Illinois Criminal Defense Blog

Friday, August 21, 2015

When is the "Right" Time to Get a Lawyer?

If you’re like most people who have been accused of committing a crime, you probably aren’t sure when you should get an attorney.

The short answer is right now.

Whether police have detained you, you have received a summons or someone wants to question you about something, it’s usually a good idea to have an attorney you can call on to preserve your rights.

When Should You Call a Lawyer?

If police arrest you, you have every right to call an attorney. You’ll still have to follow police procedures, which may mean that they won’t allow you to use the phone the moment you step into the police station, but you certainly have the right to have your attorney present when police are questioning you.

In fact, you don’t have to answer any questions until your lawyer arrives and gives you guidance. It doesn’t matter how many crimes police are accusing you of committing; you have the constitutional right to an attorney.

You may need to call an attorney before you’re arrested, though. Although you don’t have to answer questions when police aren’t detaining you, the fact that police want to talk to you may mean that you’ll need an attorney.

This can be true even if you’re completely innocent.

Can a Chicago Criminal Defense Lawyer Help My Loved One?

If the police have detained someone you care about, you can call an attorney on his or her behalf. You’ll need to provide whatever details you have, such as where your loved one is, and tell the lawyer what you know about the case.

Does Everyone Being Accused of a Crime Need a Lawyer?

Calling a criminal defense lawyer in Chicago is different from hiring an attorney for other reasons. Typically, criminal cases require you to act quickly; you don’t have the luxury of waiting, because you’ll be processed through the court system whether or not you have hired an attorney.

That said, it’s tough to say that everyone the state accuses of a crime needs a lawyer. Every case is different, so it can’t hurt to call a Chicago criminal defense lawyer if you’re not sure.


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