The minutes, hours and days after being arrested and charged with a crime are stressful and frightening, especially if this is your first exposure to the criminal justice system. You're facing the prospect of significant jail time and you don't know what to do.

But always remember that these moments are incredibly important. Cases have been lost based on how a defendant behaved in the immediate aftermath of an arrest. As such, it's vital that you monitor your behavior and ensure you're protecting your legal rights.

Our criminal defense lawyer understands the difficulty of your situation. He can help. But you need to take some initial steps on your own behalf to ensure that you're in a position to receive a viable defense.

If you live in Columbia, Charleston, Greenville or any other South Carolina community and you need an experienced criminal defense lawyer, please call the Law Office of Bill Nettles today at (803) 828-6126.

Remember Your Rights

The Constitution gives you a number of rights as a criminal defendant, but when you've been arrested, the two most important are these: the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney.

These two rights should be the foundation of your actions after your arrest. Put simply, if you've been arrested and accused of a crime, do not speak to the police without your attorney present.

This is a hard and fast rule, and it has to be. Too many defendants have incriminated themselves in a good faith effort to work through a “misunderstanding” with the police. Don't be among their number.

It's a common scenario: you've been arrested, you're not guilty, you think there must be some kind of mistake and you just want to go him. You sit across a table from a police officer and try to calmly explain the situation.

This can go bad in so many ways. The police are human, which means they will see everything you say through the lens of the narrative they've already constructed. You think you're explaining your innocence, and they might see what you're saying as damning evidence of your guilt.

Misunderstandings do happen, and it's possible to work through them. But only when you have an experienced attorney on your side. Bill Nettles will listen to your story and advise you on how to proceed and how much you should speak to the police.

When the police start asking you question, invoke your right to silence and request a criminal defense lawyer as soon as you can. The police might try to convince you that this makes you “look guilty,” but invoking your Constitutional rights is never evidence of guilt.

Remain calm after your arrest and resist the temptation to grow angry or frustrated. You need to keep your wits about you- doing so will prove tremendously beneficial in the long run.

If you've been accused of a crime in South Carolina and need a criminal defense lawyer with experience in difficult criminal matters, please call the Law Office of Bill Nettles today at (803) 828-6126.