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A criminal conviction can impact your life forever. Educate yourself on the criminal process today. We've been on both sides of the fight. Now we're on yours. Learn more about the benefits of hiring a law firm with prosecution knowledge. Read why having a knowledgeable criminal attorney on your side, can put everything into perspective.
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FAQ: Criminal Defense

Common Questions About Criminal Charges

Have you been arrested for a criminal offense? Is your entire future in jeopardy? Don't risk your freedom, a criminal conviction can impact your life forever. That is why it is vital that you educate yourself of the criminal process and put everything in perspective. At Ayo & Iken PLC our attorneys have former prosecution experience and they are intimately familiar with both sides of the criminal justice system. We believe knowledge is power and now is the time to make informed decisions. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions to clear up some of the uncertainty that you may have.

Can't I simply represent myself in a criminal case?

Yes you can, but do so at your own discretion and consider the possible consequences if you are indeed convicted. What are the penalties for your alleged crime? Is this your first or second offense? If you are not familiar with the criminal process, the terminology and the court protocol then you are putting everything at stake. With an experienced former prosecutor fighting on your behalf, your chances of obtaining a favorable outcome are far greater. Your attorney can create a compelling case on your behalf and fight to have your charges reduced or dropped altogether. So ask yourself, is it worth the risk?

I intend to plead guilty, do I still need an attorney?

At Ayo & Iken PLC we do not recommend raising the white flag too quickly and admitting defeat. If there is a will and a way to fight, you should do so. If the evidence against you is convicting, having an attorney will still be to your benefit. As your defense, we may be able to fight for a reduced sentence so that you do not receive the maximum penalty. After we have done everything to fight for your freedom, we can help make a plea bargain with the judge and prosecuting attorney so that you receive minimal penance.

If I am innocent, I have nothing to worry about right?

This could not be farther from the truth. It may make our job easier as your defense counsel, but in the long run you have more to lose if you are found to be guilty. The law claims that you are innocent until proven guilty but do not be fooled, the authorities already believe that you are guilty which is why they took you into custody. The rest of the process lies on the prosecution to find convicting evidence to validate that arrest and put you behind bars. They may take your words and twist them to make you appear at fault and you may be wrongly accused and pay the consequences for something you did not do. Is that a chance you are willing to take? That is why it is absolutely crucial that you have aggressive defense fighting to clear your name and prove your innocence. We will gather up the facts, question witnesses, display evidence and shed light on the truth so we can dismantle the prosecution's defense in court and defend your honor.

The police lied to me during questioning, are they allowed to do that?

Unfortunately, yes. The authorities are allowed to say anything to a suspect during questioning, even if it could not be farther from the truth. That is why it is so important to remember that you have the right to remain silent and you should not say anything to law enforcement without speaking to your attorney first. The officers will tell you lie after lie in order to pull out an incriminating statement from you to speed up the process. They may tell you things like "Your accomplice has already confessed and we have witness that saw you do it, it will be better for you if you just cooperate." They might also tell you that they have ample evidence against you when they really have nothing to go off of. Consider all of these things before making any statements to the officials and we urge you to contact our Polk County office at once so we can protect your rights throughout the legal process.

Are the authorities required to read me my rights when I am arrested?

Actually no, contrary to popular belief, law enforcement does not have to read you the Miranda rights as they arrest you and take you into custody. Television shows have played up this scene so many times that now defendants are under the impression that there case will be dropped because the police never read them their rights. Unfortunately that is not true, the only reason why they must read you the Miranda warning is during questioning when they intend to use your statement as evidence in the case. If law enforcement gets you to incriminate yourself during questioning but they failed to read your rights to you beforehand, then we can fight to have that statement thrown out in court. The brief version of the Miranda Warning goes as follows: "You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to be speak to an attorney, and to have an attorney present during any questioning. If you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be provided for you at government expense."

If law enforcement asks to search my home or car, should I give them my consent?

Absolutely not. Many people believe that by refusing their request they will appear guilty but the fact of the matter is that they already believe you to be guilty and they are just searching for proof. In order to legally search your home, they must either have a warrant or have your verbal consent. If you refuse them they must procure a warrant before entering because the statement, "a man's house is his castle" still rings true today. After refusing their request, you must know that they will say anything to convince you to change your mind but we encourage you to stand strong on your answer. When it comes to searching your vehicle, they are only permitted to do so if they have your consent, your car has been confiscated, or they have reason to believe that you are carrying stolen goods, evidence or any illegal substances in the car.

Learn more info by reading our law blog.

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