When a person is accused of a crime in Pennsylvania, consulting with an attorney is a vital step in protecting one’s rights and freedom. Law enforcement officers may try to convince a person that speaking to an attorney is not in their best interest or is unnecessary, but nothing could be further from the truth. A person who is being investigated for committing a crime or currently charged with a crime should speak with an attorney, even if it is just for a consultation.
If an individual indicates to a police officer or government official that they wish to speak to an attorney, it is within their right to do so. Guilt cannot be inferred if an individual attempts to exercise their rights.
The most important safeguard when being investigated by police or a government agency is to have representation and advice from an experienced attorney. The attorney can then advise a person on exactly what can and cannot be answered, as well as, what should or should not be answered. Guilt can never be implied by not answering a question that the police ask, as an individual has a right to an attorney and that right does not change under any circumstances.
Speaking to counsel is the most important thing that a client or a person potentially being investigated or charged can do. Unless an individual is familiar with local rules and what exactly is being investigated, it is crucial that someone with more experience guide them and help them throughout the entire process.
With the aid of an experienced attorney, an individual can avoid being coerced or trapped in a situation that can be used against them at a later time.
A lack of understanding regarding a person’s constitutional right to a lawyer and the subsequent lack of proper representation can lead to many problems when dealing with the criminal justice system. If a person does not retain an attorney who is experienced in their particular jurisdiction, they run a much higher risk of being convicted.
A client should only seek out the experience of an attorney that they feel knows the system and is able to help guide them through it. Without a local Pennsylvania criminal lawyer, there are many pitfalls to the system that countless individuals can fall prey to.