For most people, being arrested and charged with a criminal offense is a frightening experience. Unless you have been through the process before, it is also typically a confusing experience. Well-meaning friends and relatives offer advice, some of which may be relevant and useful, though most of it is likely not. One of the first issues you need to consider is retaining the services of an attorney; however, you may be wondering “Why should I hire a lawyer before I have a court date?” There are several reasons why hiring an attorney should be your first step after an arrest, including:
· Bail – if you were released on your own recognizance (OR), or you already posted bail, this reason does not apply; however, if you are still in custody (or are the loved one of someone who is), hiring an attorney before the first court appearance can result in a reduction of bond in some cases. The attorney can request a bond review which may result in a lower bond. Often, the court will entertain that request at the first court appearance if the defendant is represented by an attorney at that point.
· Rights – as an accused you have a number of important constitutional rights. For those rights to help you it is imperative that you know them, understand them, and assert them at the appropriate time.
· Initial Objections – at your initial court hearing the court will inform you of the charges against you. Sometimes, there is an immediate question regarding whether or not there is sufficient cause for your arrest and detention. Without an attorney, however, you could miss the opportunity to raise any objections that could potentially result in a dismissal of the charges against you.
· Evidence – in a criminal investigation evidence can disappear rapidly, as can witnesses. The police have been hard at work gathering evidence against you. To ensure that evidence that could help you does not slip through your fingers you need an attorney working on your defense as soon as possible.
· Defenses –although you don’t need to divulge your defense strategy early on, you need to be working on it as soon as possible after your arrest.
The bottom line is that there is simply no reason to wait when it comes to hiring an attorney to represent you in a criminal prosecution. By retaining the services of an experienced attorney early on you ensure that your rights are protected and that everything that can be done to prevent a conviction is being done.
If you have been charged with a criminal offense in Nebraska contact Petersen Criminal Defense Law 24 hours a day at 402-509-8070 to discuss your case with an experienced criminal defense attorney.
To learn more, please download our free Nebraska Criminal Law here.
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