How Do You Exercise Your Right to a Criminal Defense Attorney in Florida?
Facing a criminal charge is incredibly stressful. The right professional legal counsel can make all of the difference. You are probably already broadly aware of the fact that you have the right to be represented by a lawyer. You may be wondering: How do you actually get an attorney after an arrest? In this article, you will find an overview of the key things to know about exercising your right to a criminal defense attorney in Orlando.
The Sixth Amendment Protects Your Right to a Defense Lawyer
It is no secret that criminal proceedings are complicated. You do not have to try to navigate the system alone. The goal of police and prosecutors is to obtain a conviction. They are not there to protect your rights. The good news: Every person charged with a crime in Florida has the right to an attorney. The Sixth Amendment ensures that any person who is facing a criminal charge can be represented by a qualified legal professional. You can hire your own criminal defense attorney in Orlando. If you cannot afford a lawyer, the state will provide you with legal counsel (public defender.)
Law Enforcement Cannot Continue to Interrogate After Your Ask for an Attorney
A critical component of the rights granted to under the U.S. Constitution is your right to a Miranda warning. You are protected against self-incrimination. While police officers have the right to try to interview you (interrogate you), your Orlando criminal defense lawyer can—and should—be by your side each and every step of the way.
In Florida, if you are in police custody and you ask for a defense attorney, the questioning must stop. In other words, law enforcement officers cannot force you to answer any of their questions. Further, the fact that you declined to cooperate with their investigation cannot be used as evidence against you in a criminal case. You can always stop an interrogation by asking for a lawyer.
You Must Make a Clear, Unequivocal Request for a Defense Lawyer
How do you invoke your right to a criminal defense attorney? It is actually a little bit more complicated than many people realize. While your constitutionally-protected right to an attorney is clear, it is essential to note that you must make a clear and unequivocal request for a defense lawyer. Simply implying or hinting at wanting legal representation is not enough. Here is an example: imagine that you are in a police interrogation room. They started questioning you aggressively. You make the following statements:
- “Maybe I should get a lawyer” and
- “Do you think I need an attorney?”
Did you invoke your right to ask for a defense lawyer? In the eyes of the Supreme Court of the United States, probably not. To ask police for a lawyer, you need to be clear, assertive, and, if needed, repetitive. Do not agree to answer any further questions. Simply state the following: I am invoking my right to an attorney.
Contact Our Orlando Criminal Defense Attorney Today
At Joshi Law Firm, PA, our Orlando criminal defense lawyer invests the time, resources, and personalized attention that our clients deserve. Call us right away or contact us online to set up a strictly confidential initial appointment. From our Orlando legal office, we provide solutions-driven legal guidance and support to defendants throughout all of Central Florida, including St. Cloud, Kissimmee, Apopka, Sanford, Clermont, Winter Garden, Winter Park, and Altamonte Springs.