Being accused of a crime is scary and confusing for most people. It is even worse if you are innocent of the crime for which you’ve been accused. If you find yourself in this situation, you may be wondering if you need a lawyer. The simple answer is “yes”. If you’ve been accused of a crime in Houston, TX or you’re being investigated, you need a Houston criminal lawyer.
The United States criminal justice system was founded on the principle of “innocent until proven guilty”. This means that accused people have a number of rights from the investigation stage through to prosecution. One of those rights is the right to have a lawyer. Many people assume that they don’t need to exercise this right if they are innocent. They believe that if they just tell the truth, everything will be okay.
However, many people get convicted for things they did not do. Sometimes, it’s because they said things that were self-incriminating or things which drew more suspicion. Even if you didn’t commit a crime, speaking to the police without a lawyer is not a good idea. Comments which seem harmless can be held against you.
Why Hiring a Houston Criminal Defense Lawyer is Essential
There is a belief that only individuals with something to hide need a lawyer. Some people even believe that hiring a lawyer will make the authorities or a jury think they are guilty. These assumptions are far from accurate. Very often, innocent people need a lawyer more than people guilty of a crime do. The assistance of counsel is a right protected under the Sixth Amendment of the US Constitution.
When you are arrested, the government is required to provide an attorney for you if you can’t afford one. Whether you are innocent or guilty of a crime, the legal system is complicated and difficult to navigate. If the police believed they had enough evidence to charge you, escaping conviction will take work. You need the assistance of someone who understands Texas’ laws.
If you are innocent, a good attorney knows how to collect and present evidence to counter what the prosecution presented. Being innocent and being able to convince someone of it are very different things. It is true that that the burden is on the prosecution to prove you are guilty. However, you still need to prove that there is reasonable doubt as to whether you committed the crime.
How a Criminal Defense Attorney in Houston Will Help You
Ideally, you should have an attorney from the moment law enforcement officers make contact with you. How feasible this depends on the nature of the crime. If you are suspected of driving while intoxicated, the arrest will happen almost immediately. However, more serious crimes are investigated for a period of time before any charges are laid.
If the police contact you regarding an ongoing investigation, you should decline to speak to them without an attorney present. Even if they tell you that makes you seem guilty, you should stick to your guns. When the police pay you a visit, they already think you have something to do with the crime. Your comments can easily be misinterpreted, and you can make yourself even more of a suspect. When you consult an attorney, they will listen to your side and advise you on what you can say.
If you talk to the police before you seek counsel, circumstantial evidence and your comments could get you arrested. If you don’t have an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side, you could be convicted. For some crimes, you may simply have to pay a small fine. Others could land you in jail and cause you to part with thousands of dollars. If you don’t want to lose your freedom and find yourself in financial difficulties, you need a lawyer. This is the only way to ensure your rights are protected.
Contact Eddington & Worley Today to Ensure Your Rights are Protected
You can’t simply assume justice will prevail. There are many people sitting in jail even though they are innocent. That’s because the justice system is made up of human beings who are flawed. Despite their best efforts, they don’t always make the right decision. As soon as it appears that you are a person of interest in a crime, contact a Houston criminal defense attorney. At Eddington & Worley, we will help you protect your freedom and your rights. We have experienced and skilled attorneys who work to ensure you don’t get convicted of a crime you didn’t commit. Call us today!