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Importance of Contacting a Criminal Defense Attorney in Richmond

If you have been investigated or even contacted by law enforcement in Richmond, Virginia it may be in your best interest to seek legal counsel from an experienced Richmond criminal defense lawyer. Below are frequently asked questions regarding legal representation and why it is important even if you have not been charged with a criminal offense. Call today to schedule a free consultation.

If I Tell An Officer I Want to Speak With An Attorney, Does That Apply Guilt?

Oh, not at all, not at all. That is your right. One thing I tell clients is that you are never required to give a statement to an officer. You should always be polite and cooperative but understand you have a right not to incriminate yourself; it’s your Fifth Amendment right not to make a statement without an attorney.

Some potential clients feel that retaining a lawyer is somehow an acknowledgment of their guilt.  I tell them that retaining a lawyer is not only the smart way to handle any criminal matter but also your right.

Why is That Important to Speak to Counsel Even Before I Am Charged?

I think it’s good just to get knowledge of the law, to understand what the risks are, and what are my potential outcomes are should I speak to them. I think just try to educate clients as to the procedures the process, you know, what are they looking for here, someone has knowledge in the field.  It is always best to speak with an attorney first before deciding to contact law enforcement – you need to know this risks and advantages of doing such a thing.

Why Should I Work With a Private Law Office As Opposed To Working With a Public Defender?

I think mainly it is just a matter of choice and time allocation. I’m not saying anything bad about public defender’s office, but typically they are saturated with cases. In other words they are carrying a heavy, heavy case load. And so sometimes they may not be able to provide the kind of one-on-one time or the one-on-one communication that people are looking for or that people need in many cases to understand their case and the possible effects this could have on their future on their current jobs, etc.

I think what a private attorney can do typically is provide that – that time, provide that specialization they’re looking for versus a public defender.

And again, it also comes down to choice. With the private attorney you’re choosing your attorney and with a public defender, the court appoints you one. You don’t get to pick and choose who at the public defender’s office you want to use versus with the private attorney, again, you’re picking them you’re interviewing them.  You want to choose someone you feel comfortable with and that you communicate well with.