Criminal Law FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions About Criminal Charges

At the Law Offices of Mallon Snyder, we take the charges you are facing as seriously as you do. Here are answers to questions we typically hear when a client is facing charges for suspicion of committing a crime.

Having been charged with a crime, what should I say or do while in the presence of the officer?

  1. Be polite.
  2. You need not answer any questions other than identify yourself, providing your ID.
  3. WHAT MOST PEOPLE DON’T KNOW: Under the law, you have the right, under the Fifth Amendment, against self-incrimination or answering questions during the course of an investigation. You do NOT need to answer questions or issues raised by the officer. In doing so, you run the risk of the officer misreporting the information given or recalling it in a way that is harmful to your case and not necessarily accurate.

What should I tell the commissioner when they go to set bond?

The commissioner is concerned whether you are a flight risk or will actually appear for trial or otherwise may present harm or danger to yourself and others. Providing a stable address and employment, indicating that you will be retaining an attorney and will appear for the trial, is important. If you are under the care and treatment of a doctor, without giving too much detail, indicate if asked that you are under care and treatment and are taking the appropriate medications.

What can I do to assist in preparing a defense in my case?

  1. Witnesses who may be in the area who can testify in support of your defense are critical to the case. Being aware of video cameras at intersections or buildings that might have recorded what happened is also important. They may call into question the officer’s recollection.
  2. You should sit down immediately and record all information asked by the officer and your response. You also should record any statements made by third parties or anything the officer may share from your accuser, individually specific conduct or actions that they contend that were inappropriate.

Do I need to tell my employer or co-workers of the charge?

Unless you are under a specific contract or have a specific office policy, or have a security clearance that would otherwise require disclosure, you do NOT have to advise others. When we meet for the first time, we’ll discuss the nature of your employment and your obligations. It is often a mistake to confide in co-workers who may inadvertently tell others, and this may harm your potential to gain future promotions or raises.

Why do I have to attend pretrial services, and what are my responsibilities?

Oftentimes a commissioner may assign you to pretrial services. We should review the circumstances of the charge, your history and whether it is appropriate and whether we need to file motions to remove you from pretrial services. Until such time as you are removed, you need to comply so that they will not report you to the court as a violator.

What if I do not understand the charge brought against me?

When we meet, I will explain the code, each charge, the potential exposure and its ramifications.

Contact The Law Offices of Mallon Snyder For Answers To Your Questions

The answers here are only a guideline. The legal advice you need when facing charges for suspicion of a crime should come from an experienced criminal defense lawyer who will look at all sides of the issue with you and clearly explain your legal options. Call us at 301-750-9588 or email us to schedule an appointment to discuss your case. Se habla español.