If someone is facing criminal charges, what exactly should they do? It is very important to understand that the most important thing a person can do is to remain silent until they are in the presence of their attorney. Police do not have to tell a suspect the truth. The police may appear to be trying to help the individual but if that individual has been charged, everything the person says can be used against them.
What Happens When Someone Has Been Charged?
Once someone has been charged with a crime the details of the arrest and the police report will go to the prosecutor’s office. The report has a summary of the time, the date, and other details of the crime. Of course, any evidence to support the charge will also be given to the prosecutor.
Even though the police officers have decided that the evidence warrants an arrest and has placed a formal charge against the individual, the final decision is up to the prosecutor. Very often a good defense attorney can show the prosecutor why there are too many holes in the case and it should either be dropped or the charges reduced. This is why it’s so important that anyone that is facing potential criminal charges must exercise their right to remain silent until they’re in the presence of their lawyer.
The police may present details to the individual as though it’s a cut-and-dry case. But again, it’s important to remember that police have no legal obligation to tell the individual being charged, the truth. They have the right to deliberately mislead suspects in an effort to gain their trust and get them give details that support the charges being made.
Preliminary Hearings VS. Grand Juries
If the prosecutor’s office decides they’re going to file a felony complaint instead of going to a grand jury then the defendant will be allowed a preliminary hearing. At this hearing, the prosecutor will be required to demonstrate they have sufficient evidence against the individual being charged to go to court. If on the other hand, the case is taken before a grand jury and they decide to indict, then there will usually not be a preliminary hearing.
Anyone being charged with criminal charges should take the situation seriously and protect themselves. The police are simply doing their job, but it is the suspect’s job to protect their rights.