If you’ve never been arrested before, and you’ve just spent the worst night of your life in jail, you may be confused and concerned about what your next steps are. Well, in most cases I would say the first thing to do is “Take a breath.”
While it’s true that misdemeanors carry with them some tough consequences, very rarely do they mean going to jail again. This advice is for misdemeanors only, though often times I’ll tell this to my clients who are accused for felonies as well. But whatever comes at you after that night, you are going to walk away from it. There are no guarantees in criminal defense. And don’t consider this one either. But this is my advice after representing, defending, prosecuting, and arresting thousands of peoples involved in misdemeanor offenses.
After your arrest, and after taking a breath and saying to yourself, “It’s going to be ok,” the next step is to find good representation. Do your homework and research the attorneys that are out there and what kind of experience they have. Interview the ones that interest you and find the one you are comfortable with.
Ask each attorney what his or her process is. Ask them what they can envision a good defense for you with your facts. Ask them what type of consequences they could anticipate from a plea or from a trial. I can tell you that most of those attorneys are not going to mention going back to jail if you’ve never been in trouble before. More worrisome to me when conferring with my client is how can I protect their records and salvage their hopes and dreams for the future. If my client is young and charged with an assault family violence and wants to be a police officer – that’s going to be the fight. If they are charged with theft and want to work at a bank – again, that’s going to be the tough part.
But in rare few of these scenarios is my concern that my client isn’t going to walk away from even the worst-case scenario. And that’s the important thing to remember when you’re coming home from the jail. Take a breath and realize, you may have some tough battles ahead. You may have to make some adjustments to those long-term plans you had. But at the end of the day, with a little perseverance, you’re going to survive. Feel free to contact my offices at (210) 222-9446 for a free consultation.