You should always be represented in court by an attorney when facing criminal charges. You should especially have an attorney when you are innocent but also when you intend to plead guilty. An attorney will facilitate the best possible outcome for your case in ways that you may not know are possible. Additionally, if you appear in court without counsel, there is the possibility of being taken into custody. An attorney can often help prevent this from happening.
AIf you are charged with a misdemeanor, most courts will allow the attorney to handle every aspect of the case up to trial without you being present. This is one of the great benefits of hiring an attorney. If you are charged with a felony you will have to attend all court hearings and you must be on time!
AThe only time that you must be advised of your Miranda Rights (“You have a right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have a right to an attorney. If you can’t afford one, one will be appointed at no cost.”) is if the arresting office intends to question or interrogate you about the offense once you are in custody. Technically, you are in custody once you are handcuffed and are placed inside the police vehicle. Interrogation also commonly occurs at the police station. A voluntary meeting with the police does not require the advisement of rights. Only a custodial interrogation requires that your rights be read.
Bear in mind that anything you say WILL be used against you so it is always best to remain silent and hire an attorney as soon as possible!!
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