Unfortunately, people across Australia are charged with various crimes every single day. Crimes vary from very simple and basic ones like parking or speeding offences to more serious things like assault or drug-related offences.
Dealing with a charge can be a difficult and confronting process, especially if it is the first time that you have been booked. High-quality criminal lawyers can help you deal with your charge, and should be able to direct you and show you what your next steps are.
Before being charged
If the police are around asking you questions, then you need to carefully consider how you answer them. Being courteous and friendly is never a bad idea, especially if you are guilty. Doing so could help you get charged with a less serious offence, while being difficult won’t help your situation at all.
If you are guilty, then you need to provide police with the information that they have a right to – your name, address, phone number, etc… – and then say that you want to see your lawyer. A good criminal lawyer will know the processes involved and will be able to help you get the best out of your situation.
After being charged
Once you have been charged with a crime, everything changes. Depending on the severity of the offence, there are a number of possible outcomes which you need to consider. If you have been charged with a relatively serious crime, you may be held in prison without bail. In this case you can ask your lawyer to inform important people who need to know about your situation. These people may include your spouse and family or your employer.
Can you get bailed?
If you have committed a serious offence, you may be required to post bail before being able to go home. ‘Bail’ is a financial penalty which you must pay to the court (but which you will get back when you attend your case) to make sure that you don’t flee and miss your court date. The more severe your offence, the higher bail will be. If your offence is too serious, you will be denied bail and kept in custody until your court date.
If you are guilty or not:
In most states, there are significant benefits to pleading guilty to your charges. These include, but aren’t limited to reduced sentences, a quicker trial, and downgraded charges. If you are guilty, then seek advice from your criminal lawyer before taking any action, but an early guilty plea can be a good course of action.
If you aren’t guilty, then make sure you have a good lawyer, be honest with the authorities, and make sure that you obey any bail conditions. Doing this will make sure that you have the best chance of getting off your charges when you have to go to court.
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