CRIMINAL LAW

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW

Being accused of a crime is traumatic and not something you should deal with alone.  The Constitution provides that you must be presumed innocent. While that presumption should be maintained, oftentimes it is disregarded.  Mrs. Salice will be in your corner providing an aggressive defense to defend your rights as an individual if you were charged with a crime. She will place her individualized attention on your case!

Definitions and Answers

Misdemeanor -  a crime that can be punished by jail time of up to one year, but not by time in state prison. Punishment can also include maximum fines of $1,000. 

Felony - a serious crime that can be punished by more than one year in prison, or by death.   


Expungement- is a court-ordered process in which the legal record of an arrest or a criminal conviction is "sealed," or erased in the eyes of the law. 


WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I'M ARRESTED?

What is an arrest?

  •  When you are arrested, you are taken into custody. Now is a good time to call Attorney Salice!  Being taken into custody means that you are not free to leave the scene. Without being arrested, however, you still could be detained or held for questioning for a short time if a police officer or other person believes you may be involved in a crime. For example, an officer may detain you if you are carrying a large box near a recent burglary site. Storekeepers also can detain you if they suspect you have stolen something. Whether you are arrested or detained, you do not have to answer any questions except to give your name and address and show some identification if requested. 


 What rights do I have? (Know Your Rights) 

You have certain rights if you are arrested. Before the law enforcement officer questions you, he or she should tell you that:

  • You have the right to remain silent.
  • Anything you say can and will be used against you.
  • You have a right to have a lawyer present (Danielle G. Salice, Esq.) while you are questioned.
  • If you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be appointed for you.


These are your Miranda rights, guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. If you are not given these warnings, Mrs Salice will request that any statements you made to the police not be used against you in court. Note, this does not necessarily mean that your case will be dismissed. Nor does this apply if you volunteer information without being questioned by the police. 

 

 Once I'm told my rights, can I be questioned?

  • You can be questioned, without a lawyer present, only if you voluntarily give up your rights and if you understand what you are giving up. If you agree to the questioning and then change your mind, the questioning must stop as soon as you say so or as soon as you say that you want a lawyer. If the questioning continues after you request a lawyer and you continue to talk, your answers can be used against you if you testify to something different.
  • When questioning begins, make sure to call 424.274.1846 immediately!  You can reach an attorney directly.


When should I call a lawyer at the Salice Law?

  • Other than times mentioned above; if you are arrested for a crime, particularly a serious one, you should contact the Law Office as soon as possible. An attorney has a better sense of what you should and should not say to law enforcement officers to avoid being misinterpreted or misunderstood. The lawyer also can advise you or your family or friends on the bail process.  

 
Who can arrest me?

  • All law enforcement officers can arrest you whether they are on or off duty, in most cases. 
  • Probation and parole officers also can arrest you. If they have probable cause or good reason to believe you committed a felony, they can arrest you even if they do not have an arrest warrant. They do not have to see you commit a felony in order to arrest you. They do, however, have to see you commit a misdemeanor in order to arrest you. If you commit an infraction, they may ask you to sign a citation or notice instead of taking you into custody. 
  •        An infraction is a minor offense, such as a moving violation, for which the punishment is usually a fine. If you sign the citation, you are not admitting guilt. You are only promising to appear in court. If you have no identification or refuse to sign, however, an officer may take you into custody. 

 
When is an arrest warrant ?

  • A warrant is usually required before you can be taken into custody in your home. (You can, however, be arrested at home without a warrant if fast action is needed to prevent you from escaping, destroying evidence, endangering someone’s life or seriously damaging property.) The arrest warrant must be signed by a magistrate or judge, who must have good reason to believe that you committed a crime. Once an arrest warrant is issued, any law enforcement officer in the state can arrest you — even if the officer does not have a copy of the warrant. Generally, there is no time limit on using a warrant to make an arrest. If the police have an arrest warrant, you should be allowed to see it. If they don’t have the warrant with them, you should be allowed to see it as soon as is practical. Before entering your home, a law enforcement officer generally must knock, identify him or herself and tell you that you are going to be arrested. If you refuse to open the door — or if there is another good reason — the officer can break in through a door or window. The police may search the area within your reach. If you are arrested outdoors, they generally cannot search your home or car. Resisting an arrest or detention is a crime. If you resist arrest, you can be charged with a misdemeanor or felony in addition to the crime for which you are being arrested. If you resist, an officer can use force to overcome your resistance or prevent your escape. The officer can even use deadly force if it appears that you will use force to cause serious injury. 


What is bail and how is it set?

  • The amount of bail – money or other security deposited with the court to ensure that you will appear – is set by a schedule in each county. For some traffic citations, you may be notified that you can forfeit or give up bail instead of appearing in court.  
  • Salice Law seeks to have you released on your own recognizance, without having to pay any bail amount. 

 
What happens at my arraignment?

  • If you have been arrested, you have the right to be arraigned on any charges without unnecessary delay, usually within two court days.
  • At the arraignment, you can plead guilty or not guilty. Or, if the court approves, you can plead nolo contendere (which means no contest).  
  • An Attorney from Salice Law will stand in on your behalf and explain to you each step of the way.

 
What happens at a preliminary hearing?

  • During the preliminary hearing (usually within 10 court days of the arraignment), the state  must present evidence showing a reasonable suspicion that the crime was committed and that you did it. The judge must be convinced that there is sufficient evidence to bring you to trial.  If there is sufficient evidence, a trial date will be set and at attorney at Salice Law will continue to fight for you on your matter.  

 
When can an officer conduct a search?

  • An officer can always conduct a search with your consent or with a search warrant. You have a right, however, to see the warrant before the search begins.


 When can an officer search you, your home or your car without a warrant?

  • Body Searches. If you are arrested, an officer can search you, without a warrant, for weapons, evidence or illegal or stolen goods. Strip searches should not be conducted for offenses that do not involve weapons, drugs or violence unless police reasonably suspect you are concealing a weapon or illegal goods, and they have authorization from the supervising officer on duty. If you are booked and jailed, you may undergo a full body search, including body cavities.
  • Home Searches. In emergencies, such as when an officer is trying to prevent someone from destroying evidence, your home can be searched without your consent and without a warrant. If you are taken into custody in your home, an officer without a warrant can search only the limited area in which you are arrested. Other rooms—and even other parts of the same room—are off limits, unless the officer believes that other suspects are hiding in other rooms. While searching your home, an officer can seize evidence of any crime, such as stolen property or drugs, which is in plain sight
  • Car Searches.  Your car and trunk can be searched without your consent or a warrant if an officer has good reason to believe it contains illegal or stolen goods or evidence. If the police stop your car for any legal reason—such as a broken taillight—they can take any illegal goods in plain sight.


 If you were arrested and/or charged with a crime, contact Attorney Salice who can fight for your rights!


424.274.1846


Schedule an Initial Consultation TODAY!

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