Criminal Defense FAQ
Our Fort Myers Criminal Defense Lawyer Has the Answers You Need
Have you been arrested for a crime in Fort Myers, FL? With criminal charges
looming over your head, your entire future could be at risk. With that
much at stake, it is definitely in your best interest to obtain hard-hitting
defense in order to protect your rights against the prosecution. Now is
the time to make informed decisions, if you are unsure of who to turn
to or what your next step should be, contact a
Fort Myers criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. As a
Former Assistant State attorney, Mr. Edwards has extensive trial experience and unique insight that could
greatly benefit your case. Having
handled hundreds of jury trials, our firm knows what it takes to obtain a favorable outcome and we will
work tirelessly to have your charges reduced or dismissed completely.
At Brian L. Edwards, Esq., we have the answers you need. Below we discuss
the answers to some of the most common questions pertaining to criminal defense.
Do I need an attorney If I simply intent to plead guilty?
Whether you are guilty of the crime or not, going up against the prosecution
without proper legal protection is about the worst thing you could do.
If you decide to plead guilty in hopes that the court will have mercy
on you for being honest, then you may be terribly mistaken. The judge
could give you the maximum penalty leaving you behind bars for many years
to come. If you are worried that there is substantial evidence against
you, then we can fight to have your charges reduced so that you receive
minimal criminal penalties. Before you just throw up the white flag and
incriminate yourself to the court, be sure to speak with an experienced
criminal defense attorney to discuss all of your legal options.
If the authorities failed to read me my rights, will my case be thrown
out of court?
Many clients are confused by legal shows on television as they assume
that it is a realistic interpretation of the criminal justice system today.
The truth is that law enforcement officials are not legally obligated
to read you your rights when they arrest you. The rights are formally
known as the Miranda Warning and they do not need to read it to you unless
they have you under arrest and they intend to use any statement you make
during questioning as possible evidence against you. The Miranda Warning
goes as follows:
"You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will
be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to talk to a
lawyer and have him present with you while you are being questioned. If
you cannot afford to hire a lawyer, one will be appointed to represent
you before any questioning if you wish. You can decide at any time to
exercise these rights and not answer any question or make any statements."
When officials ask to search my car or home do I need to give them my consent?
Under no circumstances are you legally obligated to give the police verbal
consent to search your home or vehicle. In fact, as experienced legal
professionals, we strongly encourage you to refrain from giving officials
your voluntary consent as a necessary precaution. By law, the authorities
can only search your property if they have either your consent or a warrant.
If they conduct an illegal search, then anything that they find will not
be admissible as evidence against you. Law enforcement officials are permitted
to search your vehicle; however, if they have reasonable cause to believe
that it contains any illegal substances or stolen goods.
Will a DUI/DWI conviction stay on my record permanently?
When it comes to
DUI convictions, they do not operate the same as bankruptcy. A DUI conviction
will not be taken off your record after a number of years. Any time that
someone looks up your criminal record, they will be able to see every
criminal offense ever committed, unless you decide to clean up your record
history. The only way to remove criminal convictions from your record
is to pursue expungement. Every state has differing statutes in this regard;
to learn more about expungement, be sure to speak with a criminal defense
attorney about the laws in your state.
Am I obligated to answer questions while under arrest?
This is when your rights come into effect; we are here to remind you that
"you have the right to remain silent." As frightening as it
may be, the authorities have full legal reign to lie to you during questioning.
They are permitted to tell you any persuasive story or white lie in attempt
to pull a conviction out of you. Many times law enforcement officials
will tell the alleged offender that they already have convicting evidence
or testimony from a witness, or if they did not commit the crime alone,
they will say that their accomplice has already confessed. When confronted
with this situation, simply tell the officials that you will not answer
any questions until your attorney is present. Always speak to your attorney
before answering any questions, this way you can avoid making any incriminating
Can I represent myself in a criminal case?
You have the right to an attorney and if you do not choose one then the
court may appoint one for you. The importance of having an aggressive
legal defender cannot be stressed enough. When it comes to your choice
of counsel, just remember everything that is at stake. The experience
level of your attorney could mean the difference between freedom and incarceration.
If you have any further questions, be sure to
contact a Fort Myers criminal defense attorney from our firm today!