Frequently Asked Questions
What should I do if I get arrested?
The most important thing to remember is that you do not have to give information to law enforcement or investigators without an attorney representing you. If you choose to speak to law enforcement, everything that you tell them can be used against you later in court. After being arrested, individuals are often upset and confused, and may make the mistake of talking extensively with police officers which may cause them legal trouble in the future.
Can I be held by police without being arrested?
You can be detained for a period of time, but if you are to be moved to another location, it is a legal requirement that you are arrested. However, if you choose to go with the officer willingly, this is not a requirement. Ordinarily, being detained is related to a crime investigation and you are minimally under suspicion for the crime.
Should I have a lawyer if I am charged with a criminal offense?
This is absolutely critical. Facing criminal charges without a skilled criminal defense lawyer would be the worst decision you may ever make.
Can I represent myself in court?
Any person has the right to do so. However, without a thorough knowledge of Florida law, you are unlikely to be able to defend yourself skillfully. You will likely allow evidence that an attorney would fight to suppress, and an endless number of other legal actions that you are not familiar with.
What is the procedure if I am arrested?
Initially, you will be taken to the police station for “booking”. You will be advised what the charges against you are, although they may be changed by the time you attend your formal hearing regarding the charges. You may be required to give your personal belongings for safekeeping to an officer. You will likely be fingerprinted and your picture taken during the booking process. You may be asked to be in a “line-up” for identification by a victim of the crime. After the booking process is completed, you will be given the opportunity to call an attorney, a bail bondsman and family
What if I don't show up to my court hearing?
In the event that you are charged with a crime but do not show up for your court hearing, you will be issued a bench warrant. This means that the moment you are found by law enforcement, they have the right to place you under arrest immediately and without the possibility of bail. Often what happens is that people charged with crimes do not realize that there is a bench warrant in their name at the time of their second arrest.
Can my charges ever be taken off my record?
When convicted of a crime, these charges will make a mark on your permanent record. This may make it difficult for you to do normal things in the future such as gain employment or buy a home. If you are interested in having your charges taken off of your record, you may be able to get your criminal record sealed or get an expungement. These are two separate procedures, but they both do a similar thing. If your criminal record is "sealed" then it is not available to the public, but only government entities. If your criminal record has undergone expungement, it makes it more difficult to view your criminal record.
What if I'm arrested in Ft. Lauderdale but I don't live there?
Many people come to Fort Lauderdale on vacation, so if you were visiting the area when you were charged with a criminal offense, you can still get help from a Ft. Lauderdale criminal lawyer. Each one of these cases are unique, so for the best answer to your questions regarding your arrest while on vacation then contact a Ft. Lauderdale criminal defense attorney from our firm as soon as possible.
How can the legal team of Hager & Schwartz, P.A. assist me?
The firm can provide quality legal representation in a number of cases. We have dealt with charges ranging from drug crimes to
manslaughter and everything in between. For an aggressive defense that you can trust to handle your case with the utmost care, then get in touch with our firm today by
calling us or filling out one of our
case evaluation forms.