- Q?What should I do if I am arrested?
Do not speak to anyone about the facts of your case! The first thing you need to understand is that you are under arrest. Depending on the charges you will have the opportunity to post a bond and be out in 4-12 hours. There is nothing you can say, or do, that will prevent your arrest. No matter how friendly the officer may seem, his focus is on obtaining incriminating information and using his basic understanding of the law to strengthen his case. Invoke your Miranda Rights and remain silent until you are able to hire an attorney.
If you are charged with a non-bondable offense, meaning you are not given a bond, please click here: No Bond.
Good people get arrested. There are countless arrests made everyday of good people who do not deserve to get arrested. People who deserve better treatment. You must understand that your arrest is merely the process by which our judicial system is initiated, nothing more. You are not guilty of anything. You are simply under investigation.
In refusing to speak to the police you are exercising your constitutional right to remain silent and nothing more. Your silence cannot and will not be used against you. Even if you know you are innocent, remain silent. Being arrested and interrogated is a stressful situation in which you are naturally nervous and sacred.
No matter what the officer says, there will always be time to cooperate and give your version of the events to the police and or the Office of the State Attorney. Wait until you are calm and your attorney is present to speak to the authorities.
- Q?I was not read my Miranda Rights during my arrest. Does this invalidate the arrest?
Officers must provide suspects with a Miranda Warning when the suspect is in custody and being interrogated. Although it sounds simple enough, there are hundreds of cases that describe when a suspect is in custody and when a suspect is being interrogated.
While these events are not triggered during every arrest, you should always have an experienced attorney review your case for any improper police conduct. Mr. Fernandez has successfully argued numerous motions to suppress statements made by clients because the statements were made in a custodial setting and a Miranda Warning was not provided.
In addition to the fact that a Miranda Warning (sample shown to the left) must be provided, the individual being questioned must knowingly and intelligently waive his Miranda Rights. Again, there are hundreds, if not thousands of cases, that discuss what constitutes a knowing and intelligent waiver. No two scenarios are identical. To ensure that your constitutional rights are protected contact Mr. Fernandez and have him review your case.
Miranda Warnings can also be used to show the mental state of an individual. For example, in the prosecution of a D.U.I. the fact that an individual read his Miranda Warning, understood his rights, and knowingly waived his right to the satisfaction of the arresting officer could be seen as evidence showing that he or she was not intoxicated as the officer claims.
- Q?I want to plead guilty. Do I need a lawyer?
Yes. Pleading guilty without the assistance of an attorney to negotiate on your behalf could lead to: (a) Increased jail or prison time; (b) Increased probation; (c) Increased fines.; and (d) License suspensions. Additionally, you may qualify for a pre-trial diversion program where the State of Florida will agree to dismiss all charges if you complete the parameters of the program and have no further contact with the criminal justice system. Sometimes these programs can be as simple as the completion of community service hours.
Regardless of your guilt or innocence, the criminal justice system does recognize those individuals that have never been arrested and those that deserve a second chance. With numerous years of experience in the criminal justice system, in both the public and private sector, Mr. Fernandez will negotiate with the prosecutor to ensure that you are treated fairly and given every opportunity to keep a clean record and or minimize the sentence imposed against you.