How Do I Know I Have Been Charged with a Crime?

Getting in trouble with the law is something we all try to avoid. But mistakes happen and you may wonder: have I been charged with a crime? Do I have to surrender myself? Or will this issue go away because the police have not acted yet? The best decision is to discuss your situation with an experienced Anderson criminal defense attorney as soon as you believe that you may have committed a crime.

In this article, we will give a general overview of the situations when you can be certain that the authorities filed charges against you. These are:

1. You Are Arrested and Handcuffed

Police officers may detain people for questioning if they have probable cause. In general, the officers will tell the person to accompany them to the police station. This is not an actual arrest.

However, you can be sure you were charged with a crime if the officer:

  • Says that you are under arrest
  • Reads your Miranda rights
  • Handcuffs you

According to the rules of Anderson Police Department, the officer must tell you why you are being arrested if you ask. Failure to answer or giving an untrue answer makes the police officer guilty of a misdemeanor.

Always ask for the reason for your arrest and the officer will tell you the name of the crime, as well as the law you broke.

2. Your Receive Summons to Appear before Court

Not all charges are followed by an immediate arrest. In some cases, you will receive summons to appear before court. During the court date, you will be notified of the charges formulated against you.

Afterwards, you may be arrested and taken into police custody for booking. With the exception of serious crimes, most defendants are released on bail or on their own recognizance pending trial.

3. You Ask the Sheriff’s Office

Last but not least, if you know that your actions may represent a misdemeanor or felony, you may call the sheriff’s office and ask if there is a warrant for your arrest. However, the office has no legal obligation to tell you. And in most cases they won’t. The reason for this is that they do not want to risk you fleeing the city or the state to avoid arrest.

The best decision is to consult with an Anderson criminal defense lawyer and to act on their advice. If you cooperate with the authorities and do not try to abscond from justice, your attitude will work in your favor.

learn what to do if you believe you committed a crime

What to Do If You Are Charged with a Crime

Now, let us explain the best course of action if authorities did file charges against you. Your actions will have a strong impact on the outcome of your case, so remember the following:

1. Do Not Resist Arrest

Resisting arrest is both pointless and damaging to your case. Police officers are trained to subdue uncooperative people and they may even use deadly force if they feel threatened by your actions.

You can be sure that the fact that you resisted arrest will be on your case file and the prosecutor will try to use it to obtain a more severe sentence.

2. Do Not Destroy Evidence

Being released on bail does not mean you are free to do anything. You may be given clear outlines of what you must not do, such as:

  • Clear your internet browsing history on your devices
  • Repairing damage to an item believed to be connected with your crime and needed for further testing
  • Contacting any of the witnesses for the prosecution

Any of these actions will lead to your arrest, losing the bail amount and facing new criminal charges.

3. Do Not Miss the Court Date Specified in the Summons

If you receive summons, make sure that you appear before court on the appointed date and time. Failure to do so would result in the judge issuing a bench warrant. In this case, you will be arrested immediately.

If an emergency occurs, inform your attorney so that they may obtain a rescheduling.

Contact an Experienced Anderson Criminal Defense Lawyer!

The best thing to do if you believe you may have committed a crime is to talk to an Anderson criminal defense lawyer. Be honest and upfront and you will get reliable legal information and professional representation, if necessary.

As a new client, you benefit from a free case evaluation, so call us today: 864-777-4615!

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