Criminal Defense FAQ

Answers from a Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer

Have you been arrested for a crime in Minneapolis? If you are a first time offender, you probably have a number of unanswered questions and you don’t know what your first step should be. The most important thing to remember is that you never leave your future to chance. If you have been charged with a criminal offense in Minnesota, be sure to speak with a Minneapolis criminal defense attorney from the Martin Law Offices without delay.

Q: If I answer police questions and cooperate, will they be more inclined to let me go?
Q: If I fail to abide by the terms of my probation, what will happen?
Q: Do I need an attorney to represent me if I am innocent?
Q: Can I believe everything that the police officers tell me?
Q: Do police officers have to read me my rights when taking me into custody?
Q: Do criminal convictions remain on your record indefinitely?
Q: Am I required to give my consent if the police ask to search my home?
Q: What happens if a witness gives false testimony?

If I answer police questions and cooperate, will they be more inclined to let me go?

In all honesty, the less that you share and say in front of law enforcement officials the better. The police arrested you because they already believe you to be guilty, so don’t be mistaken into believing that they are on your side. Remember that you do have the right to remain silent and anything that you say during questioning could be brought back to haunt you in the court room. It is always wise to refrain from answering any police questions until you have spoken with your attorney.

If I fail to abide by the terms of my probation, what will happen?

When you are convicted of a crime, you are then placed on probation as a test to see if you can follow and abide by the rules that the court set for you. Probation is basically an extension of your sentence, so you have not yet earned your freedom. During probation you may be asked to perform community service, answer to a probation officer, and attend a treatment or counseling program. If you are found in violation of your probation, the court could decide to revoke your probation altogether, establish additional penalties and restrictions, or they could choose to extend your probation sentence. Violating probation can only lead to further consequences- so be sure to contact a hard hitting criminal defense lawyer to protect your rights in court.

Do I need an attorney to represent me if I am innocent?

If you are considering representing yourself in a criminal case, you should first consider everything that is at stake. If you are innocent, then you have even more to lose. Many people get too comfortable knowing that the Constitution states you are innocent until proven guilty. However, do not be fooled, the prosecution is looking for a reason to put you behind bars. If you go into court unprotected and unprepared, without a solid defense strategy, you could end up with the maximum penalty. The point is that you should never leave your future to chance- with an assertive legal advocate fighting on your side, your chances of a dismissal will be far greater.

Can I believe everything that the police officers tell me?

Unfortunately not, the police are given leniency when it comes to questioning a perpetrator. Law enforcement officials are permitted to lie and make up stories if they believe that it will encourage you to come clean and confess. They are looking to pull a confession out of you in order to speed up the process, so remember than before you answer any of their questions.

Do police officers have to read me my rights when taking me into custody?

Typically law enforcement will read you the Miranda warning as soon as they take you into custody. But do not be fooled, if they fail to do so your case will not be dismissed in court. The purpose of the Miranda warning is so that they can use whatever statements you make while in custody against you. If you are questioned out on the street and you are not in police custody, then no Miranda Warning is necessary for your testimony to be admissible in court.

Do criminal convictions remain on your record indefinitely?

Any criminal or DWI offense that is on your record will remain there unless you decide to clean it up through the process of expungement. Criminal convictions are not like bankruptcy, they are not wiped from your record after 10 years. This means that any time someone runs a background check they will be able to see your past offenses. Future employers will be able to see this and will probably pass over your resume and consider you to be an untrustworthy employee. Speak to a criminal attorney today about the process of expungement and how it works.

Am I required to give my consent if the police ask to search my home?

Absolutely not, you can refuse them entry unless they have already have a warrant to search the premises. Your house is your castle and if they do not have a warrant or your consent, then it would be illegal for them to search your home. If law enforcement officials do an illegal search, then anything that they find will not be admissible as evidence. The police will do everything in their power to convince you to give them your voluntary consent, but just remember that you have the right to say no.

What happens if a witness gives false testimony?

If a witness lies under oath under their own free will, then they could face legal repercussions if the court finds out. If you attempted to persuade your witness to present a false testimony in efforts to protect yourself, then you could be charged with a separate felony offense.

If you have any further questions regarding your criminal charges, contact a Minneapolis criminal defense attorney from the firm for a free case evaluation.