Exercise Your Right to Remain Silent
Being arrested on felony charges is one of the scariest things you can experience. Not only are felonies associated with strict penalties and prison time, but prosecutors tend to pursue them aggressively. Furthermore, a conviction can stay on your record for years, if not permanently. This can affect your ability to find a job or support yourself and your family. With so much at stake, what you do after an arrest is critical.
If you are arrested on felony charges, you should exercise your right to remain silent.
After an arrest, you may feel compelled to assert your innocence. You may also be in a situation where you feel like law enforcement or prosecutors are antagonizing you. No matter what, you should avoid speaking with the police or any prosecutors until you have hired a criminal defense lawyer to represent you. Do not answer any questions; instead, politely ask for a lawyer.
When facing a felony arrest, you should:
- Remain cooperative but silent
- Do not resist arrest
- Try to remain as calm as possible
- Do not speak about your case or the situation leading to your arrest
- Do not express guilt or give a statement to law enforcement
- Hire a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible
It is important to remember that anything you say can and likely will, be used against you. Law enforcement frequently tries to confuse, manipulate, and/or pressure the accused individual to confess. There are many situations in which innocent people have been coerced into making false confessions. You must remember that law enforcement’s goal is to ensure a conviction, and they are not on your side.
Do Not Assume Your Case Will Work Out in Your Favor
If you have been falsely accused of a crime and arrested, you may think that your innocence is self-evident and, as such, your case will just work itself out. Never make this assumption. Law enforcement typically will not make an arrest unless they believe they can secure a conviction. Additionally, though the legal system is designed to ensure that justice is served accurately, this doesn’t always happen in practice.
What an Attorney Can Do After a Felony Arrest
Felony charges are incredibly serious and tend to deal with the most grievous crimes. Felony charges are handled at both the state and federal levels, depending on the circumstances of the case. Typically, if a crime occurs on federal property, violates federal law, or crosses state lines, it will be prosecuted in federal court. All other felonies tend to be handled at the state level.
Regardless of whether you face state or federal charges, it is imperative that you seek counsel from an experienced lawyer as soon as possible after your arrest.
A skilled criminal defense attorney can help you:
- Understand the charges brought against you
- Get a sense of the strength of the evidence that will be used against you
- Develop a strong defense strategy that you feel confident in
- Negotiate with prosecutors and the DA
- Represent you in court if your case goes to trial
Your attorney may also be able to help you explore other legal options available to you. For example, there may be some circumstances in which an attorney can help stop charges before they are even filed or negotiate a plea bargain to have a sentence reduced and/or related charges dropped.
Were you arrested on felony charges in Idaho? Reach out to May, Rammell & Wells for guidance. We are a full-service law firm experienced in handling all types of felony charges at both state and federal levels. Backed by a track record of success, our team is here to help you when you need it most.