Murder is the most serious crime a person can be charged with in Louisiana, as it is the only crime that carries a potential sentence of the death penalty. When someone is accused of murder, it is often an overwhelming and confusing time. What should you do if you’re accused of murder in Louisiana?
Two important actions to take as soon as possible when you’re accused of murder are requesting the assistance of an attorney and using your right to remain silent until you have had the opportunity to speak with an attorney. An attorney can protect your rights throughout the investigation and criminal court process while also working with you to develop a defense strategy aimed at providing you with the best outcome possible in your circumstances.
The Importance of Remaining Silent
When a person is taken into custody on suspicion of murder and interrogated, the Fifth Amendment provides them with the right to not be forced to incriminate themselves in a crime. This means that they do not have to answer questions asked by investigators. If they do not wish to exercise that right, investigators can use the statements the individual provides against them in court in an attempt to prove guilt.
The right to remain silent, as well as the right to an attorney, are both explained to an individual when they are taken into custody through the reading of the defendant’s Miranda Rights.
It should be noted that police only have to read out your Miranda Rights if you are in custody. When your rights are read to you by the officer as you are being taken into custody, you will be asked if you understand those rights, and this is an important time to also assert your desire for an attorney or to not answer their questions.
How an Attorney Can Protect Your Rights
Obtaining an attorney as soon as possible after being charged is important, as they can protect your rights through the entire process. Once an individual is arrested on a charge of murder in Louisiana, they must be brought before a judge within 72 hours to determine if the defendant qualifies for bail. While many people who have been accused of murder do not have a specific bail set, in some cases, an attorney can argue for bail that would allow them to remain out of jail while waiting for trial.
A criminal defense attorney understands the seriousness of a murder charge and the potential for consequences that can permanently alter the life of the defendant. An attorney is tasked with looking at all of the evidence the prosecution has against the defendant and understanding how the defendant wishes to proceed with the case. They work hard to ensure that the defendant’s rights are upheld through the entire legal process. They will use their experience to fight for the best outcome possible, whether it means fighting the accusation in court, negotiating a deal with the prosecution, or even filing motions to resolve the case during pre-trial proceedings.
Contact Our Team at John D. & Eric G. Johnson Law Firm
Being charged with murder is an overwhelming circumstance to deal with. An experienced criminal defense lawyer has a crucial role in helping murder defendants to achieve the best outcome possible. The legal team at John D. & Eric G. Johnson Law Firm has ample experience in defending those who have been accused of murder.
Let an experienced criminal defense lawyer from our firm help you understand your legal options and begin creating a defense strategy for your case. For a consultation, send us a message through our online contact form or call us at (318) 377-1555.