An Omaha criminal lawyer can explain the importance of not making any incriminating statements. While this standard most applies to police interrogations, there are other instances in which you should exercise your right to remain silent.
Reasons to Remain Silent
While you may trust the people in your life, your communications with them may not be protected. Even certain family members may be subpoenaed and forced to testify against you. Accomplices and jailhouse informants may also have an incentive to say something negative about you, even if it is not true. The prosecution may offer an informant a reduced sentence or charge in exchange for revealing things that you have told him or her.
How to Handle Silence
Your Omaha criminal lawyer understands that family members, acquaintances, and friends may mistake your silence for guilt. People will think that you will want to shout your innocence to the world. However, anything that you say that can be misconstrued can potentially be used against you in court. One reaction to this dilemma is blaming your Omaha criminal lawyer. Simply say that your lawyer ordered you not to discuss the case with anyone. Additionally, you can say that you do not want the individual to be dragged into the trial. Likewise, do not say anything to your lawyer in front of other people that is confidential because doing so can cause you to lose your attorney-client privilege. This standard even applies to calls that you make while in jail. If your call is not made from a phone that is reserved for confidential calls, it may be monitored by guards.
Legal Assistance from an Omaha Criminal Lawyer
If you have any questions, an Omaha criminal lawyer may be able to help.
Before you ever attend a court hearing, your Lincoln criminal lawyer may discuss criminal proceedings and how they work. Here is a brief overview of the process.
Shortly after you are arrested, you will attend a brief hearing in court. During this proceeding, you will be informed of the charges against you and of your rights, including your right to retain a Lincoln criminal lawyer. If the charge is a misdemeanor, you may enter a plea and receive a sentence immediately.
In felony cases, the judge decides whether or not to grant bail. He or she may deny bail and hold you in custody until the trial date. He or she may choose instead to set a certain bail amount. Another option is to release you on your own recognizance.
During the preliminary hearing, the judge decides whether there is probable cause that a crime was actually committed and that you were the perpetrator of the crime. If the judge determines that there is probable cause, he or she will bind you over for trial. If not, you will be released and the case against you will be dismissed.
The first part of the trial process is the selection of the jury. After the jury is selected, the prosecutor and your Lincoln criminal lawyer make opening statements. The prosecution then presents its case through witness testimony. Your lawyer cross-examines witnesses to test their credibility. Your lawyer then presents your defense. After he or she is finished, each lawyer will conclude the case with a closing argument. The jury then deliberates to determine the verdict.
Legal Assistance from a Lincoln Criminal Lawyer
If you would like more information about how criminal proceedings work, contact a Lincoln criminal lawyer for help.
When you are arrested and charged with a crime, you may have the opportunity to be released from custody on the condition that you pay bail money to the court or bail agency. If you were arrested in a jurisdiction that uses a bail agency, an independent division of the courts or other entity will evaluate whether or not you meet the conditions necessary to be released on bail. Generally these conditions refer to the likelihood that you will show up for pre-trial hearings and other court procedures. Criminal defendants have a strong incentive to attend further court appearances to avoid forfeiting the bail money and having a warrant issued for their arrest.
It is important that to realize that you may not have the opportunity to speak with an Omaha criminal lawyer before bail is determined. Presumably you will have asserted your right to remain silent and speak with an attorney at the time of arrest and will be able to consult with an Omaha criminal lawyer before the bail interview or hearing. If so, your lawyer can explain the types of questions that you can expect and advise you on gathering information and witnesses who can speak to your good character. It is in your best interest to speak with an attorney as soon as possible, and if you have any questions,
How Do Bail Agencies Determine If I Will Be Released?
Much like a magistrate or prosecutor, a bail agent will want to see that you and/or your guarantor, are reputable and will cooperate as the criminal case progresses. Fortunately, bail agencies generally do not weigh the seriousness of your offense as heavily the district attorney or judge might. This increases the likelihood that you will be released on bail; especially if your Omaha criminal lawyer is able to provide information that bolsters your reputation and positive image. Anything that shows your ties to the community can be helpful.
- Earnings statements, pay stubs or,
- Names, phone numbers of friends, employers and other references that will allow the bail agency to independently verify the statements you make in the bail interview, and
- Information about your educational background
The idea is to be as cooperative as possible but avoid providing information that may adversely affect the bail agency’s determination. If you have a criminal background, you can be assured that they will ask about it. If you completed your probation or the conviction was expunged, you want to fully explain the circumstances so the interviewer understands that you fulfilled your past obligations and will abide by a bail agreement. You should keep in mind that, because you are facing criminal charges, you may refuse to answer certain questions if it would require you to offer information that is self-incriminating. Depending on the facts of your particular case, it may be advisable to not answer any of the bail agent’s questions. Refusal to answer could have serious consequences and result in the denial of bail, so you want to be absolutely sure your refusal to answer is based on sound legal advice.
Contact an Omaha Criminal Lawyer
Whether you have an upcoming bail hearing or were recently released on bail, the advice of an Omaha criminal lawyer will be an invaluable resource. Contact for further consultation.