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Miranda Rights

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.

 

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.

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.