handcuffed suspect with lawyer

If you are under criminal investigation or under arrest for committing a crime, it can be one of the scariest times in your life. You may be wondering if you should retain an experienced criminal defense attorney but may worry that this may make you look guilty to the police. 

While this is a common concern, you should not worry about what the police think. It is more important to protect your rights than be troubled over the officers’ opinions about you.

Reason #1: How the Police Perceive You Is Not Important

Some police officers may believe you are guilty if you hire a lawyer to represent you. However, most law enforcement officials understand that the smart choice for a suspect or defendant is to retain legal counsel. 

In addition, if the police bring you in for questioning, they already believe that you are guilty and are looking for evidence they can use to arrest and prosecute you.

Reason #2: You Have a Constitutional Right to a Lawyer

You have a constitutional right not to incriminate yourself and be represented by a lawyer in criminal cases and investigations. You can refuse to speak to the police or only agree to talk to them when your lawyer is present. You should exercise these essential constitutional rights to protect yourself and avoid giving the police ammunition against you.

In addition, the police know that you have a constitutional right to a lawyer and will inform you of this right when they give you your Miranda warnings if you are taken into custody. They cannot punish you for retaining counsel or use your silence against you at trial.

Reason #3: You Need a Lawyer Even If You Are Innocent

You may believe that you do not need an attorney if you are innocent. You may think that there is no harm in talking to the police on your own because you will be able to convince them they are wrong in investigating you.

If you take this approach, you will be making a big mistake. Unfortunately, many people falsely accused of committing a crime are convicted—even when they are entirely innocent.

Reason #4: An Attorney Will Protect Your Rights

Hiring a lawyer as soon as you know the police are investigating you is one of the smartest things you can do. Your attorney will protect your rights and help you defend yourself by:

  • Protecting against police tactics. A skilled criminal defense lawyer will understand the tactics police officers employ to get incriminating information or a confession from a suspect, including lying to the person they are questioning. Your attorney will help you avoid saying something that can later be used against you and will be sure the police do not violate your rights.

  • Developing defenses. Your attorney will examine the evidence the police have against you and the circumstances surrounding the crime the officers are investigating. They can begin developing a solid defense strategy for you during the investigation stage of your case, which could help you have a better outcome in your criminal case.

  • Giving you advice. A lawyer can explain what you can expect to happen in your criminal case, so you know what to expect. They can also advise on your rights and what to do if the police bring you in for questioning or arrest you.

  • Negotiating with the prosecutor. An attorney may be able to intervene with the police or prosecutor and convince them to stop investigating you. They can negotiate a plea bargain if this is in your best interests.

  • Representing you in court. You need a lawyer to represent you in your criminal case. They will mount an aggressive defense for you that could result in the charges being dismissed or reduced to a less severe office.

Are You Looking for a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Charlotte, NC?

If you are facing criminal charges, you need to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Charlotte office directly at 980.207.3355 to schedule your free consultation.

C. Todd Browning
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Charlotte Criminal Defense and DWI Lawyer