Popular Myths about Criminal Law

Not everything you’ve heard about criminal lawyers is true. In fact, there are a number of myths floating around. And if you buy into these myths, you may never take the right steps to get yourself out of a difficult situation – one that may seem to be getting worse.

Your arrest is likely taking a toll on you:

  • You may feel embarrassed and need to talk to someone you can trust.
  • You may feel anxious about the penalties you might be facing and need to find answers from someone who knows the facts about the potential consequences if you plead guilty or are convicted.
  • You may feel like giving up hope because you believe there is nothing you can do to fight the charges against you.

To help you get clear about your options, let’s take a look at the first MYTH about getting started with criminal defense:

Myth 1: Any lawyer can handle my case.

Truth: While any lawyer may be licensed to practice law, you don’t want just any lawyer handling your case. Criminal cases may be won or lost based on technical procedural requirements that most people aren’t aware of. It’s best to choose an attorney who has experience representing your type of case.

If fighting criminal charges is something you’re considering and you’d like to know whether or not you are likely to succeed, please pick up the phone and call THE UPTON LAW FIRM. Our initial client consultation is absolutely free. There is no charge…no obligation…and we can help you make the best decision for moving forward.

Myth 2: They didn’t read me my rights, so they have to drop the charges.

If you’ve watched popular crime shows on television, you know they make a big deal out of “reading you your rights.” While the media gives the impression that if the police don’t read your rights they have no case against you, it’s time you know the truth.

Truth: While the police are required to read you your rights and offer you the option to have an attorney present, the idea that charges must be dropped if they don’t is not necessarily true. Many people have been convicted without being read their rights.

Failure to read you your rights doesn’t mean the charges will be dropped. It can only lead to evidence you provided being excluded from the trial.

First of all, the police aren’t always required to read you your rights before questioning you. It depends on whether you were “in custody” and whether you consented to the custody and/or believed you had the right to leave.

If you believe you were not read your rights and would like to know whether the police will be able to use information you have divulged as evidence against you, please contact THE UPTON LAW FIRM immediately for a free consultation.

It is important to get the facts on record as soon as possible. The longer you wait to hire an attorney, the harder it will be to remember the exact details of your arrest.

Stop trying to solve this problem on your own. We know the laws, and we can help.

If you are a juvenile or the parent of a juvenile who has recently been arrested, do NOT believe this myth:

Myth #3:  Juvenile records are automatically sealed. No one can find out about it.

Truth: Although most juvenile records can be sealed, chances are good that records will not be sealed unless you take specific actions to make that happen.

Many people assume that juvenile records are automatically sealed. However, most states require you to submit a request or a “motion” in order to have the records sealed and thereby unavailable to the public or to people like employers or landlords who conduct background checks.

If you have a criminal record or are the parent of a juvenile offender and would like to learn more about your options for keeping criminal offenses off the record, you need to know the facts.

The only way to know whether or not clearing your record is an option you want to consider is to consult with an attorney.