Surviving in any environment requires certain skills and attitudes. If you get lost in the woods, you may need shelter, food –and a positive mindset. The same can be said if you need to survive a criminal charge. The criminal court system may be a hostile, frightening place, but you can make it through.
Understand the Charges … and the Consequences
It’s easy to be confused and fail to understand exactly what charges have been brought against you. Were you charged with a misdemeanor or a felony? Did law enforcement charge you with multiple crimes?
The first step in surviving a criminal charge is knowing what law enforcement officers say you have done. Why? Your defense against a criminal charge may be very different based on the type of accusation.
Another important thing to remember is that you have certain rights within the criminal justice system.
Know Your Rights
Under the United States Constitution, anyone charged with a crime is entitled to:
- Protection against being forced to incriminate yourself.
- A speedy and public trial.
- An impartial jury.
- Know the nature and cause of the charges.
- Due process of law.
- Assistance of counsel in defending against criminal charges.
Other rights apply also. For example, you have the right to remain silent and can refuse to answer questions posed by police officers and prosecutors. It is a long-standing principle in criminal law that a criminal defendant is presumed innocent. Just being charged with a crime does not mean the jury can find you guilty simply because you were arrested. The prosecutors must prove the charges against you beyond a reasonable doubt.
Get the Help You Need
There’s a saying, “If you don’t know where you are going, you might end up someplace else.” Without knowledgeable advice about navigating the criminal system, you may suffer unnecessary consequences.
Hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to give you the advice you need to survive a criminal charge. You may be able to defend against accusations you broke the law. In some cases, you may be able to reduce or eliminate jail time or other serious consequences. However, without a deep knowledge of criminal law, it will be difficult to understand how to survive a criminal charge and move on.
Don’t Get Lost Trying to Survive a Criminal Charge
Have you or a loved one been accused of a crime? If so, call (425) 747-0582 for a free consultation with Washington criminal defense lawyer Sarah Cho. The sooner you call, the faster she can assess your case and review your options.
From her office located in Bellevue, Washington, Ms. Cho represents clients throughout the Seattle area.