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Should I Wait to Receive My Charges Before Hiring an Attorney?

Criminal defendants often complain that they have no idea what is going on around them, and nobody seems interested in explaining it to them. This is why you should hire an attorney to advocate for you as soon as possible.

You should hire a lawyer as soon as possible, even if that means talking to a lawyer before you receive any formal criminal charges. This might feel like you are jumping the gun, but you can never be too prepared. How long it takes for you to receive formal charges may vary based on your circumstances and state. If you are arrested, many states require that you cannot be held for more than a few days before charges must be filed. The best time to hire a lawyer is now. Even if you believe you are being investigated but have not yet been arrested, you should hire a lawyer to help you. You can wait until after formal charges are received to hire a lawyer, but your attorney might have to play catch-up, making it harder to defend yourself.

For a free case review with our Philadelphia criminal defense lawyers, call The Law Offices of Lloyd Long at (215) 302-0171.

Should I Hire a Lawyer Before or After I Receive Criminal Charges?

If you find yourself in trouble with the law, your first question might be, do I need a lawyer? Your second question is probably along the lines of, do I need a lawyer now? The answer to both these questions is a loud and resounding yes. It is never too early to get legal support from an experienced attorney. Doing so might help you mount a more effective defense strategy.

If possible, hire an attorney before you receive criminal charges. Many people have a sneaking suspicion that they are being criminally investigated by the authorities. Others might be tipped off by friends or family members the police have contacted. Either way, you should immediately call a lawyer if you believe you are the subject of a criminal investigation. Our Delaware County criminal defense attorneys can help you determine what kind of trouble you are facing, whether the police can gather evidence to support charges, and how you should conduct yourself in order to avoid further suspicion.

You also should have a lawyer ready to go if and when you are arrested. After being arrested, many people are subject to custodial interrogation. Before questioning you, the police are required to inform you of your Miranda rights, including your right to remain silent and have a lawyer present. If you already have a lawyer, you can invoke these rights and quickly have your lawyer by your side.

How Long Does it Take to Receive Charges After Being Arrested?

The time it takes for someone to receive criminal charges depends on what kind of evidence the authorities have and whether the prosecutor is interested in pursuing criminal charges. If you are currently being investigated, there is no telling how long it might take for formal charges to come down, if they come at all. If you have been arrested, the authorities have a limited time to file charges, or else they have to let you go. Having a lawyer during this time may be crucial to your defense.

Different states might have different rules regarding how long criminal suspects must wait after being arrested before receiving formal charges. For example, in Pennsylvania, under 234 Pa. Code Rule ยง 441(C)(1)(b)(v), a person may be held no longer than 48 to 72 hours, depending on the circumstances. If you are held longer and have not yet received criminal charges, your lawyer can demand your release. In short, hiring a lawyer sooner rather than later is best. They can advocate for you and make the police play fair.

The Best Time to Hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer

You should hire an attorney as soon as possible. If you believe you are under police investigation, hire a lawyer. Hire a lawyer even if you have not yet been contacted by the police but believe contact is imminent. Your attorney can advise you on how to behave to best protect your rights and prevent yourself from being incriminated.

Ideally, your attorney can help you clear your name and totally avoid being arrested or criminally charged. If you are still criminally charged, your attorney is better able to hit the ground running and provide an effective defense. There are numerous opportunities to defend yourself and protect your rights before charges are filed. If you have already received the charges, having an attorney on your side sooner rather than later only puts them in a better position to help you.

What if I Wait Until After I Receive My Charges to Hire a Lawyer?

Some people choose to wait until it is absolutely necessary to hire a lawyer. Often, people fear high legal fees and do not want to pay for a lawyer if they do not need one. While it is true that your charges might be dropped or dismissed without a lawyer, this is a huge gamble.

With a lawyer, you are better able to fight your charges, possibly getting them dropped or dismissed before any formal legal proceedings commence. For example, suppose prosecutors base your charges on incriminating statements you made to the police during custodial interrogation, but you were never informed of your Miranda rights. In that case, your lawyer can work to undermine the charges immediately rather than waiting until you get to court.

If legal fees are a major concern for you, talk to your attorney about them. Many attorneys are willing to work with defendants to devise a financially viable solution.

Contact Our Criminal Defense Lawyers for Legal Support Now

For a free case review with our Chester County criminal defense lawyers, call The Law Offices of Lloyd Long at (215) 302-0171.