If you are about to be charged with a criminal drug felony, it is vital that you understand your rights and what is involved. It is a wise course to gain some insight into legal process and to avoid making mistakes that make it harder for your lawyer to defend you.
Your First Contact with the Police
When you come in contact with the police, you should be respectful but wary of incriminating yourself. It is best not to offer any extra information, and if questioning starts you should defer answering until you have spoken to your attorney.
You should know that if you aren't under officially under arrest, the police are not required to read you your Miranda rights but what you say can be held against you in a court of law. In this case, you are free to leave and do not have to submit to questioning.
If you are requested to submit to a search, you need to refuse. Police need "probable cause" or to be aware of an emergency situation to conduct a search. If illegal items are in plain view, the police can confiscate them. Otherwise, officers will have to get a warrant to legally to search your premises and to have any evidence they find be admissible in court.
After You Are Arrested
Once police have decided to arrest you, they are required to read you your Miranda rights. Then you should specifically tell the officers that "I invoke my right to silence." The more you talk to police without benefit of counsel, the more likely you are to unintentionally incriminate yourself.
If you have private legal representation, you should contact them right away. If you need to have a lawyer appointed for you by the court, you will have to wait until your first court hearing to have access to an attorney.
You may want to plead guilty for various reasons, but you should wait until you have a lawyer working for you. This way you will give him or her something to bargain with and help you get reduced charges and a decent plea deal. Drug court may be an option, and this would give you powerful motivation to clean up your life, if needed.
If you are innocent of the crime, being convicted could affect your current employment and future opportunities. You do not want to do anything that makes it harder for your lawyer to defend you in court and/or successfully get the charges dropped.
A Few Reminders
It is these initial things that make a big difference to your how things will go for you, so remember: invoke your right to silence, be respectful, do not give up your rights by agreeing to a warrantless search, and obtain adequate legal representation from a firm like Dimeo Law Offices.
After being involved in a serious auto accident with a drunk driver, I struggled heavily with getting the driver's insurance company to open a claim. When the insurance company started pushing back, I knew I needed to do something. I spent a lot of time digging through the laws surrounding auto accident claims so that I knew what my legal rights were. I even talked with an auto accident attorney. I created this site to teach others about what I learned, including my court experience. I hope it helps you to determine how you should proceed with your auto accident case.