What To Do If You Are Charged With A Crime In St Charles Missouri
If you have been arrested and charged with a crime in St Charles, Missouri, you must follow certain steps and keep a few things in mind to ensure that your case is resolved in the best possible way.
It is not uncommon for people to go into panic mode at the point of arrest. This is because they know what lies ahead of them if they are found guilty of the charges against them.
Criminal charges carry very stiff penalties under Missouri laws, whether it is a felony or a misdemeanor. For example, a Class B misdemeanor carries a six-month imprisonment penalty or a fine option of $1,000 while a Class C felony could earn one between 3 – 10 years of prison time.
At the point of arrest, it may be difficult to tell what class your crime falls under. What is important, however, is that you do not suffer for a crime you did not commit. Being charged with a crime is not the end of the road. What matters most is how well you are able to handle it.
In this article, we discuss some of the things you can do to help your situation after an arrest has been made.
One mistake people often make is to try to defend themselves at the point of arrest. Some frantically try to prove their innocence or ignorance of the crime on the spot. But the truth is; it only worsens your case as your words at the point of arrest could be used as evidence in court. Simply put, you may end up indicting yourself.
The best thing to do is to remain quiet throughout the arrest process. You can ask to see the warrant of arrest but do not try to dispute anything at that point. Even when you are at the police station, maintain your silence as much as you can.
Get In Touch With An Attorney
As soon as you get to the station, you should contact an attorney who would take up your case on your behalf. Your attorney would be the one to do most of the talking. You will be presented with an attorney if it has been deemed that you are unable to afford one, but this isn’t always in your best interest. You can contact Shea Kohl Law LC to provide a criminal defense attorney that would represent you throughout the case. Besides representation, your attorney would also advise you and inform you of possible choices you have regarding your case. Your attorney would also help you to gather evidence to build a solid defense.
The next thing you would want to do is to leave police custody as soon as you can. You would first be arraigned before a judge. During your arraignment, your offense would be read out to you and the judge would state your bail amount.
Your bail amount is determined by several factors, such as if it is your first offense, if you are considered a flight risk, the nature of the crime, and more.
Once you post your bail, you are permitted to go home - under the condition that you would always show up when needed. Making bail allows you to plan properly for your trial together with your attorney. If you do not have the full amount for bail available, you can always seek the services of a bail bondsman.
Discuss Options With Your Attorney
At this point, you should be meeting regularly with your attorney to know what options you have and the possible ways your case can end. It is highly recommended that you are completely honest with your attorney as that would help them know the options to pursue. Also, your attorney may recommend options for you as he/she continues to review the case.
In a situation where there are doubts that a “not guilty” plea might work, your attorney can suggest other options. This helps to prepare your mind for any eventual outcome of your case. But they would not take any decision without your knowledge and approval.
Keep Things Private
It is also important that you try to keep things as private as possible or strictly between you and your attorney. You should avoid divulging information to people, including close friends and even family members. Your attorney is in the best position to provide you all the advice you need so there is no point discussing your case with friends with the hope of advice.
Don’t Miss Your Court Dates
Showing up in court when needed is something you should keep in your mind always. It is never a good thing to skip court on your date of appearance as that could set your case back and make you guilty of another crime.
You should try, by all means, to show up in court at the appointed date. It is normal for people to feel nervous during the days leading to the trial but skipping court does not help you in any way.
These are some of the things to do once you have been charged with a crime. The most important thing is to have a competent defense attorney by your side to help you throughout the process.
One common mistake people fondly make is to hire an attorney as a last resort, after making other blunders, making it very tough for the attorney to be of any real assistance.
You should contact an attorney from the first instance you are given the opportunity at the police station. If you did not already have an attorney, then you should contact Shea Kohl Law LC to help you with one.
Shea Kohl Law LC has a team of qualified and experienced criminal defense attorneys who are very familiar with the laws around Missouri and even at the federal level. Your attorney would be in the best place to tell you what steps to take next and the further things you should and should not do.