Any interaction with the police can be scary, especially if you are being questioned or interrogated in relation to a crime. Unfortunately, many people don’t contact an attorney first thing—usually because they do not want to appear guilty to law enforcement or a judge.
While it’s perfectly normal to be concerned about this perception, it is important to obtain legal representation to protect yourself. If you’ve been contacted by the police, the chances are high that they already consider you guilty. You must proceed with extreme caution.
Hiring an Attorney Is Your Constitutional Right
Even when you find yourself in an intimidating situation with law enforcement, remember that it is your constitutional right to have legal representation. You can refuse to speak to the police until you have a lawyer present. Requesting an attorney does not make you look more guilty should the case go to trial, and it is definitely a safer option for you during any sort of interview or interrogation.
Law enforcement officers know that it is your constitutional right to obtain representation, and they are not permitted to hold this against you. Try to remember that if they were in your shoes, they would also opt for a lawyer before breaking their silence.
A Lawyer Knows Police Methods and the Legal System
The police are permitted by law to say many things in order to help their case. This includes lying. They are trained to make it easy for an inexperienced person to admit guilt even when they are innocent, or consent to a search they could have prevented if they had the knowledge of how to do so.
This is why hiring a criminal attorney can be so helpful. They can protect your rights, ensure evidence is obtained fairly, and prevent you from disclosing information to the police they do not have the right to have.
You Cannot Be Punished for Hiring a Lawyer
It is important to know that you cannot be arrested or convicted for looking guilty. You can, however, be charged if there is convincing evidence against you. A criminal lawyer can help you avoid these charges, and this is why it is important to hire one right away. A judge will not punish you or conclude that you are guilty if you have legal representation—in fact, you might come across as less guilty when you arrive organized and with a defense.
Need a lawyer but not sure where to start? If you are in the Fairfax, Virginia area, consider contacting MacDowell Law Group. Our criminal defense attorneys are ready and willing to represent your case, no matter what part of the process you find yourself in. Protect yourself fully and immediately with a quality criminal attorney that knows the system well. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.