Indiana Criminal Defense Lawyer

The Law Office of Ross G. Thomas

A Criminal Defense Law Firm For Major Felony Federal & State Cases
3601 North Pennsylvania St.
Indianapolis, Indiana 46205
Telephone: (317) 920-2840
Fax: (317) 920-2875

Criminal defense lawyer representing persons charged with serious crimes in State and Federal courts throughout Indiana; major felonies, drug crimes- conspiracy and dealing in cocaine, heroin,ecstasy, methamphetamine and
meth labs, marijuana cultivation and possession, murder, robbery, weapons, battery, OWI,  sex crimes, rape.  An experienced criminal defense attorney that will fight for your rights. An Indiana lawyer on your side.
E-Mail:
LegalQuestions@
DefenseLawyerIndiana.com
THIS IS AN ADVERTISEMENT.This web site is  designed for general information only. The information  presented at this site should not be construed to be formal
legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.
A criminal lawyer, representing persons charged with serious crimes. Our criminal defense law firm is experienced and aggressive. We will fight for your rights. Our law firm handles drug cases- trafficking, conspiracy, dealing and possession, cocaine, heroin, LSD, ecstasy and other club drugs, methamphetamine and meth labs and marijuana cultivation; violent crime, murder, robbery, battery, intimidation, weapons charges; sex crimes, rape, sexual battery, sexual
misconduct with a minor, child
molesting; juvenile cases, drunk driving OWI/DUI, appeals and post-conviction cases. You need a lawyer that will fight for you.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE ARRESTED

If you are arrested or detained for questioning by law enforcement about a criminal case, there are a few things to keep in mind that may help you tremendously if you have to defend yourself against criminal charges.  Keep in mind that this is being offered as general information only and should not be construed as legal advice or a recommendation in any particular case.  Among the important things to remember:

 
        DO NOT MAKE ANY STATEMENT OR ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS,
           

 

    

 

 

Be polite and respectful, even if the arresting officer is not.  Do not try to
resist arrest, even if you feel you are being wrongly or mistakenly arrested.

DO NOT CONSENT TO A SEARCH.  If you have been arrested, the police
officers may already have the right to search you and the area immediately
around you.  
Police may have obtained a search warrant which gives them
permission to search any person or place listed in the warrant.  
If an officer
chooses to search you, do not attempt to physically stop him. However, whether
 you have been arrested or not, if an officer asks your permissionto search-
"You wouldn't mind if I took a look in your car would you?", politely decline
to give permission for the officer to search.  You may feel that
refusing to consent to a search will make you appear more "guilty" or to have
"something to hide", but in most cases
"looking guilty" will not contribute to
your conviction in a criminal case.  Any
evidence that the officer finds in a
search usually will.  DO NOT CONSENT TO A
SEARCH, even if you think
the officer is going to search anyway.  Sometimes in that
situation you may
conclude that if the officer plans to search anyway, that it will help
you to
appear more cooperative if you just grant consent to search.  But once you
have consented to a search, you have in most cases waived any challenge to
the
officer's authority to conduct the search that your attorney might have
later been able
to raise.  Even if it appears to frustrate or anger the officer, do
not consent to a
search.  It probably won't keep him from conducting a
search, but by refusing to
consent you will keep the burden on the prosecution to
prove that there was a legal basis for
the search before the evidence can be
used against you in court.


Understand that you have the right to remain silent and everything you say can
be used against you. EXERCISE YOUR RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT,
unless
your attorney says otherwise.  If you have been arrested there is a good
chance you will be nervous, scared and/or confused.
 Sometimes in that state
of mind, an
arresting officer may attempt to scare you with threats of more
serious charges or
threats to arrest a family member or loved one if you don't
"cooperate".  Sometimes an
officer will tell you that you will "make it easier on
yourself" if you just admit your
guilt.  In either of these situations, it is
extremely unlikely that making a statement
will keep the police from
arresting someone else that they had intended to arrest or
that it will change
your own situation significantly.  Remember, you will have every
opportunity
to cooperate with police in dealing with your case if you choose to, but
it is
important to talk to a lawyer before you attempt to do so.


Ask to have a lawyer present during any questioning by the police. You have a
right to an attorney before and during any questioning. EXERCISE YOUR
RIGHT TO AN ATTORNEY.
  If you can not afford to hire an attorney, an
attorney must be
provided for you.  The law requires that when you are in custody,
once you have asked for an attorney police are not allowed to ask you any more
questions.  However, some officers may still ask you questions or suggest that
you don't need a lawyer or imply that asking for a lawyer will make your situation
worse.   If you have been arrested there is a good
chance you will be nervous,
scared and or confused.  Regardless of what the officer may suggest:
 TELL
THEM YOU NEED TO
TALK TO A LAWYER.

Talk to a Criminal Defense Attorney as soon as possible. The sooner you have
the advice of an attorney the better.

Record the names, addresses, phone numbers and any other important
 
 
information about any witnesses that could help you.  It is generally not advisable to
contact potential witnesses yourself.  Let your lawyer or his or her staff do
that to avoid any notion that you are intimidating or attempting to influence the
witness.  
Document, by notes or other recordings, any defenses you may have
to the charges.
Photograph or video tape defense evidence, when appropriate.
For example,
if you have injuries that are relevant to a defense, photograph
them if possible.
If a particular location is relevant, you may want to
photograph or video tape it.
Be careful not to tamper with any evidence or
even give the appearance of tampering with evidence. Taking notes and gathering information while it is fresh in your mind may help you tremendously, particularly if your case takes some time to resolve and your memory of people and events may fade.
 If you possess items
that you believe could be evidence in your case, bring them to your lawyer's
attention as soon as possible.


Take steps to get out of jail.  If you know you may be arrested or if you are
turning yourself in on an outstanding warrant, have a family member or
trusted friend
on notice with access to any funds you may have to post bail
for you. If
you have limited resources and have to choose between hiring a
lawyer and posting a bond, it is generally advisable to hire an attorney first.
If
your bond is too high, have an attorney ask the judge for a bond reduction.

In many cases your attorney can get the bond amount lowered significantly.  


If you are in jail while your case is pending, DO NOT DISCUSS YOUR CASE
with other inmates or guards.  Do not generally seek or follow the "legal
advice" that
other inmates are offering you.  Consider the source.  Do not
discuss the facts of
your case over the telephone with family and friends, as
such calls are routinely recorded and are not confidential.


If you have co-defendants, do not contact them about the case or attempt to
discuss the case with them unless your lawyer has advised you to do so. If
they
contact you that is fine, remain polite and friendly but explain that you
can't talk about
the case.  That doesn't mean that you and your co-defendant
are necessarily against
one another, but it is generally best not to discuss the
case outside of situations dictated by your lawyer.


Do not try to make a deal or negotiate with police or jailers about your case. Discuss your situation with an attorney.  If you wish to negotiate, that is best accomplished between your lawyer and the prosecuting attorney.
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Criminal Law Resources
 
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What are the typical steps in a criminal case?
 
What am I facing? Offense levels in Indiana
 
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What can I expect if I am charged with a crime?
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LINKS to Internet Legal Resources 

CHARGED with a Crime in Indiana?  What you can expect. 

What am I FACING? - Offense Levels for Felonies and Misdemeanors

What are the typical STEPS in a criminal case?

If you or a loved one has been arrested it is important to get an experienced criminal defense lawyer advising you, working on your case and fighting for you as quickly as possible. Contact the experienced criminal defense law firm of Ross G. Thomas today.  The Law Office of Ross G. Thomas provides experienced legal representation to persons charged with serious crimes in state and federal courts throughout Indiana. If you are accused of a crime, you need a lawyer that will stand up for your rights.


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 unless you have been advised to do so by your attorney. In most cases a police officer making an arrest or questioning you as a suspect has already come to a conclusion about his reason for arresting or questioning you. Do not try to explain "your side of the story" or try to talk your way out of being arrested, it will rarely help your situation.