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The stages of a criminal case: Don't stand for rights violations

When you're facing charges for a crime, you need to understand what you're going to be going through in the future. You need to have protection and a defense from the start, so you don't make a mistake that ends up costing you the case. At the beginning, you'll be accused of a crime, but at that point, there's little that can be done.

Next, an investigation into the allegations may be completed. During this time, it's important to speak with your lawyer to make sure the investigation isn't violating any of your rights. If something has been investigated or done illegally, this needs to be addressed. If the investigation has been completed and an arrest warrant is issued, then you need to be prepared for the next step of your case, the arrest.

When you're arrested, the officer should read you your Miranda Rights, which point out that anything you say can be used in court from that point on. You also have a right to an attorney and to have your attorney present during any part of the arrest, interviews, booking, arraignment, hearings or trial. If you are interviewed or questioned at your booking, you may want to have your attorney present.

It's possible you could enter a plea bargain, which would be the opportunity to state you're guilty for a lesser charge. This may seem like an option you want if you know your chances of winning your case are slim, but it's important to discuss this with your attorney first because not all plea bargains are good for all defendants. Our website has more information on the rest of the stages of a criminal case, so you can learn more about what to expect.

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