What is Criminal Defense and When Do I Need it?

If you are accused of a crime, know your rights. The Barrera Law Firm can assist you with criminal defense.

Criminal defense means ensuring that each and every one of your constitutional rights is followed and also that the government meets its burden in bringing forth evidence against you. Furthermore, it also means that you are entitled to a fair and unbiased legal opportunity.

Any time that you are even suspected of a crime or wrongdoing, you should immediately seek the services of an attorney to provide criminal defense.

When do arresting officers have to read me my rights?

Police officers should read you your rights at the time of arrest.

What if arresting officers forget or otherwise neglect to read me my rights?

If police officers arrest you and don’t read you your Miranda rights, any statements or admissions you make could be kept out of court. This is not a guarantee, but the possibility always exists.

If a police officer questions me regarding an incident but has not yet arrested me, what should I know about my rights?

If you have not been arrested but a police officer detains you for questioning, you have the right to answer or not answer the questions.

You also have the right to ask the police officer if you can leave. If the police officer says you have to stay, then that clarifies whether or not the court may regard you as having a heightened sense of usual scrutiny.

When can police search my property?

Police can search your property if you give them permission to do so or if they have a valid search warrant.

Can the police ever search my property without a warrant?

If there is an emergency situation and evidence exists in plain view, then the answer is yes. Be aware, however, that this would not amount to a true search. This is because police officers would not be able to look in areas, such as inside closed cabinets that are not in plain view.

When do I have a right to a trial by jury?

You always have the right to a trial by jury. This is guaranteed by the sixth amendment U.S. Constitution. The only time that this is not so is when you waive that right. You can do so if you choose a plea bargain or if you simply do not wish to have a trial by jury and elect to have a bench trial instead.


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