What To Do If You Or a Loved One is Investigated or Arrested in Florida
June 6, 2022
No one wants to read what you are about to read. Optimistic, hopeful-sounding marketing fluff is much sweeter. Yet this will blow up like a bomb when things get real around Docket Day and a decision must be made to accept a plea offer or go to trial. Therefore, here are precisely 6 things you simply must do when first learning of an investigation or worse, being arrested:
(1) Do a check-up from the next up – if ever there has been a time in your life where you must have laser-like focus and self-control, this is it. None of what follows is useful unless you have focus and self-control. Lack of self-control leads many to emotionally blow up like a bomb and make poor decisions. The need for emotional fitness cannot be overstated.
(2) Ask to speak with a lawyer – if you ask questions or do anything else, you are damaging your legal interests. The investigator is an experienced interrogator who is trained to lie in order to build a case against you. Don’t explain, don’t ask questions, just ask for a lawyer. You don’t need to specify who or even say “criminal defense lawyer”, but it must not be posed as a question: “Should I get a lawyer first?”. Make a clear statement that you are invoking your right to counsel.
(3) Raise as much money as you can – no one likes to hear this and no one has arrest and prosecution insurance. Yet the fact is you are behind the prosecution time-wise and money will be needed for any bail bond, criminal defense attorney legal fees, and defense expenses related to criminal law litigation. Remember: most criminal defense attorneys are going to want their fee in full and upfront. Criminal defense lawyers who take payment plans are often out of breath from running from the courtroom to courtroom continuing cases so the payments will be made. This case overload due to poor law firm management is why you should…
(4) Avoid the public defender – they simply have too many cases. I was a public defender for many years and loved being able to help people. Until I could not help them because cases were coming out of my ears. Every assistant public defender in Florida is overloaded and this is a major reason I left: there was no path to becoming a Florida Bar board-certified specialist in criminal trial law with cases coming out of my ears. You need dedicated, privately retained criminal defense attorneys working on your case.
(5) Follow instructions – because you are in the most dangerous minefield in your life. For example, don’t dress “nice” for court. Dress precisely for court. Why so rigid? Your courtroom attire, facial expressions, and body posture will affect others psychologically. This is why Florida Criminal Defense Legal Group sends Dress Instructions for Court to every person who contacts us.
(6) Listen to legal counsel – and expect bad news. You don’t want to read this statement any more than the one about raising money. But you deserve the truth and no criminal defense attorney can guarantee a win. The first starting point is actually avoiding the maximum sentence. Criminal defense lawyers love fighting legal issues and especially going to trial. However, In today’s world, the risks associated with going through a jury trial are high: I have clients who took bad cases to trial against the legal team’s advice and they are still in prison.
There are many other things you must know if you or someone you love is being investigated or has been arrested. However, this blunt reality assessment will get you started correctly and increase the likelihood that you will avoid making your legal situation worse.