Criminal matters are not problems that will just go away when ignored. Early intervention in criminal matters may achieve outstanding results, and is instrumental to a successful outcome in your case. It takes an attorney with confidence and experience when it comes to defending you against criminal charges. The following are a few answers to typical Florence South Carolina Criminal Defense FAQs we receive and should be used for informational purposes only.
You have the right to remain silent in order to avoid self-incrimination. You have the right to competent legal representation. You have the right to reasonable bail. You have the right to a fair and public trial. You have the right to be informed of the charges against you. You have the right to be confronted by the witnesses against you and to gather witnesses of your own. You also have a number of other rights and you should know that a criminal defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty. This means the prosecutor has the burden of proving (beyond a reasonable doubt) that you committed the criminal act(s) in question. This also means a defendant does not have to do anything or say anything to prove she/he is innocent.
When you have been arrested, there are many things you should do. For example, you should remain silent and get an attorney who can advise you of your rights and help you with the complicated criminal legal system. There are also many things you shouldn’t do. You should never talk to anyone about the incident except for your lawyer. What you do or don’t do when you’ve been arrested can have a significant effect on the outcome of your case. Being polite and cooperative with law enforcement is highly recommended during arrest procedures. Never lie to authorities during the process; however, you don’t have to answer self-incriminating questions. Truthfully answer all questions about your identification (name, address, and birth date). Contact your attorney as soon as possible.
The officers will transport you to some sort of detention facility (usually a jail or a police station), where you will be allowed to contact an attorney. You will be advised of the charges against you and you are entitled to a bond hearing within 24 hours. You will appear before a magistrate municipal judge who will conduct a bond hearing. At a bond hearing the judge determines whether or not you are a danger to the community or a flight risk. You can be released on bail (either cash or a bond) as security for your appearance in court, or you may be released on your own recognizance (your promise to come back to court when you are told).
If bail has been set, the only way to get the person out of jail is to pay the bond. A bail bond is similar to insurance; it means that the suspect agrees to appear at all subsequent legal proceedings. Failure to appear at legal proceedings can result in forfeiture of the bond, the issuance of a bench warrant, and possibly the loss of subsequent bail privileges. If the judge believes there is a risk the defendant will flee, or if she/he has been charged with a serious crime like murder, bail may be denied.
You have the right to remain silent. But, if you choose to speak, anything you say can be used against you in court. If you decide to answer questions, you may stop answering them at any time. You have the right to consult with an attorney before answering any questions, and to have an attorney present during questioning.
The Constitution of the United States guarantees every criminal defendant the right to an attorney. A competent criminal attorney is your best asset after being charged with a crime. At Jebaily Law Firm, we know the laws and court processes relevant to your case, and can apply this knowledge to protect and maximize your legal interests.
For a free consultation to discuss your legal options, contact us or call our office at (843) 667.0400.