Criminal lawyers are often called criminal defence lawyers who specialise in the defending of individuals or companies that have been charged with a criminal offence. These criminal lawyers can be permanently employed by the various jurisdictions with criminal courts. Hiring a criminal lawyer is essential if an offender has been charged with a criminal offence. Without proper representation and advice, you may be in jeopardy of not being able to represent yourself properly and potentially weaken you case. If you have been accused of an offence, it is vital to contact a lawyer specialising in criminal defence to represent you, especially if you are being held in custody, due to appear in court.
At a police station, if you have been arrested, the law requires the police to conduct a series of formalities. As a person who has been arrested, you are entitled to contact a lawyer before anything happens in the police station, including any initial interviews. Most criminal law firms are available 24 hours a day and will provide a lawyer at any time of day. If you do not have a lawyer in mind, the police will have a list of independent solicitors who will be able to assist you in your case.
It is always advisable to heed the words, 'you have the right to remain silent'. Speaking without representation can lead to incriminating yourself and your case. It is wise to avoid making any statements or answering any questions relating to the case, until you have legal representation to guide you through which questions need to be answered and how to answer them. This is extremely important if the crime you have been accused of is serious or of a sensitive nature. By contacting a lawyer, it will mean that you will be given the proper advice and informed of the procedures that need to be taken, as well as the law relating to your case to help understand why you are being arrested.
There is no assumption that you are guilty if you contact a solicitor to come and represent you, so even if you are innocent, it is vital that a solicitor is arranged to help you through the difficult process. This solicitor will be able to assist you during interviews and help prepare you for video evidence, witnesses and consultations with other lawyers. These are areas that are not easy if you are on your own. A lot of people do not realise, but offenders can obtain a solicitor to represent them for free by being found eligible for legal aid in criminal law. An offender is only found to be eligible if they pass the interests of justice test and a means test.