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The best time to hire a criminal defense attorney is as soon it is becomes apparent that law enforcement will be including a person in a list of suspects or possible persons of interest. By hiring an attorney, defendants will be assured their rights are protected and they are treated as fairly as possible by the judicial system. Reputable criminal defense attorneys will begin their own investigation into the events surrounding particular crimes and build their defense using any information they uncover in the process.

In the beginning, a person may not realize he or she needs an attorney. It is the right of the person to ask for adequate and reliable representation at any point during an interview or after being arrested. 

If a person hasn't been questioned and is being detained, he or she is well within rights to request an attorney for consultation while being held, even if no charges have been filed.