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4 Signs It’s Time to Call a Criminal Defense Lawyer

— June 8, 2021

When it comes to staying out of jail, the best course of action is to get an attorney involved as quickly as possible. Don’t talk to anyone in the aftermath of a crime. 

There are times in life when things simply don’t go as planned, and you find yourself in a sticky situation with the law. You may be wondering if you need a criminal defense attorney. There are times that you will absolutely need an experienced lawyer on your side, and knowing when to call one can spell the difference between freedom and regret.  

1. When You Have Been Arrested or Detained 

If you have been arrested, especially for a severe crime, you need to call a criminal defense attorney. When you find yourself in police custody, the first thing to do is ask for your lawyer. A police officer will call your lawyer for you or give you a phone to call them yourself. 

Remember that phone conversations in a police station are recorded, so don’t blurt out “I just killed someone” the moment your lawyer answers. Just say that there is a situation at the police station, and you need their assistance. 

After the call, the second thing to do is SHUT UP. Stop talking. Don’t offer up any helpful information. Don’t have a “friendly chat” with the officer about what happened. Be quiet until your attorney arrives. You are not required by law to talk.  

2. The Police Just Want to “Ask You a Few Questions” 

Your neighbor’s house got burglarized. The neighbor, who hates your guts, told the police they suspected you did it. You know you didn’t do it, but now the police are at your door, and they just want to ask you a few questions. 

You know, just to clear things up and hear your side of the story. Let them know that you will be glad to talk to them after you have had a chance to have your lawyer present.  

3. You Get a Warrant Notice 

If you get a notice in the mail that you are required to appear before a judge, or a warrant has been issued for your arrest, call your lawyer immediately. This move can save you the humiliation of being arrested on your way to work or while you’re at the grocery store.

Man in handcuffs; image via Pxhere, CC0.
Man in handcuffs; image via Pxhere, CC0.

In some cases, your attorney can arrange to escort you to court for your hearing. Don’t ignore warrants. The problem will not go away, but with a criminal defense lawyer working with you, you can often mitigate its effects.  

4. You Have Knowledge of a Crime or Have Committed One Yourself 

If you commit a serious crime, it may be wise to contact a criminal defense attorney. Never turn yourself in to the police without your lawyer present. Even if you are guilty of the crime, the state still has to prove that you committed it. 

Remember that in the eyes of the law, you are innocent until proven guilty. If you walk into the police station and tell them you committed the crime, you have done yourself no favors, and it would be easy to prosecute you.

By the same token, if you witnessed a crime, you could be implicated as well. It is time to call your attorney and let them handle things. Don’t talk to anyone else about what you saw, and again, don’t rush down to the police station and start chatting. Keep your attorney’s phone number stored in the contacts on your phone. Give it to your loved ones as well.  


When it comes to staying out of jail, the best course of action is to get an attorney involved as quickly as possible. Don’t talk to anyone in the aftermath of a crime. 

Also, a skilled criminal defense attorney will know how to build a strong defense strategy, as they understand local laws, know how certain judges tend to rule in specific cases, and have hands-on experience with other similar cases commonly happening in your area. (Source:

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