For the majority of Australian citizens, being charged with a criminal offence would be a very stressful thing to deal with, and no matter how lawful you might be, circumstances can easily lead to being charged with a particular criminal offence. It might be drugs related, or an altercation with a work colleague that turned nasty, but whatever the reason, if you are charged with committing a criminal offence, here is some very good advice on how best to proceed.
Protect your Rights
If you are charged with a criminal offence, you have certain rights. One right is that you do not have to say anything when charged, and if you do, this can be used as evidence against you in court of law. For this reason, you should say nothing, other than acknowledging the charge that is made. Another right you have is to make contact with a lawyer of your choosing, and with such a serious thing as a criminal offence, you should not accept the legal counsel that is offered to you by the police, rather you should make your own enquiries in your search for a competent lawyer. There are top notch criminal lawyers in Melbourne who have 24-hour emergency contact numbers and you are strongly advised to call such a person as soon as possible.
Don’t Hesitate to Seek Legal Advice
Once the charge(s) has been read to you, you should say nothing other than indicating you wish to contact a lawyer of your choosing, and while you are thinking this will never happen to you, you can never be sure, and by spending a few minutes online obtaining a local criminal lawyer’s emergency number, you will be very happy you did that in the event of being arrested.
Deciding What to Plead
At some point prior to your court hearing, you will have to enter a plea of either “guilty” or ”not guilty”, and it is best to discuss your options with a lawyer before entering a plea. The legal expert can explain to you the potential consequences of either pleading guilty or not guilty, therefore you are strongly advised to make contact with an experienced criminal lawyer as soon as possible.
In the time between being charged and appearing in court, your lawyer will help you to build a strong defence, which they will put forward on your behalf at the court hearing. Your lawyer might wish to call upon witnesses, should he or she feel this will be helpful to your case, plus they will review every aspect of the case, looking for anything that might help you in court.
Even if you are not expecting to be in any trouble, it is wise to source a criminal lawyer’s number, which you can store in your smartphone, just in case the worst should happen and you are charged with a criminal offence.
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