When a local is arrested, the first thought that should go through their mind is, “I need a lawyer.” Indeed, when it becomes apparent that one is about to be arrested, or sooner, depending on the situation, ask for an attorney. If the police and prosecutors keep asking questions, keep asking for an attorney. This does not mean that one needs to keep a lawyer’s business card in their wallet (although that is a good idea), but it means that the police and prosecutors will need to notify the court to assign a public defender before they can continue any line of questioning.
Before needing the lawyer
In fact, for almost every interaction with the police, after identifying oneself or handing over a driver’s license (plus, car insurance and registration, if pulled over), it is usually, better to remain silent. It is okay to also state that you are invoking your right to remain silent, and that if they feel the need to arrest you, you want an Oregon City, Oregon, attorney.
Other than cellmates and those in jail processing, the next person asking questions should be a public defender. This state- or federal-appointed attorney will explain what is being charged, why and the next steps. They will also likely represent you at the bail or initial hearing as that can occur pretty quickly after arrest, before most of us have a chance to contact our own criminal defense attorney. That public defender can help contact one’s attorney to let them know what is going on and to be there at the hearing. Alternatively, the public defender can make referrals to other private attorneys as well. However, it is recommended that you do your own research before deciding on an Oregon City attorney.
After getting some referrals from the public defender, ask friends and family for more referrals. If none are available, check online review websites and local attorney bar associations for attorneys who specialize in the type of case you are facing. Then, it is time to vet attorneys.
Research the Oregon City, Oregon, attorneys to see their background and experience. This should narrow down the list of attorneys. Then, call each, ask about their experience with your type of case, success rates, references (if any) and any other questions that are important to you. The attorney-client relationship, especially in criminal cases, is extremely important, so search until you find the one. In the interim, you should realize that the public defender is the only attorney handling your case, so time is of the essence.