As a criminal defense attorney in New Haven, CT, we often are faced with clients who simply do not understand how the criminal justice system works. We appreciate that the process of going through a criminal trial can be extremely intimidating for most people, and if they do not understand the process, this makes it even more concerning. As a criminal defense attorney, we know that the most intimidating moment in a criminal defense case can be the moment when you are stopped and arrested by an officer of the law. If you are not used to frequent run-ins with law enforcement, chances are that the idea of being arrested and tried for a crime is extremely stressful for you.
It is important that no matter how stressed you feel at the time of the stop or when you are arrested, you keep your composure at all times and insist on being able to speak with your criminal defense attorney in New Haven, CT. The minute you invoke your right to counsel, all questioning should cease and you should be allowed to get your attorney involved in the case immediately. What you do and how you react at different stages of the trial could have a direct impact on the outcome of the trial itself. If you have a question, it is best to ask an attorney for guidance.
As a criminal defense attorney in New Haven, CT, we know that the process of a criminal trial often begins with a police stop. It is important to make the distinction that a police stop is not the same as an arrest. A stop occurs because a police officer feels like or witnesses the fact that you have broken some law. This can be as minor as having a broken tail light or failing to signal when you turn into a parking lot. Once you have been stopped, the police officer could ask you certain questions, but you are under no obligation to answer any of them. During the course of the stop, the police officer may also ask to search your vehicle or your person. It is important for you to know from our perspective, the law enforcement officer does not have the right to search your vehicle or your person unless you give them permission or they have probable cause.
If the police officer decides to place you under arrest because they have probable cause to believe that you have committed a felony, have witnessed you committing a misdemeanor, or because you have an outstanding warrant, you will be handcuffed, read your rights, and transported to the police station. The critical part is that the police officer must inform you of your constitutional rights. These include the right to remain silent and not answer any questions, and your right to obtain the counsel of a criminal defense attorney in New Haven, CT. We always highly recommend that you take advantage of both of these rights guaranteed to you so that you have the best chance of being found innocent or receiving minor penalties.
NOTE: This is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.