If you were arrested and charged with a crime, you are not alone. According to data provided by the Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services (OCJS), more than 100,000 arrests are made in the state each year. Not every arrest is fair or legitimate. Wrongful arrests happen every day in Ohio. You need to know how to protect your rights after an unfair arrest. Here, our Toledo criminal defense attorneys highlight four steps to take if you were wrongfully arrested in Ohio.
Wrongfully Arrested in Ohio? Four Steps to Protect Your Freedom and Your Future
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Exercise Your Right to Remain Silent
When facing a wrongful arrest in Toledo, the first thing you should do is exercise your right to remain silent. Under the Fifth Amendment to the American Constitution, no individual “shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself.” In practice, this means that neither police officers nor prosecutors can require you to answer questions about the allegations against you.
You should not answer questions from the police after an arrest. Ultimately, law enforcement officers are trying to build a case against you. Your answers can be taken out of context or otherwise used against you in a court of law to obtain a conviction. Protect yourself and your rights by remaining silent after an arrest.
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Understand the Nature of the Charges and the Accusations
As you are being processed, you have a right to know the grounds. Make sure you understand the nature of the arrest, and, assuming charges are filed, the specific statutes. Only when you know the charges being pursued by prosecutors will you be in the right position to raise a strong legal defense.
Secure Any and All Relevant Evidence
In a criminal case, it is the prosecutor’s burden to prove a defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. They must present evidence to justify a conviction. That being said, you also have a right to provide evidence that supports your innocence. Make sure you take proactive steps to secure the information and evidence that can help exonerate you.
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Get Help From a Skilled Criminal Defense Attorney
Police and prosecutors are aggressive. Once an arrest has been made, their focus is on obtaining a conviction on some or all of the charges filed. You do not want to go up against a prosecutor alone. Call a Toledo defense attorney as soon as possible after a wrongful arrest. Your lawyer can review exactly what happened and take immediate action to secure your freedom, build a strong defense, and hold the police responsible for any misconduct.
Schedule a Confidential Consultation With Our Toledo Criminal Defense Lawyers
At Groth & Associates, our Toledo criminal defense attorneys are aggressive advocates for justice. If you or your loved one was wrongfully arrested in Ohio, we can help. Contact our law firm now for a confidential review and assessment of your case. With an office in Toledo, our criminal defense lawyers serve communities throughout Northwest Ohio, including in Lucas County, Fulton County, and Ottawa County.