Frequently Asked Questions About Being Charged With A Crime

Jospeh Fera Law Office |

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Being dragged into a criminal case is something no one wants. However, if you find yourself on the wrong side of the law, it’s best that you consult a criminal lawyer as quickly as possible. In the meantime, knowing what to do and what not to, could play a crucial role in the eventual outcome of your case.

Often, people are unaware of what needs to be done and don’t know who to turn to for answers. To plug this gap and spread accurate information, the Joseph Fera Law Office has answered some of the most frequently asked questions about being charged with a crime.

1. Should I give a statement to the police? I’m sure if I do this it will all go away.

Everyone feels an overriding urge to talk to the police. People generally believe that they can give an explanation and make the police go away. Nothing could be further from the truth. If police officers are asking you questions about a crime, they are not doing this to help you. They are simply doing their jobs and trying to catch criminals. Every word you say to the police will be used against you. You could unknowingly give the police information which could help them prove the crime against you. If you make a misstatement, it will be used to show that you are a liar and not worthy of belief. And frankly, if you tell them things that prove your innocence, you will never hear about it again. Every person has the right to remain silent and it is a right that everyone – guilty or innocent – should exercise.

2. When should I call a criminal lawyer?

If you have been arrested by the police, it’s time to call a criminal lawyer. You have the right to speak to a lawyer, and you should always insist on exercising this right. If you believe that you are the sub­ject of a police inves­ti­ga­tion, you should immediately call a crim­i­nal lawyer to dis­cuss the sit­u­a­tion. A phone call before you get arrested could save you loads of heartache and money. Even if you are charged, you will be fully prepared to answer those charges and will have preserved all the evidence you need to prove your innocence.

3. Do the police have the right to search my home or my car?

The police can search your home or your car if they get a warrant from a Judge or Justice of the Peace authorizing this search. If the police ask you whether they can search your house or your car you should refuse until you get proper legal advice. If they assert that they have a warrant, make sure you see it and make sure it authorizes a search of your premises on the day they are searching. The legality of a search can be contested later, not while it is occurring. In some cases, the police can search without a warrant.

4. I have been charged with a crime. What should I do?

The first thing you need to do is to retain an experienced criminal lawyer right away. It is essential that you understand your rights and the criminal process before you make any decisions about how to deal with your charges. Some of the decisions you will make are time sen­si­tive. Some­times it will be impor­tant to attempt to pre­serve evi­dence for a future trial. Almost with­out excep­tion, only a lawyer who works exclu­sively in crim­i­nal law will have the right expe­ri­ence to guide you through the process.

5. Why should I spend money hiring a lawyer? Can’t I represent myself?

There’s an old saying that says “He who represents himself has a fool for a client.” That saying is as true today as ever before. Canada’s criminal law has become very complex. Besides, every judge and every prosecutor is different and both, the approach to the law and the application of the law can vary significantly. One has to assess the strengths and weaknesses of a case and come up with the best game plan before proceeding. Only an experienced criminal lawyer can effectively navigate the criminal justice system.

6. Aren’t all lawyers the same? Shouldn’t I hire the cheapest lawyer?

There is another old saying that states “You get what you pay for.” Criminal defense lawyers are all different. They vary in experience, in their reputations, and in the type cases they handle. Some like to go to trial, and some don’t. Some practice only in limited jurisdictions and some practice all over the province. Some build relations with the local Crown offices and the local judges, and some don’t. When you pick a criminal lawyer to represent you, you should focus on finding a lawyer who has experience and a good reputation. You should also focus on finding a lawyer that you are comfortable with. Never hire a lawyer based only on what they charge. It may be that the cheapest lawyer lacks the experience necessary to handle your case effectively.

If you have any more questions about being charged with a crime, get in touch with the experts at Joseph Fera Law Office. As a trusted criminal lawyer in Guelph, ON, we have over twenty years of experience and can help you, irrespective of whether you are an innocent person who is wrongly accused or a person who has a legal defense to the crime charged, or someone who made a mistake. To learn more about how we can help you, please click here or contact us by clicking here.