Do I Need A Lawyer?
If you find yourself in a position where you are asking that question the answer is almost certainly “yes”. Even before warrants have been issued a lawyer can help investigate what, if any, criminal liability you may have and help put you in the best defensive posture available under the facts.
A Detective Left His Business Card On My Door, Asking Me To Call Him. Do I Have To Call Him?
No. You can, and should, seek legal advice before any contact with law enforcement. Perhaps you are only wanted for questioning as a witness. Or, perhaps not. If you are faced with this situation, it is best to seek the advice of a qualified criminal defense attorney prior to making a decision on returning the detective’s call.
Why Was I Arrested?
You were arrested because law enforcement believed they had probable cause to suspect you of committing a crime. An arrest does not mean you are guilty nor that the State has enough evidence to prove your guilt to a jury. The legal standard for an officer to obtain an arrest warrant is “probable cause” – this means enough evidence to provide a reasonably prudent law enforcement office with reason to believe that you committed a crime.
What Should I Do When I’m Arrested?
Make no statements to anyone – not the police nor other inmates. Be aware that any phone calls you make from the jail are subject to being recorded. If you cannot contact an attorney immediately then contact a trusted family member or friend to retain an attorney on your behalf. The attorneys at The Roch Law Firm, or some other qualified attorney, may be able to help obtain a reasonable bond in your case if you were not eligible for a so-called schedule bond or if you cannot afford the schedule bond.
How Do I Bond Out Of Jail?
Everyone wants to get out of jail as soon as possible. If you or your loved ones are in a position to bond you out, they may contact a bonding company to arrange bond. Information about local bonding agencies should be available at your jail. If the bond is low enough, they may arrange to pay the bond directly to the jail on top of a bond fee that is typically around $20.00.
Your loved ones may also arrange for a property bond. A property bond uses property (real estate) to secure your appearance in court. There are requirements as to where the bond can be located and how much equity is required. Georgia jails are used to providing this information and are usually the best source of the procedure for that specific jail.
If you cannot afford to make your bond, an attorney can file with the appropriate court a motion to lower bond and set a hearing date by a court order called a “Rule Nisi.” A “Rule Nisi” is simply an order setting the bond motion down for a hearing. In some instances the prosecutor may agree to a bond amount thereby eliminating the need to wait for a hearing.
When Should I Hire A Lawyer?
You need representation as soon as you have reason to believe you are suspected of a crime. Attorneys provide advice not only after charges have been taken against you but, in many circumstances, can represent you with the authorities prior to being charged. If nothing more, a detective who knows a suspect is represented by counsel will often agree to give your counsel advance warning of when charges will be taken which gives you an opportunity to arrange for bond prior to entering the jail.
What Will A Lawyer Do For Me?
When you retain a competent criminal defense attorney such as Don Roch at The Roch Law Firm, you are hiring someone who will wear “many hats” as they work in your best interest to defend you against the charges you will face. As a counselor, you can expect that your attorney will advise you about what to do next as well as the strategy for defending against the charges. As a negotiator and as your representative, you can expect that your attorney will negotiate with the prosecutor, handle certain court appearances that do not require your presence, and appear with you in court when you do need to be present. As an advocate, you can expect that your attorney will determine how best to defend you based on his or her experience with past cases, certain legal issues that may apply to your case, specialized issues that might be raised in the process of defending your case, and defense investigation needed to prepare your defense. Finally, as a trial attorney, you can expect that your attorney will be prepared and competent to handle pre-trial hearing, motions, and trial in your case if needed.
In the initial phase of your case, if you are still in jail, your attorney can arrange for a hearing to be held to determine if there was probable cause to arrest you, and a hearing for bond reduction.
I Can’t Afford A Lawyer. What Should I Do?
First, it’s not necessarily true that you can’t afford a lawyer; at The Roch Law Firm, we may be able to work with you to set up a convenient payment plan if we are retained early in the case. That said, it is seldom a good idea to hire a lawyer on a payment plan. When you do you turn your lawyer into a creditor and that can lead to unnecessary complications in your defense down the road.
If you still cannot afford an attorney then many counties have a Public Defender or Indigent Defense system. For information about these programs contact the courthouse where your charges are pending.
For more information on Need Of Legal Representation In Georgia, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (770) 345-7624 today.