Even if you are a law-abiding citizen, the fact is, you can be caught up in criminal theft charges by law enforcement. Each year, many innocent individuals end up being wrongly charged with criminal theft, and some of them even serve years of jail time as a result. If you are a victim of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, it is important to know that you have a right to defend yourself against your charges, especially in court.
How Did This Happen?
Perhaps you were shopping with a friend and the friend intentionally put something in your purse or pocket. Maybe you accidentally walked out of a store without paying for something. In either circumstance, you could be charged with theft. Unfortunately, in many situations, law enforcement officers will refuse to listen to your explanations, as their job is only to arrest individuals suspected of committing a crime. Do not speak to the police until your attorney is present, advises the law office of Reisig & Associates. This ensures a greater chance of keeping your record free of undue charges.
What Can You Do?
If you’ve found yourself in this type of situation or you are facing theft charges of any kind in the New Jersey area, for example, it is important that you find a NJ criminal defense lawyer. A good attorney will examine all of the facts surrounding your case and charges, and will work hard to help you to find the best defense strategy for your situation.
Benefits of Hiring a Defense Attorney
In many circumstances, an experienced lawyer will also be able to give you insight regarding the criminal hearing process, information regarding your charges, and they can even represent your best interests in court. The courtroom process can often be complex, confusing and frustrating, and trying to represent yourself in court may be a mistake. While you certainly have the right to appear before a judge on your own behalf, many professionals recommend partnering with a well-qualified legal firm instead.
Let Your Defense Attorney Handle Everything
Aside from offering guidance in the courtroom, a New Jersey criminal defense attorney (or one in your area) can also speak for you during your trial, assuring that you do not unlawfully incriminate yourself. Furthermore, your lawyer can fill out and file all necessary legal forms required of you, even if you are incarcerated at the time the forms are due.
Another important benefit of hiring a criminal attorney is that he or she can deal directly with all of the law enforcement officers involved in your case. While you may need to give statements to police who initially investigated your case, your attorney may be able to handle all official interactions with police in the courtroom and beyond. This can be especially beneficial when you consider the fact that many people are intimidated by police officers when it comes to legal representation.
As mentioned, it does not matter how you were originally charged with theft; all that matters is that you do the right thing by contacting a qualified attorney in your area as soon as possible. Having an experienced defense lawyer on your side can offer you a better chance of making sure that justice prevails in your case, bringing you peace of mind and a brighter future.
Karla M. Somers is a freelance writer and former mediator for the state of New York. She is a contributing writer for New Jersey criminal trial attorneys, Reisig & Associates