FAQ – Criminal Law

FAQ – Criminal Law

1. Am I required to speak to the police after an arrest?

You are not required to speak to the police immediately after you’re arrested, and you should not speak to the police until your attorney is present. Even if you’re innocent, you don’t want to say anything that could incriminate you. Before talking to the police, talk through what happened with your attorney.

2. If I’m offered a plea bargain, should I take it?

This depends on the circumstances of your case. Before taking a plea bargain, you should always discuss the bargain and the details of your case with an attorney. They’ll be able to advise you and they’ll also let you know what your rights and options are.

3. I intend to plead guilty. Do I need to hire a lawyer?

Yes, if you’re planning on pleading guilty, it’s very important to speak with your attorney and have your attorney with you in the courtroom. In certain cases, your attorney may be able to negotiate for a lighter sentence or a lesser charge. If you attempt to represent yourself in the courtroom, you may end up facing stiffer penalties. Because of this, it’s important that you use your right to call your attorney when you’re arrested, especially if you are admitting guilt.

4. Do I need to hire an attorney for minor charges?

Often, clients don’t realize that even minor or misdemeanor convictions can follow them for the rest of their lives. This is why it’s vital to speak to an attorney before your trial. When you work with us at RNN Law, we’ll be able to discuss options with you, and we’ll also look for ways to lessen the impact of your conviction on your life.

5. What do I do after I’ve been charged with a federal crime?

Federal courts have different procedures from state courts, so it’s important that you hire an attorney who understands and is familiar with federal procedures. At RNN Law, we’re able to help you understand federal laws and what your rights are under those laws.

6. When do I need to contact a criminal lawyer?

When you are arrested, you are read your Miranda Rights, which tell you that you have the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney. You should exercise both these rights immediately, and contact a criminal lawyer right away. A criminal lawyer will help give you a clear picture of what will come next in the legal proceedings of your case, and they will also discuss a defense strategy with you. 

7. What do I do after being coerced into giving a confession?

Unfortunately, law enforcement officers sometimes use questionable tactics in interrogations to try to get a confession. If the police office believes you are guilty of committing a crime, they may try and force a confession, even if the confession is false.

If you believe that you were coerced into giving a confession, contact an attorney as soon as possible. An attorney will help find ways to prove your innocence and remedy the situation. But it’s important to do this as soon as possible, because it’s much harder to prove your innocence after taking a plea bargain or being found guilty by a jury.

8. How do I clear up an arrest warrant?

The only way to clear an arrest warrant is to appear in front of the court that issued the warrant. If the warrant is active and in the system, you can be arrested in any state in the United States, and also when entering the country at passport control. The best way to approach this problem is to immediately clear it up. If you voluntarily go into a court, you may be able to prevent later jail time if you’re arrested on the warrant.

9. What happens when you are charged with any type of crime?

Usually, the first thing that happens when you’re charged with a crime is you’ll be taken into custody at a police station. There, you’ll be taken for fingerprinting, processing, and questioning. Before the police begin questioning you, they’ll read you your rights, including your right to remain silent and your right to a lawyer. You can exercise these rights immediately, and you can also invoke them during the questioning.

To be released from police custody, you will have to post bail. Sometimes, you’ll be asked to do this by signing a signature bond, which is a written promise to appear in court. Other times, you’ll be asked to provide a cash bond or a secured surety bond—a bond that includes property, like your house or car. You will then be given a date to appear in court.

10. What are all the steps in a criminal case?

Both misdemeanor and felony cases begin with an initial court appearance. During the court appearance, you’ll be given a criminal complaint form that discusses the charge against you, the probable cause, and the penalty if you’re found guilty. In a misdemeanor case, after this step you will enter in a plea of not guilty.

In felony cases, you will next go to a preliminary trial, wherein your attorney will try to provide enough evidence to the judge to convince them that you should stand trial. It the judge decides to take your case to trial, you will attend an arraignment, and you will be given your formal charges. You will then enter a plea.

In all criminal cases, you have the right to a trial by jury, and the jury verdict must be unanimous.

11. Can you tell me the difference between a misdemeanor and felony?

There are two types of offenses you may be charged with: misdemeanors and felonies. With a misdemeanor, you generally won’t get more than a year of jail-time. Some examples of misdemeanors are possession of marijuana and simple assault or battery. However, felonies are often more serious, and you can face more than a year of jail-time. Some examples of felonies are attempted murder and drug trafficking. Whether you have a misdemeanor or a felony offense, it’s a good idea to consult an attorney.

12. What is the definition of a bench warrant?

A bench warrant is a type of warrant issued by a judge, typically for failing to appear in court. It can be difficult to get a family member out of jail if they are arraigned on a bench warrant, which is why it’s best to work with a dedicated attorney who will work tirelessly for your loved one, like our attorneys at RNN law.

14. What is the definition of a personal recognizance bond?

A personal recognizance bond is a type of bond in which a defendant gives their word that they will appear on their set court dates. The defendant will also acknowledge a debt to the court, and if the defendant fails to show up for their trial, they will have to pay that amount to the court, and the judge may revoke the defendant’s bond and give them jail time.

15. Why should I use RNN Law Firm for my case?

At RNN Law, we have a fierce desire to protect the rights of our clients from bankruptcy, family law, and criminal legal action. We’re dedicated to our clients, and we also understand that legal action can be complex and confusing for our clients. During the legal process, we will be sure to explain every step to you, and we will keep you informed of any new developments in your case. We have years of experience of working on cases in the bankruptcy, family law, and criminal law fields, and we will use all our knowledge and experience when we’re working on your case.