One aspect of criminal law that often upsets folks who've been accused of wrongdoing is not feeling like they get to have their say about what's happening. From the perspective of an attorney, a client trying to press their case too hard and too soon can be worrisome. This is especially the case when charges haven't been filed yet. When do you get to say something in your defense? Let's take a look at that problem from the viewpoint of a criminal law services provider.
During Police Interviews
Pressing your side of the matter hard during police interviews is usually considered a bad idea. That goes double if you don't have a lawyer present to protect your rights while they ask questions. Even if you feel like the argument in your defense is super easy to understand and would instantly convince the police of your innocence, don't go there. They have a job to do and it's best to stick to answering the questions your attorney says you should respond to.
In the meantime, make a point to keep mum about the matter before and after charges have been filed. Stay off social media and avoid discussing your situation with others. There just isn't much upside in mounting a vigorous defense at this stage and you should leave the work to your lawyer.
At Initial Hearings
Should the state press charges against you, you will be compelled to appear at a series of hearings. Depending on the state, the alleged crime, and the timing of the case, some of these initial hearings may be compressed. You'll be read the charges against you and the court will verify that you have counsel.
A plea will be requested, but most defendants at this point plead not guilty even if they plan to plead guilty later. The goal at this stage is simply to buy time and to find out what the state's case against you looks like.
To the extent a lawyer will want to put up a serious fight at this point, they will mostly ask the court to look at concerns about why and how the case was brought. If there are problems, such as police misconduct, your attorney will ask that the charges be dismissed.
Presuming you haven't entered into a plea agreement, you will now present your defense. Notably, this is often more about poking holes in the state's case than proving your innocence.
For more information, contact a criminal law service like Johnson Motinger Greenwood Law Firm.