Your Rights If You Are Accused Of A Crime: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
If you or your loved one has been accused of committing a crime in Central Florida, it is normal to be stressed out, confused, and frightened. Criminal allegations are always a very serious matter. You have important legal rights. At The Baez Law Firm, our law firm provides aggressive criminal defense representation. We want to make sure that everyone knows their rights under the law. Here, our Orlando criminal defense attorney answers four frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the rights of the accused in Florida.
- Do I Have to Talk to the Police?
No. Under the Fifth Amendment, you have a right to remain silent—both when being questioned by law enforcement and while on trial for a crime. You do not have to answer questions from police officers. Indeed, it is in your best interests to exercise your right to remain silent. The reality is that the police are not looking out for what is best for the accused. They are trying to get evidence to convict you of a crime—and your words can be used against you in court.
- What Do ‘Presumption of Innocence’ and ‘Reasonable Doubt’ Mean?
Every person who has been arrested in Florida is presumed to be innocent until proven guilty in court. To prove that an accused person is guilty, the state (prosecutors) must present evidence that establishes every element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. It is a high bar to meet for prosecutors. If a reasonable doubt remains, the jury should return a not guilty verdict.
- How Do I Get a Criminal Defense Attorney?
Every defendant who stands trial in Florida has the right to legal representation. If you cannot provide your own attorney, you can request a public defender through the state’s system. Of course, public defenders have an enormous caseload and will not be able to devote much time or resources to any specific legal matter. It is always best to protect your rights and your future by hiring an experienced criminal defense lawyer.
- Will I Get a Plea Agreement in My Case?
A plea agreement is effectively an agreement between the prosecution and the defense whereby an accused person pleads guilty to a specific offense—often a lesser charge—in exchange for reduced penalties. You always have the right to take your case to trial to prove your innocence in court. Though, a plea agreement may be the best option if the prosecution has sufficient evidence to get a conviction. An Orlando criminal defense attorney can help you secure the most favorable plea agreement possible.
Get Help From a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Central Florida
At The Baez Law Firm, our Orlando criminal defense lawyer goes above and beyond to provide personalized, effective legal representation to clients. Every person deserves their day in court. If you or your loved one was arrested on a felony or misdemeanor criminal charge, we are here to help. Contact us today for a free, confidential initial appointment. From our Orlando office, we serve communities throughout all of Central Florida, including in Orange County and Seminole County.