8:00 - 6:00

Hours Mon. - Fri.

214.329.9433

Call Us For Free Consultation

Facebook

Twitter

Google+

Search

Lang

 

Arrests

Street Patrol: iWatch Dallas and Mobile Crime Tipping

Street Patrol: iWatch Dallas and Mobile Crime Tipping

Community Watch and Mobile Crime Tipping

 

The population of Texas is currently estimated at a little over 28 million. And with roughly 77,800 licensed law enforcement officers in the State, it’s easy to see how many who commit crimes get away because law enforcement didn’t become involved. Mobile crime tipping, however, is changing that.

 

Texans can now report crimes as quickly as they can send a text. No more waiting on the non-emergency lines for hours. No more trips to the sheriff’s office. Today, you can report a crime by sending a quick text to a mobile crime tipping line. iWatch Dallas is one such crime tipping channel that allows citizens to report criminal activity in the Dallas area easily, quickly and anonymously.

 

Eyes on Texas

 

As a community awareness program, it relies on community members to step forward if they have knowledge of crimes or criminal activities. Although a law enforcement detective will review every “tip”, he or she may or may not pursue the lead. Law enforcement triages tips and other reports and responds appropriately.

 

Nevertheless, it’s important to be aware of this outlet and the risk it poses. Mobile crime tipping means eyes in the community can act as eyes of police officers, increasing the reach and scope of law enforcement. Is this bad? Not necessarily. But keep in mind; people falsely identify criminals every day, making this extended reach potentially risky to anyone who’s in the wrong place at the wrong time.

 

An Attorney Can Help Challenge the Credibility of Crime Tips and Testimony

 

If you are facing criminal charges in the Dallas area, contact a Dallas criminal defense attorney immediately. People do make false reports both intentionally and unintentionally. Not every crime tip will lead to the evidence needed to convict you. Therefore, it’s important to discuss your charges with an attorney to ensure your case—and your future—does not depend on spurious or incredible crime tips or witness testimony.

 

Each criminal case is unique. Moreover, not every case is valid, which is why it’s so crucial to work with a criminal defense attorney when facing any criminal charge in Texas. A Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney can thoroughly evaluate the evidence and advise you on how you can approach your defense and mitigate the consequences of your charges.

 

If you’re facing criminal charges in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys will advise you on your rights and help you protect them. With law offices in Dallas and Denton, our attorneys provide compassionate legal services to Dallas, Collin, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases including DWI/DUI, assault/family violence, and other misdemeanors and felonies. Call (214) 329-9433, email team@jbabblaw.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.

 

Top Tips to Avoid an Arrest This Summer

Top Tips to Avoid an Arrest This Summer

Summer means good food, good people and good times, nowhere truer than in Texas. But before you jump into your summer celebration plans in the Lone Star state, review these top tips to avoid an arrest this summer in Texas.

 

Find a Designated Driver

 

Before you head out to a BBQ, concert or day at the lake, make sure you have a designated driver. This is the single best way to avoid charges for drinking and driving. Uber and other ride-sharing services are a great backup. Similarly, always operate watercraft sober. You can be charged with a BWI (boating while intoxicated) if you are caught operating a boat while impaired by alcohol or drugs.

 

Keep It Respectable

 

Public intoxication is illegal in Texas if you are intoxicated to a degree that makes you a danger to yourself or others. With that in mind, try to stay composed whenever intoxicated in a public space. Don’t provoke other people or cause a scene. You never know who will call the cops. Even if you are responsible and choose not to drink and drive, follow pedestrian laws, as crossing or walking along the road illegally can land you in cuffs. Police officers can use their discretion when determining the degree of danger you pose, so always err on the side of caution.

 

Don’t Be in the Wrong Place at the Wrong Time

 

Even if you are an innocent bystander, try to steer clear of scenes where an arrest is likely. Think bar brawls or drunken confrontations at large public gatherings. Again, police officers have a wide range of discretion to use when arresting people. And if they arrive on the scene in the middle of a commotion, they may—and often do—arrest the wrong people. Even if your name is eventually cleared from a crime you didn’t commit, that arrest may still appear on your criminal record unless you take steps to have it removed.

 

Find Some Good Clean Fun

 

There is no shortage of ways to beat the heat and enjoy the Texas summer. But to avoid an arrest, be cautious when drinking, and avoid people who are likely to cause trouble. Summer typically means increased law enforcement presence near beaches, lake resorts, festivals and concerts. Above all, use your common sense. And call a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney immediately if you are arrested.

 

If you are facing criminal charges in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys will advise you on the best course of action given your circumstances. With law offices in Dallas and Denton, our attorneys provide compassionate legal services to Dallas, Collin, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases including DWI/DUI, assault/family violence, and other misdemeanors and felonies. Call (214) 329-9433, email team@jbabblaw.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.

 

Can an Arrest Trigger Immigration Consequences in Texas?

Can an Arrest Trigger Immigration Consequences in Texas?

If you are not a US citizen, one false move can place your ability to remain in this country in danger. Noncitizens can face deportation or inadmissibility if convicted of certain crimes. Unfortunately, even just an arrest can raise a red flag to authorities and could potentially affect your legal status in the US. You can help prevent that from happening by learning a little about your rights and the procedures for detaining and prosecuting noncitizens.

 

Know Your Rights

 

If you are arrested, you have a right to remain silent. Local law enforcement is permitted to ask about a lawfully arrested individual’s immigration status, but you have a right to refuse to answer. No matter the circumstances, it’s best to invoke your right to remain silent, decline answering questions about your legal status in the US and say you’d like to speak with an attorney.

 

Triggering Interest and Immigration Consequences

 

After an arrest, you may be booked into a county jail. During the booking process, your fingerprints will be taken, which then follow a chain of command to the US Department of Homeland Security. At that point, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) can issue a detainer request to hold you in custody for up to 48 hours or ask to be notified when you are released. This most commonly occurs after the booking process and identify verification, but ICE can issue detainers at any point when you’re in custody.

 

Also please note that federal authorities are cracking down hard on specific criminal activities, such as drug and human trafficking. If you are arrested for one of these offenses, you could face swift action from the federal government. While many offenses can trigger deportation, high-watch ones like drug trafficking usher in more aggressive action.

 

Trouble in Custody

 

Facing criminal proceedings as a noncitizen can be fraught with complications, due in part to the involvement of both state and federal authorities. And it could become even more complicated when you’re released from jail. Paying your bond to the county court will secure your release from county jail. If ICE issued a detainer or was notified of your release, however, you could be picked up and taken to an immigration detention facility. In light of this fact, try to speak with an attorney before you are released.

 

When Removal Proceedings Can Start

 

Removal proceedings can be initiated at any point while you are facing criminal charges, even while you are still in local custody. And whether you are convicted or found not guilty, incarcerated or put on deferred adjudication, ICE can detain you. The interplay between state and federal authorities is problematic, as local law enforcement retain certain rights regarding their decision to cooperate with ICE. But those rights are under fire and are actively being fought against.

 

Get a Legal Advocate on Your Side

 

The bottom line is an arrest can trigger immigration consequences, potentially even if you have a green card or a visa. Don’t face criminal charges alone if you don’t have full citizenship. Contact a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney immediately if you’ve been arrested. Do not wait until charges are filed or you are released. Promptly involving a criminal defense attorney is the only way to ensure you have every possible chance of avoiding immigration consequences and preserving your legal status in the US.

 

If you are facing charges for a crime in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys will advise you on how to defend your rights. With law offices in Dallas and Denton, our attorneys provide compassionate legal services to Dallas, Collin, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases including DWI/DUI, assault/family violence, and other misdemeanors and felonies. Call (214) 329-9433, email team@jbabblaw.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.

Car Searches: When They’re Legal and When They’re Not

Car Searches: When They’re Legal and When They’re Not

Search Standards

 

Typically, law enforcement must have a warrant to search your person or property. Cars present a unique exception where police don’t necessarily need a search warrant for numerous reasons. Because vehicles are mobile, law enforcement might not have a reasonable amount of time to obtain a warrant before the “property” (i.e. the car) is gone. Likewise, because traffic stops are conducted on public roadways, the driver should not have an expectation for the kind of privacy of one’s own home. This expectation of privacy is a key legal test used to uphold the Fourth Amendment, which protects us from warrantless search and seizure. For these reasons, law enforcement can potentially conduct legal car searches without a warrant under the following circumstances.

 

Probable Cause and Car Searches

 

Like any situation where police want to conduct a search, whether or not a warrant is needed, the police must have probable cause, which is a reasonable suspicion a crime has been, is being or is about to be committed. For example, if a police officer sees drug paraphernalia in plain sight in the vehicle, he or she could have a reasonable suspicion that criminal activity had, was or was about to take place. In light of reasonable suspicion, law enforcement could potentially conduct a legal search of a vehicle without a warrant.

 

Consent

 

An officer may conduct legal car searches—or search of any property—with the driver’s consent. If a police officer asks you to provide consent, and it’s wise to always say NO and then invoke your right to remain silent. Saying NO does not indicate guilt, and it can protect your rights. A word of caution: do so politely!

 

 

After an Arrest

 

Police may potentially search a car without a warrant incident to an arrest. However, the suspect must be unsecured and have the potential to access what is in the car. An officer may also conduct a search if he or she believes there could be evidence in the car related to the arrest.

 

Presence of Weapons

 

If an officer can view weapons in the car in plain sight, he or she may conduct a legal search if he or she believes the suspect could be dangerous and access the weapons.

 

Taking Inventory

 

After a car is legally impounded, an officer may perform what is called an “inventory search” to inventory the contents of the car, according to standard policy.

 

Protect Your Constitutional Rights; Call an Attorney

 

In the absence of one of these scenarios, a law enforcement officer cannot conduct a legal car search. If police search your car, you should consult with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney about your rights. Explain the circumstances of the search in detail. A seasoned attorney will be able to advise you on whether the search was likely legal or not and what you can do if your car was illegally searched and evidence was seized. Typically, evidence unlawfully seized can potentially be inadmissible at trial.

 

 

If you’re facing criminal charges in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys will advise you on your rights and help you protect them. With law offices in Dallas and Denton, our attorneys provide compassionate legal services to Dallas, Collin, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases including DWI/DUI, assault/family violence, and other misdemeanors and felonies. Call (214) 329-9433, email team@jbabblaw.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.

 

The Fight to Change the Dallas County Bail System

The Fight to Change the Dallas County Bail System

A Look at Dallas County Bail

 

Many critics argue Dallas County needs an urgent bail reform. Magistrates set a bond based on factors such as the seriousness of the charges and the defendant’s prior criminal history. Other crucial factors, such as the defendant’s ability to pay and the security risk they pose, go by the wayside. Proponents of bail reform argue this system needs to change. They argue considering the defendant’s ability to pay and using better risk assessment tools can lift the burden on the poor and keep higher-risk offenders behind bars.

 

An Oppressive Approach

 

With the current approach, financial resources are all that separates those who have to wait in jail until trial and those who can be released and return home to their family. Accordingly, some critics argue the Dallas County bail system is used as an instrument of oppression. They call for a more holistic assessment of the defendant, which could result in fairer bond setting practices. Such a reform would come at the cost of time and personnel resources. And many argue lowering bond amounts will only work to put more dangerous criminals on the street. The fatal shooting of Dallas police officer Rogelio Santander in April revived this debate. Santander was shot and killed by Armando Juarez, a man who had released from Dallas County jail on bond but had a warrant for his arrest. Juarez had been released on bond several times for low-risk offenses, but his pattern of failing to appear in court and reoffending could have been red flags under a reformed bail system.

 

Is There a Solution?

 

Bail reform would involve time and money, but if executed effectively, could let lower-risk defendants return to their families while keeping those with a clear propensity to reoffend behind bars. The reach of this problem extends to Harris County, too, which was recently subject to a civil suit brought on by inmates to demand fairer bail. A federal ruling favoring the plaintiffs shed light on the imbalance of justice of a bail system with such ridged determining factors. Now Dallas County faces the same type of suit brought on by inmates who claim the bail system is unconstitutional and discriminatory against the poor. While some accused individuals, no matter the risk, cannot afford to buy their way out of jail, others have the financial resources to walk free.

 

Call a Dallas Criminal Defense Attorney if You Have Been Arrested

 

Navigating the immediate steps following an arrest in Dallas County can be overwhelming and stressful. Calling a Dallas criminal defense attorney after an arrest is the best way to ensure you can return to your family as soon as possible. An attorney who is familiar with the Dallas County bail system can explore your options for reducing your bond, so you don’t have to work with a bail bond company. Bail bond companies cannot defend your rights or provide any legal assistance. Conversely, an attorney might be able to release you from jail without having to post the full bail amount and can promptly get started on fighting your charges.

 

 

If you’ve been arrested for a crime and need a legal advocate in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys will advise you on the best course of action to minimize the consequences of your charge. With law offices in Dallas and Denton, our attorneys provide compassionate legal services to Dallas, Collin, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases including DWI/DUI, assault/family violence, and other misdemeanors and felonies. Call (214) 329-9433, email team@jbabblaw.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.

 

Was There Reasonable Suspicion for Your DWI Stop?

Was There Reasonable Suspicion for Your DWI Stop?

Cause and Effect

 

The Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution protects you from unreasonable search and seizure. Essentially, this protection requires law enforcement to have “probable cause“ or reasonable suspicion to search your person or property or seize anything in your possession. Even in the realm of traffic stops, law enforcement must have reasonable suspicion to pull you over. But what is reasonable suspicion? And what is reasonable suspicion for a DWI stop? Answering these simple questions can help you protect your rights.

 

A Reasonable Suspicion

 

Reasonable suspicion is a specific articulable basis for believing that a crime may have been, was being committed, or will be committed soon. A law enforcement officer must have reasonable suspicion to pull you over, but it could be any violation. For example, an officer could pull you over for failing to signal at a turn, but that stop could easily turn into a DWI arrest. In fact, police sometimes make “pretext” stops where they pull you over for a traffic violation but intend to look for evidence of intoxication. As long as the officer witnesses an infraction, no matter how minor, he or she has enough reasonable suspicion to stop you. An officer can also stop you for swerving between lanes, driving too fast or too slow, stopping before stop lights or making wide turns, all possible signs of DWI.

 

Because reasonable suspicion is an essential element in DWI cases, you should get a copy of the police report as soon as you can. The cause for the stop should be noted in the report. Go over the police report with an attorney to ensure the officer lawfully pulled you over.

 

Defending Your Rights

 

Unfortunately, police have been known to prey on drivers by following cars that leave bars. They are looking for a reason, any reason, to stop you, but their true intention may be to arrest you for a DWI. With this in mind, it’s vital you carefully examine every fact in your case to ensure your rights weren’t violated. Have a Texas DWI defense attorney review the police report to help you determine whether the arresting officer violated your rights and what you can do about it.

 

 

If you’re facing DWI charges in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys will advise you on the best course of action. With law offices in Dallas and Denton, our attorneys provide compassionate legal services to Dallas, Collin, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases including DWI/DUI, assault/family violence, and other misdemeanors and felonies. Call (214) 329-9433, email team@jbabblaw.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.

 

Explanation or Confession? Think Twice Before You Talk

Explanation or Confession? Think Twice Before You Talk

Telling Your Side of the Story

 

When dealing with law enforcement, many people don’t know what to do or how to act. Consequently, saying or doing the wrong thing happens all too frequently. One of the most common examples of this happening is when a person provides law enforcement with an “explanation” of what happened. While done in an attempt to avoid an arrest, it usually results in a trip down to the station. It never ceases to surprise us how often people think they can convince law enforcement they are innocent using nothing but a carefully (or, rather, not so carefully) crafted account of what they did. In reality, that explanation might as well be a confession because it almost always results in an arrest. Furthermore, many people think that if they are forthcoming with the police officer then he or she will go easier on them. Wrong!

 

When You’ve Said Too Much

 

Law enforcement is trained to gather facts in order to establish probable cause for an arrest. To do this, they question the suspect to collect information to build the case. Typically, they are not open to negotiations or susceptible to conversational tactics. If they have a reasonable basis to believe you committed a crime, they will arrest you. Then, they hand over all the information they have, including notes on what you said, to the district attorney’s office, which then decides what to do next.

 

So, while you may think you gave a foolproof explanation, you might have given them a confession and everything they need to convict you. What you voluntarily say can and will be held against you. And even if you think your explanation will clear your name, don’t assume law enforcement will come to that conclusion, too.

 

A Confession Can Result in a Conviction

 

If you’ve already tried to explain your way out of an arrest, chances are good you are now facing criminal charges. While in an ideal scenario you would have exercised your right to remain silent, don’t lose hope yet. In this situation, it’s best to call an experienced Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney to discuss your case. You should review with your attorney:

 

  • The circumstances under which you were detained/arrested
  • What the law enforcement officer said to you
  • What you said to the law enforcement officer
  • When you said it to the officer
  • What other information you may have inadvertently provided, and
  • The charges you now face

 

This information can help your attorney jump into action to protect your rights, enforce rights that may have been violated and fight your charges.

 

If you are facing charges for a crime in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys will advise you on how to defend your rights. With law offices in Dallas and Denton, our attorneys provide compassionate legal services to Dallas, Collin, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases including DWI/DUI, assault/family violence, and other misdemeanors and felonies. Call (214) 329-9433, email team@jbabblaw.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.

Call 911 in a Domestic Dispute? Here’s Why an Arrest Is Likely

Call 911 in a Domestic Dispute? Here’s Why an Arrest Is Likely

Responding to Domestic Disputes

 

When responding to reports of domestic disputes (i.e. family violence), law enforcement officers must proceed with caution to protect themselves and the alleged victim. Officers are trained in responding to reports of family violence and know how to secure the safety of the scene. An officer will be mainly concerned with protecting the victim, apprehending the aggressor and collecting information to build the case. The officer will typically arrest someone to accomplish all three of these objectives.

 

Automatic Arrests?

 

In the vast majority of domestic dispute responses, one party to the conflict will be arrested. Arresting someone ensures that the situation –whatever it may have been- will be diffused and the remaining person can be left in safety. Officers typically err on the side of the caution when deciding whether to make an arrest. Leaving the scene without an arrest can put someone at serious risk, especially if one of the participants in the dispute was the one who reported the incident.

 

Who Gets Arrested?

 

During a typical response to a report of family violence, a law enforcement officer will first attempt to identify the person they deem the aggressor. He or she may employ a variety of methods, such as observation and interrogation, to do so. The office will consider the aggressor to be the person who initiated the conflict, sustained the conflict or otherwise was the predominate instigator (and sometimes they consider the person who got the worst of it to be the aggressor). When identifying the aggressor, police officers will rely on the information received from dispatch and begin observing the scene from the moment they leave their squad car. They may stand outside the home and listen. Identifying the aggressor quickly is important, as officers can be at risks of assault, too.

 

Is an Arrest Imminent?

 

Again, law enforcement officers may use discretion when responding to a domestic dispute but typically won’t leave without ensuring everyone will be safe. To do this, they often make an arrest. No matter the participants’ in the incident wishes or the story given, law enforcement officers have a duty to protect. But police can make mistakes, and alleged aggressors are often wrongfully accused. Remember; just because you’re arrested doesn’t mean there is enough evidence to convict you. In fact, an experienced assault family violence attorney can usually obtain a dismissal in most of these types of cases. Therefore, if you find yourself facing family violence charges, it’s wise to speak with an experienced Dallas-Fort Worth assault family violence defense attorney. An attorney can explain how you can fight false or exaggerated allegations and defend your rights.

 

 

If you’re facing family violence charges in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys will advise you on the best course of action to clear your name. With law offices in Dallas and Denton, our attorneys provide compassionate legal services to Dallas, Collin, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases including DWI/DUI, assault/family violence, and other misdemeanors and felonies. Call (214) 329-9433, email team@jbabblaw.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.

 

Everything You Need to Know About Your Miranda Rights

Everything You Need to Know About Your Miranda Rights

A Right to Remember

 

The media paints an often-incomplete portrait of the criminal justice system. It frequently depicts the stereotypical arrest that begins with a uniformed officer stating, “You have a right to remain silent”. Most people are aware of this constitutionally protected right but know little about it other than what they’ve seen on TV and in the movies. In reality, your right to remain silent is included in your Miranda Rights, some of the most important rights an American—or a Texan—has. It is these rights that police officers will sometimes recite to a person they are placing under arrest. Knowing and using these rights correctly can be your smoking gun when you run into trouble, so here is what you should know about your Miranda Rights.

 

Your Miranda Rights

 

Miranda Rights are addressed in the Fifth Amendment. Your Miranda Rights read together as the Miranda Warning, include:

 

  • You have the right to remain silent.
  • Anything you say can and will be held against you in a court of law.
  • You have a right to an attorney.
  • If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you.

 

They are powerful yet surprisingly simple. What’s more surprising is some people inadvertently waive these rights due to lack of understanding. We certainly don’t want that to happen to you. But knowing your rights isn’t enough. You also need to know when you can use them. These rights become “active” once you have been arrested***. The police must read you these rights if they arrest you and plan on interrogating (questioning) you. Theoretically, you could be arrested and never read your rights. Or, you may be arrested and read your rights but never questioned. Unfortunately, police don’t always read the Miranda Warning when they should, so take it upon yourself to exercise your rights when it counts.

 

Be Smart About Your Rights

 

As a general rule, answering questions the police ask you is a bad idea. We do not recommend you try to explain anything to the police. If the police arrest you, whatever you say can be held against you in court. In fact, the only thing you should say is that you assert your 5th Amendment right and that you’d like to call an attorney.

 

If you’ve been arrested and are facing potential criminal charges, call a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney immediately. An attorney can review your rights with you and advise you on how to best proceed forward with your case. Whenever faced with law enforcement, it’s best to let your attorney do the talking for you.

 

If you’ve been arrested for a DWI in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys will advise you on the best course of action. With law offices in Dallas and Denton, our attorneys provide compassionate legal services to Dallas, Collin, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases including DWI/DUI, assault/family violence, and other misdemeanors and felonies. Call (214) 329-9433, email team@jbabblaw.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.

Your Right to Remain Silent: Why It Matters and When to Use It

Your Right to Remain Silent: Why It Matters and When to Use It

A Right to Protect

 

We hear a lot about our right to remain silent in the movies and on TV, and perhaps it is one of the most well-known rights we have. But the scope of this right and the specific situations under which it protects us are less publicized. Consequently, few people take advantage of this right when it counts most. In fact, many people believe that unless their rights are read, they cannot be arrested. To help you fearlessly defend your right to remain silent, here’s why it matters and when you should use it.

 

Why Your Right to Remain Silent Is Important

 

Your right to remain silent can protect you from self-incrimination. This means it gives you the right to withhold information that would be held against you. That said, this right is extremely important to use when you are detained, arrested, and interrogated (i.e. questioned). Without getting information directly from you, the police must resort to other evidence and witnesses to gather what’s needed for the prosecuting attorney to file charges.

 

Use it or Lose It

 

You should know you do not have to answer any questions the police ask you. If you refuse to answer their questions, you could indeed be arrested, but at that point, you can also invoke your right to remain silent and lawfully protect yourself from self-incrimination. Furthermore, what a person says can be used against them during a legal proceeding –it is not hearsay. That means an officer can testify that you said something without any corroborating evidence if it happens prior to a custodial interrogation.

 

Once you’ve been arrested, the officer might read your rights if he or she plans on interrogating you. After that point, if you fully understand your rights and choose to answer the questions anyway, your answers can be held against you. As an almost absolute rule, you should never answer an officer’s questions, even after having your rights read to you. Why? It pretty much means there is something that they still need to know that they do not know. And your chance of providing them with this missing information is probably pretty high. So why do it?

 

Defending Your Rights

 

Your right to remain silent is not a courtesy. It is a constitutionally protected right that is vital to the maintenance of a just legal system. It is also a very good idea. If you have been arrested and have questions about your rights, consult with an experienced Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney. An attorney can evaluate the circumstances of your arrest and advise you on whether your rights were violated. A seasoned attorney can also make sure whatever you said when interrogated isn’t unlawfully held against you.

 

If you’ve been arrested and need a legal advocate in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys will advise you on the best course of action. With law offices in Dallas and Denton, our attorneys provide compassionate legal services to Dallas, Collin, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases including DWI/DUI, assault/family violence, and other misdemeanors and felonies. Call (214) 329-9433, email clients@jbabblaw.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.