Answers To Common Criminal Defense Questions
At Michael D. Barber & Associates, P.C., prospective defense clients have a lot of questions for us because their freedom is on the line. That’s one reason why we provide free case evaluations. We don’t mind questions, but this page is an opportunity for us to address questions we receive regularly. After reading the answers to these frequently asked questions, feel free to contact us with your own.
What should I say to the police if they question me about a crime they think I committed?
Most defense lawyers would tell you that you should exercise your right to remain silent and politely refuse to answer any questions. You may need to provide basic information like your name, but you do not have to give any information beyond that until you have a lawyer by your side.
Most people assume that they can explain their way out of trouble. This is a mistake. The safest thing to do is simply refuse to say anything except to ask for a defense attorney.
I was falsely accused of a crime. How should I respond?
As noted above, your safest course of action is to stay silent until you have an attorney by your side. If someone accused you of a crime (or you were charged with a crime), it is not up to you to prove that you didn’t do it. It is up to the accuser to prove that you did. If the evidence against you is flimsy or nonexistent (save for the accusation), the matter could potentially be resolved quickly. Don’t risk your freedom by giving any more information than absolutely necessary.
My property was searched without a warrant. Is this illegal?
It is possible that the search was illegal but not a guarantee. The Fourth Amendment protects all of us against unreasonable search and seizure by law enforcement. While that typically means the police need to obtain a warrant before conducting a search, there are situational exceptions. They at least need to have probable cause for the search that they can later defend in court.
If you were searched without a warrant, our attorneys will thoroughly investigate the stated justifications the officer gave, and we may file a motion to suppress evidence. If a judge rules the search illegal and grants the motion, that evidence cannot be used against you at trial.
Are there significant differences between a public defender and a private defense attorney?
Public defenders perform an important and noble service: providing legal representation to defendants who cannot otherwise afford a lawyer. Many are great at what they do. Unfortunately, public defenders are almost always overworked and underfunded. They have too many clients and too few resources, making it nearly impossible for them to give any case as much time, effort or investigation as it requires.
If you can afford to hire a private defense attorney, you are greatly improving your chances of getting a vigorous and thorough defense. In many cases, that can be the difference between conviction and acquittal.
Discuss Your Charges With An Attorney For Free
Michael D. Barber & Associates is based in the Atlanta area, with additional offices in surrounding parts of Georgia. To take advantage of a free initial consultation, call us at 404-334-2818 or send us an email.