Top 12 Most Common Questions Criminal Lawyers are Asked

Gavel and Handcuffs

Hopefully, you’ll never have trouble with the law. Still, it’s a good idea to be familiar with the criminal justice system just in case you, or someone you love, has legal problems. Talking to a criminal lawyer for advice is often a good way to familiarize yourself with your rights. You can also take a look at some of the most commonly asked questions below:

  1. Should I make use of my right to keep silent when questioned by police?
    Yes. Even people who are innocent have ended up being convicted because of something that they’ve said to the police because their words have been twisted.
  2. Why do I need a lawyer for a simple charge?
    Because you don’t want to end up with a criminal record and a lawyer may be able to keep you from getting one. If you end up with a record, you may find it difficult to get a job, get admitted to school, or rent an apartment.
  3. How do I know what my criminal record is?
    If you’ve been convicted of a crime, you can request your record through the court that heard your case or the arresting law enforcement agency.
  4. How can I get rid of a criminal record?
    A criminal record is usually permanent, though you might have the option of having your record expunged or sealed at a later date. An attorney can help you learn if you are a candidate for expungement.
  5. Can I get bail?
    It depends on the nature of the charges and whether the judge regards you as a possible flight risk. A lawyer can ask for bail at your arraignment.
  6. What is an arraignment?
    This is your first appearance in court after your arrest. You and your lawyer will be presented with the charges against you, as well as any police records.
  7. When do police need a search warrant?
    Police who suspect that criminal activity is taking place or that evidence can be found in a premises can ask a judge for a search warrant. There are some situations in which the police don’t need a search warrant, including situations where they enter an area and see evidence of a crime in plain view or if they intervene in an emergency situation and witness a crime in progress.
  8. I’m guilty. How can a lawyer help me?
    Even if you are guilty of a crime, a criminal defense attorney can assist you by getting charges eliminated or reduced, helping you to get bail, and working to minimize your eventual sentence.
  9. What is a diversion program?
    A diversion program offers you the chance to avoid a criminal conviction by participating in an educational program. Diversion programs are sometimes available in certain situations.
  10. What is a statute of limitations?
    A statute of limitations is, as its name suggests, a limitation on the amount of time a prosecutor has to file charges against someone after a crime is committed. Some crimes are so serious that there is no statute of limitations on filing charges.
  11. Am I entitled to a free lawyer?
    If you are being charged with a crime that could result in more than six months in jail, you can ask the court to provide you with an attorney.
  12. How do judges determine punishment?
    Sentencing depends on a number of factors including seriousness of the crime, prior convictions, and attitude of the offender.

Each criminal case is different, which is why it’s important to talk to an attorney about your specific situation. You can search for lawyers online or connect with your local bar association to get a referral.

If you are local to the area, start with our Attorney and Lawyer Directory to find the right law firm suited for your needs.