You have a legal right to protest injustices that you see in the world. While you might still feel like you made the right decision to stand up for your beliefs, there are often consequences for every action. At times, protests can get out of hand, and you might have been arrested for events that made it look like you had committed a crime. Alternatively, you may have simply been in the wrong place at the wrong time. Either way, you now have criminal charges to deal with, and you can use these tips to begin to recover your freedom and reputation as you work with a defense attorney.
Seek Legal Representation
Ideally, you should begin to seek legal representation as soon as possible after your arrest. This helps you to avoid making incriminating statements to the police, and you will need help knowing how to plea when your case goes to court. Find a criminal defense attorney that is experienced with handling charges that stem from protest situations, and be willing to share all of the details from that day so that they can begin to put together an effective defense strategy.
Find Out All of the Charges Involved
During a protest, you may be charged with crimes such as disorderly conduct if the police decide that you are engaging in an activity that interferes with the public's safety. It is also common for protesters to receive charges for trespassing or loitering. Before you proceed with your case, you need to understand all of the charges that are involved along with their potential consequences. Your criminal defense lawyer can help you to identify each charge and how it could impact your future. While a misdemeanor charge may seem like a small issue to deal with, having several lingering on your record could impact your future.
Avoid New Charges
As a general rule, it is just a good idea to avoid getting in trouble shortly after an arrest. While you may still feel the need to protest injustices, you need to carefully weigh the potential consequences beforehand. Receiving new charges could make it appear as if you are a habitual or intentional offender. To avoid this, make sure that you carefully obey the law during all of your activities.
Standing together with others to protest against things that you feel are wrong is empowering. Yet, being charged with a crime limits your freedom. Make sure to take your criminal charges seriously so that you can avoid potential consequences such as jail time and fines that make it harder for you to continue to act for social justice. For more information, reach out to law firms like the Hart Law Group.