No matter who you are or the crime with which you are charged, facing criminal charges in Ohio is a scary thought. Being convicted of a crime can seriously put a damper on your future opportunities, especially if the crime is serious enough to carry a penalty of prison time. If you are arrested and charged with a crime in Ohio, here are three important things to know about your rights and what to do next:
You Have the Right to Refuse to Answer Any Questions
When you are arrested, the arresting officer will inform you of your rights. One of those rights is the right to remain silent, which means that you do not have to answer any incriminating questions about yourself. For example, if a police officer asks you where you were at a specific time, you can answer that you are exercising your right to remain silent.
If you want to talk to the police officers, or believe that you have nothing to hide, you have the right to do so. However, be aware that giving the police any information – even if you truly are innocent – is rarely in your best interest. Your words can, and will, be used against you.
You Have the Right to Defend Yourself Against Charges
You should know that a charge and a conviction are not the same thing – just because you are charged with a crime does not necessarily mean that you will be convicted of the crime. What’s more, you do not have to plead guilty to charges; instead, you have the right to actively defend yourself against charges, no matter how severe they may be. In the majority of cases, you also have the right to a speedy trial by a jury of your peers.
You Have the Right to Competent Legal Representation
You probably know that you have the right to a court-appointed lawyer if you cannot afford one yourself. What you might not know, however, is that you have a right to a competent attorney; an attorney who is not interested in your case, does not advocate for you, encourages you to act in a manner that is not within your best interests, or is otherwise incapable of effective representation does not meet this requirement.
Contact Our Law Firm for a Free Consultation Today
If you are arrested and charged with a crime in Dayton or surrounding areas, you deserve to know what you are up against and what your rights are moving forward. When you contact The VanNoy Firm, we will immediately begin building your defense and planning a strategy that prioritizes the best outcome for your case. We have handled countless criminal cases of all types, and believe that our clients always come first.
To learn more about our talented Dayton criminal defense lawyers and your options, contact us today online or by phone.