Know Your Rights
At the law firm of Edwards & Mason, our Gainesville criminal defense lawyers are on guard for you. We also represent residents of Bronson, Ocala, and other communities throughout North Central Florida who are facing prosecution for a wide variety of felonies and misdemeanors. With more than 40 years of combined legal experience, we fight aggressively to help clients get charges dropped or reduced whenever possible. The earlier we start that process, the better chance we have to help you limit the impact of the charges against you. Our lawyers are available around the clock, 24 hours a day and seven days a week. We work tirelessly to mount strong defenses for the people whom we represent.Know Your Rights and When to Assert Them
One of the most important rights available to a criminal defendant is the right to an attorney. This is one of those fundamental legal principles that often gets mentioned on TV shows, but many people may not fully understand its significance. As established by the U.S. Supreme Court, the Constitution guarantees a person suspected or accused of a crime the opportunity to enlist professional legal representation. This does not only mean that you have a right to have a lawyer represent you in a trial. It also means you have a right to have an attorney by your side during the initial investigation and questioning, as well as any plea bargaining negotiations and any other part of the process that may be relevant in your situation.
Related to the right to legal representation is the right to remain silent during an interrogation or arrest. It is important that you remember that you do not need to say anything to a police officer without a lawyer present, although you may be required to show the police your ID under some circumstances.
Courts typically refer to these combined rights as Miranda rights, stemming from the name of the U.S. Supreme Court decision that outlined them. A police officer is required to inform a person in custody of his or her Miranda rights – including the right to remain silent and the right to legal counsel – before interrogating the person. The police also need to make clear that anything you say may later be used against you in court. This is also one of the key reasons why it is important to have a lawyer in your corner before you submit to any questioning, even if you have not yet been arrested and charged with a crime. It may be hard to take back your statements down the road.
If the police fail to give you a Miranda warning, courts typically will not consider anything that you said to the officers before having your rights read. This may make it more difficult for prosecutors to get a conviction, although it does not necessarily mean that the case is over. Instead, it is critical to enlist a knowledgeable criminal attorney to make sure that the court excludes any statements that were improperly obtained.Enlist a Gainesville Lawyer for a Strong Criminal Defense
If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime in North Central Florida or is being questioned by the police, contact the Gainesville criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Edwards & Mason. We are committed to being available for clients at every hour of the day and night. We understand that being accused of or implicated in a crime is a stressful situation, and we guide clients through the criminal justice process with compassion and professionalism. Our firm represents people in communities such as Ocala, Bronson, Alachua, Archer, Hawthorne, High Springs, Newberry, Macclenny, Starke, Green Cove Springs, Lake City, Trenton, Williston, Palatka, Bushnell, Live Oak, and Lake Butler. Call us at 877-377-7801 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation if you need a drug possession attorney or assistance with fighting any other type of criminal charge.