When to Call a Criminal Defense Attorney
When people get in trouble with the police, they may think that if they just say the right thing or “lay low,” they will be fine. However, this is rarely the case. You need to take a criminal investigation or arrest seriously and know that is the time to call an attorney.
Our experienced Raleigh criminal defense lawyers understand the criminal justice system in North Carolina inside and out. We have spent years working closely with prosecutors and police officers, and we know how to quickly assess our clients’ cases and review their options with them – even in situations where people may need a lawyer’s help more than they might initially think.
Here are a few different scenarios to consider:
- The police “just want to ask you questions.” If you witnessed an event and had nothing to do with it, then you are probably safe to talk with the police. Still, you need to be wary about what you said. The police did not witness the crime, and that is why they are investigating it. An overzealous or inexperienced officer could get the wrong idea about you as a witness, and before you know it, you could become a prime suspect.
If the police want your statement, ask if you can make an appointment with the officer. You can always call an attorney and discuss what you witnessed and how you were involved. If the facts are such that it could give rise to suspicions or misplaced allegations, you may wish to hire a lawyer just to make sure your rights are protected.
- The police ask you to sign something. Remember one very important thing about the police: They cannot force you to do anything unless they have a reasonable suspicion that you committed a crime. Your right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure is protected by the Fourth Amendment.
In other words, if the police see you breaking a law or have credible evidence to believe that you committed a crime, then and only then can they get warrants to search you or your property or require you give access to your personal records and health information.
Sometimes, police may say they don’t think you did anything wrong, but they would like for you to sign a release. They do this to get access to blood tests or other testing results that may show you had drugs or alcohol in your system.
So, if the police ask you to sign a release that will give them access to sensitive records, you should politely refuse and hire a lawyer. The police may not have a legitimate reason to get to your records. However, if you voluntarily allow them to gain access, that information becomes fair game.
- The police arrest you for a crime. The clearest and most obvious time when you need a criminal defense lawyer is any time that you are actually detained by the police or placed under arrest. If this happens to you, then you should immediately stop answering questions and politely explain that you will not speak further without an attorney present.
If you have been arrested and charged with a crime, immediately pick up the phone and call Kurtz & Blum, PLLC. If you cannot do so, ask a loved one to call for you.
You can contact us online to get aggressive and experienced legal representation. Don’t take chances with your rights. Put our team to work for you today.