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Miami Bankruptcy & Criminal Attorney / Blog / Criminal Defense / First Steps When Facing Felony Charges

First Steps When Facing Felony Charges


You don’t quite know what to think of your situation: you’ve just been charged with a felony! What will that mean for you? How should you behave? Should you answer all of the questions the police are throwing at you to prove that you are innocent? Should you do whatever it takes to get out of police custody?  No and no! If you are looking at felony charges, your initial decisions and actions will have a substantial impact on what happens next. So sit tight and remember your rights!

The Fifth Amendment Will Protect You for Now (If You Let It) 

Here’s the number one rule to remember: besides providing your identity, do not answer any questions. No matter how companionable or, conversely, how intimidating investigators may be, it is critical that you remain silent! It is the first step toward avoiding self-incrimination and it is your Constitutional right under the Fifth Amendment. Then respectfully request an attorney, keep mum, wait with the confidence that your attorney is your ally. It surely won’t be easy, particularly if you believe you are innocent and you are facing off with authoritative figures. Were you wrongfully arrested? Was excessive force used? Maybe.  But it’s going to take the skills of an experienced criminal defense attorney to get to the bottom of it, so forget the inclination to defend yourself or to accuse officers of misdeeds.  Taking matters into your own hands can only lead to trouble.

Call Your Attorney 

It’s imperative to have experienced legal counsel by your side as quickly as possible–and by that I mean a sharp criminal defense attorney, not your neighbor’s tax guy. A smart defense attorney will know what to expect from officers and will protect you from trapdoors and missteps that could be problematic. Remember: prosecutors and police are working in tandem to lock you up.  A criminal defense attorney is working on your behalf.

Tell Your Attorney the Truth 

Your attorney needs to know the facts. There’s no greater frustration than being blindsided by new information the prosecution drops in a defense attorney’s lap.  You help your own defense when you spill it all, knowing that attorney-client privilege keeps that information private.  It’s the best way to build a strong defense.

Zip Your Lips Otherwise 

Cooperate with your attorney as they defend you in court but keep quiet otherwise. You may be tempted, but don’t discuss your case online, with reporters who may be curious about what you have to say about the matter, or even with family or friends.  Remember, what you say in these venues is not protected—so you don’t want to give anyone the opportunity to misrepresent the facts and have the prosecution get a hold of it.

The Repercussions are Great 

If you are convicted of a felony, it could result in a stay in prison on top of heavy fines. But the punishment doesn’t end after you’ve paid this debt to society. Ultimately you will come back to a society that has no searing interest in your success in finding a home, a job, professional certifications, or happiness.  There will be a tough row ahead. Keep all of this in mind and make smart decisions going forward.

Fighting for You 

At The Law Office of Julia Kefalinos our aggressive Miami criminal defense attorneys always fight for the best possible outcomes for our clients.  To discuss your case, schedule a confidential consultation today.

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