Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some frequently asked criminal law questions.
Do I need an attorney if I am charged with a crime?
It is in your best interest to consult a criminal defense attorney if you have been charged with a crime. An attorney will help you through the procedure and ensure that your rights are being protected. You may be eligible for court appointed counsel if you are unable to afford an attorney.
What is the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor?
Traditionally, a misdemeanor is punishable by a year or less in jail, whereas a felony is punishable by more than a year. Furthermore, felonies are typically more serious crimes than misdemeanors.
Don't police have to read me my rights?
Police must read you your Miranda rights prior to a custodial interrogation. You do not have to be read your rights immediately upon arrest, as seen on TV.
What happens if the police don't read me my rights?
Any statements you make during a custodial interrogation may be suppressed, meaning those statements cannot be used against you at trial.
Do my rights have to be read to me before taking evidence?
No. The privilege against self-incrimination only protects testimonial statements, meaning verbal or written statements. Statements for the use of voice exemplars, answers to routine investigatory stops, answers to routine booking questions, the taking of fingerprints, and answers regarding physical characteristics such as eye and hair color are not considered testimonial statements.
What is a Motion to Suppress?
A Motion to Suppress is a hearing prior to trial in which the admissibility of evidence that may be used at trial is challenged. One reason for evidence being suppressed is that the police violated a defendant’s Fourth or Fifth Amendment rights.
What happens if I refuse to submit to a preliminary breath test?
You could be arrested and taken to jail for refusal.
What are my Fourth Amendment rights?
You have the right to be protected against unreasonable searches and seizures. Furthermore, a warrant cannot be issued without probably cause, which is supported by an oath or affirmation, which particularly describes the place to be search and the persons or things to be seized.
What are my Fifth Amendment rights?
Among others, you have the right to remain silent and do not have to testify if you may incriminate yourself. You also have the right to have an attorney present during police questioning. The Double Jeopardy Clause is also included in the Fifth Amendment, which prevents you from being tried twice for the same crime.
If you have other questions that you need answered, contact Lincoln criminal defense attorneys at Stephanie Flynn Law or call (402) 325-8469 for experienced legal help.