Have you been arrested for and/or charged with a criminal offense? If so, there are steps to take to protect your rights and avoid additional trouble with the law.
Above all else, you should consult with a Pittsburgh criminal defense lawyer. Soon enough, you will have a better idea of where you stand and what you should be doing in the future. With the right attorney on your side, you will feel confident in your ability to prove your innocence.
Regardless of what has happened in the past, here are 10 essential criminal law tips to keep in mind:
1. If a law enforcement official requests to search your home, you have the right to tell them “no” and then immediately consult with an experienced criminal defense lawyer.
2. If pulled over for suspicion of driving under the influence, you have the right to refuse a sobriety test. However, this will subject you to a harsher penalty in the future.
3. Operating a motor vehicle with a revoked or suspended license can lead to a total loss of driving privileges for an extended period of time.
4. If you have been arrested for any criminal offense, it is within your rights to consult with an attorney before answering any questions. Review our blog post on Miranda warnings for more information.
5. Prior convictions can lead to an increase in your prison sentence.
6. Contrary to popular belief, not all criminal offenses will stay on your permanent record forever. A qualified lawyer can assist with the expungement process.
7. If you are on probation and found guilty of a criminal offense, you may be subject to additional penalties including jail time.
8. Some criminal offenses carry a mandatory minimum sentence, meaning that if you are convicted you must serve the pre-determined amount of time in prison.
9. In some situations, a juvenile can be charged as an adult.
10. A criminal defense attorney can help file an appeal with the correct court, within the appropriate period of time.
Do you have Criminal Law Questions?
Although nobody wants to be charged with a criminal offense, you never know what the future holds. While the 10 tips above are sure to help you better understand the law, it is difficult to fully comprehend the ins and outs of your situation until you consult with a criminal defense lawyer.
If you have any questions regarding your situation, the professionals at the Law Offices of Patrick K. Nightingale are more than happy to provide targeted advice.