| Have you ever heard someone say “I know my rights”? |
| After the person says that, they usually continue to talk, continue to make statements to police or detectives. And then the things they said usually lead the police to charge them with more crimes, or give them evidence to support initial criminal charges|
| Part of the strategy of the police may be to make you believe you can say or do something to allow them to help you out. The first thing to say is “Can I go home now?” The second thing to do is consult a criminal defense attorney. Third, resist the temptation to talk to the police until after you speak with an attorney|
A criminal defense attorney can help you gather information regarding the criminal charges against you; help you locate information about other people who are involved in the matter at hand; is familiar with the Court’s rules on what evidence is or is not allowed in court.
| You or a loved one may find it helpful to keep the following in mind: |
1. Do not resist arrest; the place to disagree with the police and contest their actions is in the courtroom.
2. Any statements you make to the police (or anyone else) may be used as evidence against you;
3. Let the police know that you need to contact your criminal defense attorney;
4. If you cannot contact a criminal defense attorney, have someone contact a criminal defense attorney for you.
| Search and Seizure|
| While investigating a crime, potential crime, or trying to prevent a crime, the police may ask you if they can, (or tell you that they are allowed to) search your car or home and take things as evidence. If police take items from you, your car, or your house, that evidence may or may not be admissible in court. You should tell the criminal defense lawyer you hire whether the police took any items|
| Jail / Court Proceedings|
| It can be intimidating to get arrested. You may be handcuffed, taken to jail, interviewed by police or detectives and “booked” into jail. You may be kept in an isolation cell or put into a holding cell, or into a cell with other people. Part of their strategy may be to make you feel helpless, and hopeless. Someone may tell you that you have to go to court for arraignment or that you can post a bond, make bail. At a preliminary hearing the judge may make a determination on whether there is enough evidence to support a trial. |
It’s all so confusing
| To make matters worse, the court officials may be saying words like “felony” “diversion” “sentencing” “repeat offender” “counts” “Class A” “misdemeanor”, “punishment”, “probation” “parole” “plea bargain”. While you may have heard these words before, you may not realize the extent to which these words can impact you. With the spread of electronic searches, more and more employers do criminal background checks, will your arrest/conviction show up on your record and keep you from getting the job you want? Will it impact you when you try to register for volunteer work at your children’s school? Does It affect you when you are pulled over by police for a traffic stop? Could it affect your ability to get a loan? |
| Maybe you were not arrested, but your son, daughter or other family member is being charged with a crime. Depending upon their age and the crime, they may be charged as a juvenile or as an adult. It is critical that these matters are dealt with correctly. Juvenile crimes can be serious ones, but it should not impact their adult records if they do not have to. Call an attorney right away.|
| Any appearance before a judge or magistrate can have legal consequences if you rights are not being protected from the very beginning. No-one should go into court and face charges without an attorney to represent their rights and interests. An attorney may be able to help get your bond/bail lowered. An attorney may be able to help get charges dropped or a reduced charge from the one(s) that were originally brought against you.|
| Michael A. O'Hara, Attorney at Law|
| I have been an attorney since 1994. I am licensed in Kentucky, Ohio, Federal Court and the Federal Court of Claims. Contact my office for an appointment. Let me help you defend your rights and be your advocate. Please contact me if you have been contacted by the police and they want to “get a statement” from you, or want you to take a polygraph (or “lie detector” test), or you find out that you have a warrant against you. If you have been arrested, please contact me now. My phone number is (859) 746-0500.|
If you would like more information, please call
MICHAEL A. O'HARA, PLLC