If you or your child was charged with allegedly committing shoplifting as a minor, it is extremely important to retain the services of a skilled and respected Las Vegas defense attorney. Why? Because a conviction could haunt you or your child for years into the future and impact applying to college, pursuing certain career paths, purchasing a home, and so forth.
Overview of Shoplifting Law in Nevada
Under Nevada law, shoplifting occurs when someone “intentionally steals, takes or carries away” store property. The actual legal term for shoplifting is “larceny.” The seriousness of a larceny charge depends primarily on the value of the goods allegedly stolen.
If, for example, someone is arrested for shoplifting $650 or more worth of store property, then the individual could be charged with grand larceny, a felony offense. Conversely, if someone is arrested for shoplifting less than $650 worth of property, then they may be charged with petty larceny, a misdemeanor offense.
How Minors are Prosecuted for Criminal Offenses in Nevada
When a defendant charged with a crime is under the age of 18, that person is usually not dealt with in the traditional criminal justice system. Instead, they are prosecuted through the juvenile justice system, which has its own courts, judges, prosecutors, and rules. However, the crime of shoplifting is the same for juveniles as it is for adults. The only difference is how a juvenile court handles the criminal case.
Viable Defenses Against Shoplifting Charges
If your or your child are charged with shoplifting in Las Vegas, do not give up hope. There are an array of defenses an experienced Las Vegas criminal attorney may explore employing on your behalf when challenging a shoplifting charge. Here are examples of some potential defenses:
- You lacked the requisite intent to commit the shoplifting charge – The state must, prove beyond a reasonable doubt, that you intended to permanently deprive the store of the goods. If you intended to return them, or you accidentally walked out forgetting to pay, then the charges could be challenged.
- The police charged the wrong person – Perhaps in the heat of the moment, the storeowner attributed the theft to you, when the offense was actually committed by another person. If your Las Vegas defense lawyer can raise a reasonable doubt that you were not the person who shoplifted the items at issue, then your charges could be dropped or dismissed.
- You actually owned the property that was allegedly shoplifted – It is possible that you already owned the items at issue and the store owner or employee mistook the items for their property. You may have already paid for the items and the store owner or employee forgot about the purchase. If your defense attorney can show that you already owned the items, then shoplifting charges are not viable.
Take Action – Contact an Experienced Las Vegas Shoplifting Defense Lawyer
Juvenile shoplifting is a serious criminal charge. Any shoplifting conviction could have a serious impact on the long-term future of the juvenile, as well as the juvenile’s family. Whether you have been charged with juvenile shoplifting or you are a parent or guardian of a juvenile who is facing these charges, take action by contacting LV Criminal Defense, 400 S. 7th St #401, Las Vegas, NV 89101, 702-623-6362. Our team of skilled and experienced attorneys stand ready to help.
Many times, we have seen innocent people going to jail for a sex offence they did not commit. As devastating as it sounds, it is the sad reality. What makes it even worse is that these cases tend to take a wrong turn very quickly.
According to experience, you might end up serving time if two things happen first if the complainant has enough evidence.
Second, if the lawyers are not too smart to counter the evidence, either way, it is the job of your lawyer to ensure you don’t end up in jail. But worry not, you are innocent until proven guilty.
Here are ways on how to prove innocence when falsely accused.
Take Matter Seriously
After our involvement in many such cases, we noticed that the biggest challenge is normally the client.
This is because they often take the accusations lightly. Their innocence tends to blind them from seeing the imminent danger. With such an attitude, they often prison without knowing it.
Eventually, the lawyers will have a hard time proving your innocence. This will waste too much time dealing with your state of mind than on the case. So the minute you are accused falsely, take the accusation seriously. That way, it will be easy for your lawyers to do their jobs and prove your innocence.
During your arrest, the police will read your rights as they handcuff you. The only phrase to pay attention to is ‘You have the right to remain silent.’ As lawyers, we always advise our clients to make use of that rightfully. Keep your mouth completely shut. This is because anything you say can and will be used against you in the court of law.
To avoid making matters worse, simply ask for a lawyer. So far, those are the only words you should utter. Exercising this right will give us an easy time when dealing with the case. We will have a clear idea of what they might use against you and plan for it.
Get The Best Lawyers
Acquiring the best attorneys is the next step that you should take. Make sure they are not only qualified but also have a good track record. They are the only people standing between you and the prison gates. Lawyers who understand criminal law perfectly will save you a lot of time and money.
They tend to know which stones to turn and which ones not to. They will also know if you are too incriminated for them to take a deal. Any move your lawyer takes will be critical to the case. Those are just some of the benefits of a good lawyer when being falsely accused. There are quite many more.
Don’t Get In Contact With Your Accuser.
Many clients usually say ‘If I just have a few words with the accuser, I may save myself.’ We have never seen that turn out well. Once you are accused, such thoughts should be discarded from your mind immediately. Having any contact with your accuser can make matters worse than they are. By doing that, you will be helping the complainant to build a strong case.
This is a very important point to note. Even if they request for a meeting so that you two can settle the matter, decline. Not unless it is officially done in the presence of you and your attorneys. They did accuse you once, what will stop them from adding other accusations?
Turning The Case Around Is One Way Of How To Prove Innocence When Falsely Accused
This is the work of your attorney. If he or she is smart enough, then the case can be turned around. Being that false accusation is a crime, you can scare off the accuser. We must make complainant know they will be charged if the accusations are false. We then go ahead and line up the charges they are risking to face.
If at all they have no chance of winning the case, they will withdraw their charges. Quite several cases we have worked on have had such a turn of events. You can even go ahead and file a case against them. That is if you want the accuser to pay for wasting your valuable time.
Gather As Much Evidence As Possible
Every decision the judge and the jury make in court is based on the evidence available. The prosecutor will have evidence, and so should you. A good attorney will look at every angle and collect all the evidence without living any behind. These include text messages, call logs, and anything to prove you are being accused falsely.
This is the only way you will be able to prove that you are not the perpetrator. In case the victim was raped, that is, and you just happened to be his or her target. If you gather enough evidence, then you will have an easy time proving your innocence.
Avoid Plea Deals
Some accusers usually want to run things fast and get what they want. The only way they can do this is by convincing you to enter a plea deal. We strongly advise that you should not fall for it. A plea deal is where you are asked to plead guilty in exchange to some leniency. Most plea deals tend to reduce your sentence.
No matter how good the plea deal is, try and avoid it as much as possible. Any great lawyer will tell you to keep off the plea deal and take your chances. You might end up taking a plea deal, and yet you would have won the case.
In A Nutshell
Being accused falsely is not something anyone can see coming. It might get you off-guard, and any step you take might cost you. So how do you defend yourself against false accusations? By following the above ways on how to prove innocence when falsely accused.
The list has been designed for anyone accused of rape. By applying every method, you will be able to do minimum damage and get results. The last thing you want is to end up in prison simply because you had no idea what to do.
Feel free to visit our website for more information on the law and to find your closest law office.
Is it possible to commit murder while sleepwalking? What if you did and then had no recollection of the ordeal?
Such was the case in the infamous murder trial of Steven Steinberg. Jurors determined he wasn’t responsible for his actions due to temporary insanity.
What does it mean to be criminally insane? How does one prove it, and what are the consequences? Read on to learn all the details.
History of the Insanity Defense
Society has always recognized the existence of outliers. While mental illness wasn’t completely comprehended, our ancestors did have a vague understanding.
By the late-thirteenth-century, England’s courtrooms began to recognize the “complete madness” defense. Judges would find a person not guilty by reason of insanity when the accused failed the “wild beast” test.
This test measured the defendant’s memory and understanding. The ‘mad’ defendant would show a comparable understanding as an “infant, brute, or wild beast.”
Thus, they couldn’t get held accountable for their actions.
How to Prove Criminal Insanity
This same notion continues to come into play in today’s courtrooms. How do you prove criminal insanity based on today’s legal standards? To be successful, an insanity plea must contain the following elements:
- The defendant didn’t understand what they were doing
- The person failed to know right from wrong
- The individual acted on an uncontrollable impulse
Often, the person pleading insane is also suffering from a diagnosed mental condition. Not every state offers the insanity defense.
An experienced attorney is usually necessary when attempting to use this legal strategy.
Consequences of Getting Labeled Criminally Insane
Despite the attention a plea of insanity gets, it’s rare for such a defense to be successful in court.
When it is successful, the consequences are not desirable. While the criminally insane may avoid jail time, they will get institutionalized instead. Here’s what can happen when a person gets deemed insane:
- Court mandates a hospital order (defendant can’t leave the hospital)
- A restriction order
- Supervision and treatment order
Unlike a criminal sentence, there are no limits on how long an insane person will get held. The person will remain institutionalized until they’re no longer a threat.
In most circumstances, institutionalization lasts longer than incarceration in prison.
What’s Temporary Insanity?
Another common defense strategy is to plead not guilty by way of temporary insanity.
Temporary insanity means the individual was insane when the crime occurred. This means the person lost control in the heat of the moment. Here are some factors involved with this defense:
- The crime wasn’t premeditated
- The person had a diminished capacity to reason at the time of the crime
Often, a mental health expert will need to testify about the individual’s state of mind. Evidence like psychological evaluations or a lie detector test is crucial in these cases.
The Controversial Insanity Defense
Criminally insane individuals do exist. Often, their crimes are a result of untreated mental illness. Institutionalization and medication are useful solutions.
What’s your take on this controversial legal defense strategy? Let us know your views by leaving a comment in the box below.
Life has many twists and turns to offer. It is quite likely that you might require legal help to bail you out of certain unexpected situation where you find yourself seeking refuge in a legal professional, a criminal defense lawyer to be precise.
In this write-up, let us find out the various roles and responsibilities of a criminal lawyer. So, read through the paragraphs that follow.
Primary responsibility is definitely to maintain integrity. It is important that he must represent his clients honestly in the court of law. Also, it is mandatory that he must not indulge in any conflict of interest. In other words, honesty essentially means that the same lawyer must not represent both the parties involved in the case.
Duties of a criminal defense lawyer
Check out the following listed below-
- Case assessment
Before taking up the case, the criminal lawyer will assess its well. He will consider all the essential aspects related to the case. If he is defending a client who is at fault, he must be able to handle the situation wisely and smartly.
- Gathering information
In order to proceed in a positive direction, he must collect necessary and relevant information pertaining to the case he is handling. He has to obtain proof, documents, scan through documents. Also, if he can get in touch with witnesses, it will ensure that the case is strong. It means putting in a lot of od time, energy, and most importantly effort.
- Conveying updates to clients
From time to time, the lawyer must sit with the clients, explain how far the case has proceeded, what will be the best option for them at the moment, and what will be his next course of action. At all times, you must inform the clients about the proceedings, latest developments, whether positive or adverse. It is also important that he decides the hearing dates that the court allots.
- Good analytical power
It is imperative that he must have the capacity to analyze any situation that is pertaining to the case. Getting into the depth is crucial. Since he will have worked with different clients and have faced various situations, he must also be able to ascertain the next move of the opponent. Here is where his skill actually lies.
- Stay abreast with latest rules and compliances
It is a well-known fact that several criminal lawyers are operating in the field. However, you must have your own USP that will make you stand out from the rest. And if you can do so, you stand a better chance of getting more clients. As such, it is crucial to strengthen your case with the latest compliances or norms that have been introduced in the judicial system.
Aside from the responsibilities mentioned above, it is also his duty to be able to cope up with stressful situations. No matter whatever adverse situations arise, the lawyer must be capable of rising up to the situation, tackle it to the best interest of the clients and come out triumphant.
You never know when you might get involved in a criminal offense. It is here that you should have an experienced and skilled legal counsel to represent you in court so that you are given a chance to prove your innocence. The courts will hold you innocent until proven guilty. Getting entangled in a criminal lawsuit is stressful, and it is here that you need skilled and qualified criminal defense lawyers to represent you in court and guide you throughout the legal process.
What will the criminal defense lawyer do for you?
Criminal defense lawyers will take up your case and represent you aggressively in court. They are experts in the field of criminal law. They will ensure your best interests are looked into when you are a party to criminal litigation. They are specialists in the field of crimes related to drugs, theft, probation, juvenile justice, restraining orders and expungement. These experts will also help you prepare the documentation for the case and collect evidence that works in your favor. For them, their clients are the top priority, and even if you have committed the crime and are guilty, they will work towards getting you the minimum levels of punishment and penalty you deserve.
How do you find the right criminal defense lawyer to represent you?
When you start searching for the right criminal defense lawyer for your needs, make sure that you hire a professional who is experienced and skilled in the field of criminal law and justice. Talk to professionals that have been in the criminal field of justice for a long time so that you are assured that your case is in the right hands. Most criminal defense lawyers have personal websites, and you can see more on their credentials. The right lawyer will not only be experienced but compassionate as well. Make a list of the top criminal defense lawyers in your area and go through the website.
Read online client testimonials and reviews
To make sure that the lawyer has good track records in the past, read client testimonials and reviews online. Read them carefully so that you get an insight into whether the lawyer is genuine or not. You may contact legal firms that specialize in the field of criminal defense. These firms will also help you find a good criminal defense lawyer for your case with success!
Get a free consultation
Reputed criminal defense lawyers will also give their clients a free consultation when it comes to an understanding of the case. They will talk with their clients and make them aware of their fundamental rights when it comes to criminal case litigation.
The duration of the criminal case will depend upon many factors. The competent court of law will take into account the severity of the crime, the circumstantial evidence, the nature of the offense committed and more. However, a good criminal defense lawyer will always aggressively defend you and be proactive when it comes to unexpected twists and turns of a criminal defense case.
The incarceration of a loved one can be quite emotionally draining. While most state laws in the US provide visitation rights to friends and family members of inmates, exceptions can arise depending on the nuances of that particular case.
For instance, the laws laid down by the Federal Bureau of Prisons mentions that each inmate is generally allotted 4 hours every month for visitations. However, most jails in Florida and New Orleans have instead resorted to paid video-calls between inmates and their loved ones, cutting down on or completely doing away with in-person visits.
Knowledge of the right channels to pursue can help you connect quickly with jailed loved ones. There are many websites that are useful for looking up an inmate’s detail and finding legal assistance for visitation rights. It, thus, becomes extremely important to be thorough with your state’s jail laws, the category under which the felony falls, and the kind of visitation rights you are looking for.
What are the Different Types of Visitations?
Contact visits is the most widely prevalent category of visitations across the United States. The visitor(s) can sits across a table from the inmate, and physical contact is restricted to greetings and farewells. Holding hands is strictly prohibited. Frequent violation of these rules can lead to suspension of visitation rights. These visits are usually limited to a short span of time.
Non-contact visitations separate the visitor(s) from the inmate via a glass partition, and communication takes place through a phone. These conversations are generally supervised by a prison guard. In the last couple years, however, paid video visitations, as mentioned earlier, are becoming more and more common.
Conjugal Visits: Are They a Possibility?
Conjugal visits are considered a positive solution to the mental burdens of an inmate as also an incentive for them to comply with prison norms in the hope of an early release. In the US, prisoners in federal custody are not entitled to conjugal visits. However, prisoners in state custody are governed by that particular state’s laws. Currently, only California, Connecticut, New York and Washington allow conjugal visits, with California being the only state to extend these rights to homosexual couples as well.
Who Can Visit an Inmate?
Visitors need prior approval from jail authorities before being allowed to visit. Prisoners, who are in the process of being transferred from one jail to another, or are yet to be processed into the system, may not be allowed visitations before an approved visitors’ list has been prepared.
Additionally, children, especially those not in the custody of the inmate, are generally not granted visitation permits. Religious visits by priests or clergymen are allowed, but also restricted in their scope. Unless the accused or the convicted inmate has been booked on grounds that hamper national security or has been deemed a threat to society, visits by lawyers are generally allowed and granted scope for confidentiality.
Will my Jailed Loved One Be Granted Visitation?
Only in certain cases like solitary confinement, or those convicted or accused of grand felonies are visitation rights completely eliminated. However, they are subject to limitations, strict rules and supervisions by prison authorities. Visitation rights can be temporarily suspended by the prison authorities on grounds like non-cooperation on the part of the inmate, violation of visitation rules by listed visitor(s), attempt at smuggling contraband, and other such cases, where legal preventive measures are deemed necessary. These can, however, be challenged in court if the inmate and his family feel that they are unjustified.
How to Fill Out the Visiting Application
The jail authorities will be running a background check on your profile and cross-verify the information you have put down. If any of them turn up erroneous, you can be denied visitation rights. You can also be denied on other grounds like if you have a prior conviction of your own, you are already on another inmate’s visitation list in the same prison, you are on probation or parole. You can appeal the decision in court within a certain time frame. Approved visits by minors, accompanied by an adult, require special application to be filled out.
Contact Prison Authorities Regarding Visitation Guidelines
Each prison has its own set of rules governing visits. Ideally, you should call the prison helpline and ask them the dress code, what you are required to bring, what items you are not allowed to enter the prison premises with, and what you can pass on to the inmate when you come to visit. Visitors are required to produce a proof of identity at the time of arrival, so ask them beforehand which identification proofs they accept as valid.
The criminal justice system in the US can become quite bureaucratic and difficult to understand for the layman to approach and understand. A legal counsel is deemed a necessity in such cases. A qualified lawyer can not only help you get in touch with your loved ones on the other side of the bars, but also expedite their release. Certain cases become eligible for pro bono, which means that the case is worked on by the legal team free of charge.
Frequently judges order that suspects get GPS bracelets during probation and pre-trial release. Even though the clients who agree to wear the bracelets avoid continued detention. Well, it is customary that there is some punishing effect in the end. You may get additional arrest warrants, needed for frequent court visits, and charges of tampering. If you think that you need a professional to assist you get out of the injustice being practiced, as per Milwaukee criminal defense attorney, Matt Meyers people are likely to get preventable problems without doing anything wrong. Often, the devices can add up to the defendant’s fault, and severe penalties result. The article highlights the concern about ankle bracelets having microphones.
How Do Ankle Bracelets Monitoring Work?
The device, GPS ankle bracelets, are often used as a correction system that monitors offenders actions without the need for permanent detention. Many times the bracelet denotes the period between trial and imprisonment. At the same time, this allows an individual to continue with the regular life but with limited undertakings. Well, there are many types available that suit every kind of offender.
The truth is, in addition to the well-known features, GPS ankle bracelets have added communication and sensor devices. For example, a drug convict may get the type that occasionally monitors the sweat produced to tell the degree of soberness. Sometimes, the tracker has a two-way sensor system. With this, the correctional officers can notify the wearer not to go beyond the limit of the safe zone. The monitoring system as well sounds an alarm in case the offenders remove the anklet, to avoid escaping attempts.
The design of the electronic monitors calls for all time wearing as the device is tamper-resistant. It has radio frequency indicator that communicates to the monitoring station. The programming may allow you to have some freedom in a specific area, and the functions alert the officers should let you go beyond the region. So, the conditions differ among individuals while some get forced to stay indoors for the whole period of the sentence. On the other hand, others get allowed to travel or work or travel within the community.
Ankle Bracelets Rules and Limits
If the court demands you to have an ankle bracelet, you must understand the usage of necessities, rules, and also restrictions. The discussion continues to heat up. However, it is vital to remember some truths about what the monitoring system is capable of doing or not. The trackers help offenders who desire to get back into society. The device also can spare the suspect, from probing or jail time and work on release programs. Some convicts may serve the in-house sentence while wearing the designed ankle bracelet. The restrictions consist of:
- signal interference if the user needs to stay within the home
- No taking drugs or alcohol and give in to drug testing
- Pay some fees during use and fines should you fail
- Visit your parole officer every week
- Submission to all the supervision conditions
When you appear in Court, the Judge tells the person convicted the assumed violation. In case the individual denies the allegation, the Court can jail the person with or minus bond awaiting a further hearing. If you do not adhere to the rules, for instance, you decide to go beyond the designated distance or remove the device; authorities will come to your house. You could violate the sentence, and as a result face consequences like:
- Get in prison without an arrest warrant at anyplace you get caught
- As an alternative of getting arrested, the Judge can give a Notification to Come to Court
What is the Furthest You Can Go With an Ankle Bracelet?
Offender tracking system got introduced sometime back in the US. And now many countries continue to accept implementing the structure together. There is a centrally located computer which assembles the information from the installed monitoring device. The program works only for sentenced criminals undergoing work-release sentences or on trial and suspects awaiting a hearing.
Dependent on the exact terms prearranged for you for house arrest, a schedule will get set for you. With this, you only get permitted to move from your residence during sometimes. For instance, when going for employment and additional accepted activities, like grocery buying or visiting the church. The rest of the times, you must remain in the specified range of the designed monitoring equipment.
What If Your Ankle Bracelet Monitor Vibrates?
The difference in kinds of ankle bracelet monitors also means diverse capabilities. Some vibrate when the supervising officer tries to connect with you. Should this happen, then follow the provided instructions to declare the receipt of the communication. In case it vibrates, and you did not get instructions, you need to inform your controlling officer instantly. If you assume such an event, then you are likely risking the device and your life.
Indeed, the system may malfunction, or you could get accused of breaking the agreed terms. You should never try cutting off or removing your ankle bracelet monitor. Taking out or interfering with the monitor is known as a third-degree crime. The act is illegal and means about five years imprisonment, paying up to
$5,000 payment, or both. Remember the warning signal not only gets detected by you but also the officers who control it.
Can Your Ankle Bracelets Hear You Every time?
Another easy way of making the offender monitoring system involves including a fixed-line phone. The leading part of the tracking means it is to prove the criminal’s agreement to the rules. The person needs to have the ankle bracelet on at all the time. In such a situation, the monitoring computer will call you at home or work. The server has a speech recognition software which detects who has received the call. N case the criminal is absent, or somebody else picks up the phone, such fraud gets discovered, and the parole officer gets notified.
The type, however, works well for possibly violent soccer criminal sentenced by the court to remain indoors during club’s games. The system makes calls any time and repeatedly. Voice recording might not help, so
the device opts to ask random questions to confirm the real person. The monitor gets programmed to maintain the communication with officers to prevent rule violations. The notifications are enough to tell you that you get heard from the other end.
However, you need to be careful since signal loss although a common incidence for many people, can lead to broken connection. The device’s batteries need regular charging to keep charge the whole day. Failure to do this may force you to go back home and plug in the wall outlet. Some offenders have stayed in jail due to the hard moments like during power loss.
Who Holds Your Recorded Information?
The ankle bracelets are enclosed, a waterproof device more prominent than the sports watch. Well, a receiver gets installed in the monitored criminal’s house by the authorities. The sensor will detect and send signals the anklet captures within a particular programmed range. The extent of the distance can get prolonged to include some part of the area that you reside in or get a full allowance.
The monitoring systems have GPS navigation control to determine the moves of the person. All the collected information of your movements gets transferred to the central computer server. But the question is who has access to all the tracked data? Mostly, the details go to the corrections department, but other law enforcement team can access it too. In some instances, the hired monitoring company has the data.
What Should You Do To Avoid Problems
For a criminal to be on the safe side of the law, your movements need to conform to the specific time plan or set court requirements. If you have the chance to leave home during the day for work purposes, then the systems will ensure you take a direct route until you get back home or to jail. In case, you go beyond the limits; a warning gets sent to you.
The ankle bracelet will vibrate, and it is possible to receive an alarm also. The GPS feature, although works depending on where it got activated, and sometimes gets on without notice. Thousand of people in court, however, feel the device and technology violates the privacy of attorney-client relations. There is no privacy with this since even your personal and private chats get heard and recorded without your awareness and a court warrant. Such recordings can open another case for you and can act as substantial evidence against you. So, to avoid the consequences you must be cautious of what you do or say. The microphones are listening and can send you back to jail.
Finally, the first-time and non-violent suspects, jailing is not an ideal sentence. The best alternative is either a house arrest or monitored device, ankle bracelets. The system can watch all your activities and can make a call. If the phone gets answered, the central computer receives a notification which is accessible by the authorities. Indeed, the device can hear you and record whatever you say.
There are many related restrictions, and failure to comply can lead you to prison. Understand the way the anklets work and find it better when you abide by the rules. Keep in mind the golden rule, never attempt to tamper with the systems, you will lose reliability and the expected privileges. So, avoid getting back to detention.
Although each state has its own laws and procedures they follow when a person is charged with a criminal offense, the one good thing is that you are protected to some degree under the United States Constitution. In fact, most lawyers say that the process is fairly similar from state to state but the one thing is for certain no matter where you are charged and arrested for a criminal offense – talk to no one until you’ve hired an attorney. That should go without saying. If you’ve never been arrested before, it can come as quite a shock. Here is some of what you need to know.
Your Constitutional Rights
The reason you shouldn’t give any kind of statement to the police is because it can, and most often will, be used in a court of law. This is where altogether too many innocent people get themselves in hot water. Never thinking that what they say could be misconstrued, they feel they have nothing to fear since they know they are not guilty of what they are being accused of.
You have Miranda Rights protecting you under the 5th Amendment in which you don’t have to say anything that might incriminate you. If you’ve never been arrested before and have no clue what the actual crime is, how do you know what is safe to say? Therefore, only talk to an attorney and have one present when you make a statement. Your freedom could depend on it!
Call a Bail Bondsman
This is another area where many first offenders and innocent people aren’t familiar with. Many people believe that the moment they are brought into the station and booked, they can call a bail bondsman like Goldberg Bail Bonds that has bondsmen throughout the state of Minnesota. It’s easy to find them because they have so many locations, but it won’t do you any good until you’ve had a bond hearing.
That may be the same day, the next morning or even longer if it’s a weekend or holiday. Yes, you should call a bail bondsman, but don’t waste your time until you know what your bail is set at. They can do nothing for you until then and will only tell you as much.
Do You Really Only Get One Phone Call?
You have probably watched dozens of movies where the person being arrested is allowed to make only one phone call. Actually, that may or may not be the case depending on where you were arrested, the seriousness of the crime you are accused of having committed and alas, your behavior during the arrest. Actually, in most places you are granted a reasonable amount of calls because under the 6th Amendment you are entitled to legal defense the moment proceedings commence. That would be at the time of your arrest, would it not? However, taking all of the above into consideration and not being familiar with the judicial system in your locale, don’t take anything for granted. You may only get one call and you may be allowed half a dozen. You may be given bail the same day and you may need to wait a reasonable length of time until court convenes again. There are so many variables that the only thing you can be sure of is the fact that you should not speak to anyone until you’ve hired legal counsel. Your freedom could very well depend on it. Isn’t it better to always be safe than sorry?
Surviving a sexual assault is quite an ordeal; the kind that will likely leave you with post-traumatic stress in one form or another. For what it’s worth, do know that you are not at fault for what you’ve been through, and there is light in the times ahead of you. Although it may take a considerable amount of time to process this, with the right frame of mind and the necessary support, you will once again rebuild your sense of self-worth and attain emotional balance, coming out of it stronger than ever before. In no particular order of significance, there’s a whole lot you can do to put all of this behind you:
Find someone you can trust
Going through recovery alone means you’re only going to be making everything needlessly harder on yourself. Instead, it’s better to find someone you can trust and open yourself up to what happened. Remain communicative. Sure enough, there’s stigma all around, but that’s all the more reason to open up to the people you trust; those who’ll be keeping it a secret. But whatever you do, don’t keep telling yourself that it never happened; denying the truth will only serve to reinforce the image of being a victim in your mind. If you need to feel vulnerable for a bit and seek solitude while you heal, that’s completely understandable. Just don’t completely isolate yourself for a prolonged period of time – socializing will help you heal.
Don’t feel guilty about what happened
It’s important to realize that what happened to you has absolutely nothing to do with your values or personality. By no means did you bring this upon yourself. Many sexual assault victims are harsh on themselves, thinking they should have done more to stop the attack. However, when you’re experiencing physical trauma, your body gets frozen and you’re often completely unable to move. Thinking clearly becomes quite a challenge, and in the end, you end up doing nothing about it. And if someone you know did this to you, don’t blame yourself for trusting that person; there was probably no way to anticipate it. If you were intoxicated at the time, don’t blame yourself for it – the only one who is to blame is the attacker, no one else.
As you’re recovering, flashbacks may gradually keep coming back, reminding you of the events that transpired. It’s not uncommon for the victims to develop a post-traumatic stress disorder. If you find yourself on the edge all the time, experiencing nightmares, and being overly vigilant even when the threat has passed, it might be time to seek out professional help. This is especially true if these feelings linger on for an extended period of time. Do you get irritated by certain places or smells but can’t find a reason for it? Are you experiencing shortness of breath and a lingering sense of panic even when no immediate danger is in sight? These are all signs of PTSD – if you notice these, try to calm down any way you can. On a positive note, there are specifically-designed techniques for this that can help you.
Learn how to deal with flashbacks
No matter how strong you are, you will likely experience some flashbacks at some point, making you feel as if the attack is happening all over again. By realizing this, you will be much better equipped to take control of the situation and realize it’s, in fact, a flashback, not reality. You’re not a victim – you’re a survivor. Remember that, always, especially when times get tough and flashbacks keep reappearing. When you’re in the middle of a flashback, it also helps to ground yourself in the present reality to prevent your mind from escaping to dark places. For instance, you can describe the room that you are in. Is it the same one as the one in which the attack happened? If not, this is a convincing argument that you’re in the present, not the past. Go over this every time a flashback occurs, and you will ground yourself in the present reality.
Connect yourself to your feelings once again
You may think that staying forever numb will shield yours from emotional trauma. While this may be true, you are also robbing yourself of positive feelings of excitement and enjoy; a compromise that is rarely worth taking. A life without feelings is existing, not living. There are many things you can try to establish the connection to your body and feel more confident again. Have you tried meditation? If you’re the sporty type, martial arts are another thing you can try. Plus, they have the self-defence element to them that will make you a powerful force to be reckoned with and re-establish your confidence. In general, any kind of rhythmic movement will help. Some may prefer dancing, others may like to artistically express themselves by playing an instrument. But no matter which path you take, just get moving – it will get better!
Now that you’ve somehow managed to rebuild at least a part of your self-esteem, it’s time to fight back and press charges against the perpetrators. Keep your chin up, lawyer up, and gather the evidence necessary so they will pay for their misdeeds. Do your due diligence and learn more about what’s needed to prevail in court, then push it with full speed ahead. The only alternative is staying silent, but you don’t want that, do you? Punishing whoever did this to you is the only way to make sure the same thing won’t happen to another unfortunate individual. As a matter of fact, people who do such ill-conceived things count on your fear of them as well as your embarrassment in hopes that they won’t get punished. Standing up for yourself may not be the easiest thing on your plate, but it’s the only right one to do.
The road to overcoming this will be long and riddled with obstacles, but by seeing the light in front of you, you’ll be able to pull yourself together and live your life once again. After all, many sexual assault survivors have successfully done so in the past, so keep your chin up and follow in their footsteps.
Humans make mistakes and sometimes those mistakes get us caught. If your mistake of being irresponsible with drug possession gets you caught, it can mean you’re in a lot of trouble.
But that trouble doesn’t have to ruin your life. If you take the right steps you can minimize the damage this charge does to your future.
Learn the right steps below.
Don’t Admit to Drug Possession (or Anything)
When you’re arrested for drug possession it can mean one of two things: you’re bodily in possession (you’re high) and you have the drug on you.
Either way, the officer may try to use scare tactics to confuse or scare you into confessing. Don’t give into this. When they read you your rights, take the “You have the right to remain silent” right to heart.
Do not admit to anything. You may ask clarifying questions like “Am I free to go?” and “what am I being arrested for?” But don’t ask questions that prompt guilt.
For example, don’t ask “am I being arrested because I smell like weed?” That’s supplying the officer with evidence that you agree you smell like weed.
Ask them general questions if you have to and let them fill in the details. Or just stay silent and wait for a lawyer.
If You’re Booked . . .
If you’re sent to jail or holding, try to get out as soon as possible. That seems obvious, but a lot of people don’t know what that means, or how to do it successfully.
Do not tell the other people in holding what you’re being held for. Don’t admit to anything. You can say “they said they were arresting me for ___” but if anyone asks to follow up questions, deny or stay silent.
When you’re in holding, you can get out in one of two ways. You can pay your bail yourself – usually with about 10 to 20% down. Or you can call a loved one.
You get more than one phone call, usually, in larger jails because the more people you can contact to get you out, the less work the prison has to do.
After you find someone to post your bail (or you do it and get out) call a lawyer immediately.
Find the Right Lawyer
When you’re out of immediate danger, get some sleep. You’ll be tired from the events of the arrest and won’t be thinking clearly from the stress. This is another reason it’s so important to stay silent.
When you wake up, write down everything you remember about your arrest. It’s okay if it’s not in order or it doesn’t make sense. Just get it all out on paper.
When you talk to your lawyer, you’ll now have a list of things to help answer their questions.
If necessary, you may want to look into a rehab program, like this site.
Listen to Your Representation
Whatever your lawyer says, you need to do. Now, of course, you’re your own person and you can ask questions or draw boundaries. But in general, you need to follow their advice.
They’re employed for a reason and they know what to do. Give them the information they ask for in your drug possession case then let them help you.
Learn what you need in a lawyer, here.