It’s human nature to make a few mistakes now and then. However, when facing a federal charge, many will have feelings of anguish when realizing their life could be over. The emotional tension can lead to depression in many arrestees.
Federal offenses are severe charges that come with harsh penalties. Consequences often include incarceration and hefty fines. It’s important to note that when placed under arrest on federal criminal charges; your Miranda rights should always be read to you.
If you’re wondering what to do when charged with federal criminal crimes. You would want to act fast and diligently to defend yourself and implement a robust strategy to do so. Read on to learn a few things you should consider.
What Should You First Do When Charged With a Federal Crime?
1. Find a Formidable Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer
It is essential to find a dedicated federal crimes lawyer with experience handling cases similar to your own. Work together to decide if you want to attempt a plea bargain or defend yourself by trial in court. The government can accuse you of anything, even when the evidence is shaky and circumstantial. Unfair and threatening questions can be asked by defense attorneys, police officers, and even judges. Always have your attorney present during interviews.
2. Maintain Your Silence Until You Have Spoken to Your Attorney
When arrested, the law requires the officers to read the Miranda rights to you. The first lines state, “you have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.” After being cuffed and being taken to a police station, remember to remain silent instead of talking to anyone except your lawyer.
In the interrogation room, the police will try to get you to incriminate yourself. Stay calm and only talk to your lawyer. Maintaining your silence will also prevent you from putting yourself in any harm by engaging with the police in a heated argument.
3. Make a Consultation Appointment
After coming up with your list of a defense attorney, the first thing you would want is to hold a meeting face to face to discuss your case and the charges being held against you.
You would also want to consult with the right lawyer, depending on the charge you are accused of, for a higher chance of winning the case and standing a fair trial.
4. Make a List of All That Pertains to Your Current Situation
When facing any criminal charge, consider writing down the events that led to the arrest immediately. This is because you are bound to forget important details when faced with stress. Also, include at the top of every page “attorney-client privilege” and the notes for your lawyer to review.
5. Prepare for a Plea Agreement
A federal criminal case can be resolved in three ways:
- The charges can be dropped
- The prosecutor and defense can work out a plea deal
- The case can go to trial
Some defense lawyers encourage their clients to take a plea bargain to find a fast settlement to avoid going to trial.
Keep Your Cool
It is crucial to be calm and collected when faced with federal criminal charges; any simple mistake might lead you to meet a lengthy jail term even when you are innocent of your charges.
Hire a skilled attorney to work on your case and avoid being your own representative as the defense team will do everything to make you seem guilty, and you are likely not experienced with the ways of the court.