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Criminal Defense: Frequently Asked Questions

Q: If I have been arrested, what should I do?
A: Although you have the right to remain silent and should exercise that right, answer all questions about your identity, truthfully. This can include your name, birth date and address.

Q: When are the police required to read me my Miranda rights?
A: Before a custodial interrogation is conducted, police must read you your Miranda rights if you are a suspect of a crime.

Q: If the police do not read me my Miranda rights, what happens?
A: If you are interrogated without your Miranda rights being read to you and you say anything that could have normally be used as evidence, it will actually be excluded as evidence.

Q: If I get arrested, how do I get out of jail?
A: In order for a suspect to be released from jail, bail must be set. When this bail is paid, the suspect will be released. In certain cases, however, bail may be denied. This can occur if the crime is very serious, or if the  defendant is a flight risk, which means the judge believes there is a possibility of the person fleeing.

Q: If I receive a call from a loved one saying that they got arrested, what do I do?
A: You should get as much information about the arrest as possible, such as the charge, where they are being held, the bail amount, etc. Additionally, personal information is useful, such as the accused person's social security number.

Q: How am I able to obtain the right to a trial by jury?
A: No matter what the offense is, an individual has the right to a trial by jury if the crime they are being charged with can result in more than six months of time in prison.

Q: What does it mean to have a right to a speedy trial?
A: Based on your case, you may have this right, which simply means that you have the right to a trial much quicker, although there are no pre-set time frames as to what is considered to be "speedy".

Q: When do police have the right to search my property?
A: In most cases, the police must obtain a search warrant. However, in some exceptional cases, the police are allowed to search your property without a search warrant.

Q: If someone is on parole, what might they be limited to and what conditions must they follow?
A: This depends on the person's particular case. Restrictions can include being confined to a particular location, being prohibited from owning firearms, etc. Other conditions that a parolee may have to comply with can include drug testing, counseling and more. 

Q: What will happen to a parolee if they violate any conditions of their parole?
A: Punishments may vary based on the case and how the parolee violated their probation. Punishment can range anywhere from a verbal warning to being sent back to prison.