FLORIDA LEGAL ARTICLE: LAW ATTORNEYS PENSACOLA
Under the U.S. system of law, attorneys (in Pensacola and Florida as a whole) provide invaluable legal counsel to clients accused of committing criminal acts. Criminal defense lawyers are committed to protecting their clients’ constitutional rights. They have both the knowledge and experience to make sure nobody tramples on those rights. And while individuals accused of any criminal act should consult with Pensacola law attorneysto discuss their legal options, they should also have at least a basic knowledge of how the criminal justice system works.
The Miranda Rule requires that police inform individuals they are arresting of certain constitutional rights before beginning interrogation. Those rights include:
- The right to remain silent;
- The right to have a Pensacola law attorney present during questioning;
- The right to have a Pensacola law attorney appointed if you are unable to afford one.
Remember that police can question you before taking you into custody, though you are not required to answer their questions. Once they place you under arrest, however, they must read you your Miranda rights. Anything you say after that point can be used against you in court.
After arresting you, the police will transport you to the police station and begin the booking process. You’ll be fingerprinted and asked identifying questions such as your name and date of birth. They’ll search you, photograph you, and catalog and store your personal belongings.
Once you have been arrested, criminal charges will be filed against you and you’ll need to appear in court at what is referred to as an “arraignment.” This usually happens within 72 hours after you’ve been incarcerated. Your Pensacola law attorney–whether hired by you or appointed by the court if you can’t afford to hire one–will represent you during this proceeding. You’ll be asked to enter a plea (i.e. guilty, not guilty, no contest) to the crime you’ve been charged with committing.
After you either plead guilty, no contest, or are found guilty at trial, your case will proceed to the sentencing phase of the criminal process. Pensacola law attorneys can provide you the best possible chance of receiving the lightest sentence possible under the law. If necessary, they can also represent you after the sentencing phase, should you choose to file an appeal.