Client’s FAQ

Law Enforcement

I was coerced into confessing. What now?

Unfortunately, it is not entirely uncommon for the police to use questionable interrogation tactics in order to obtain a confession—whether or not the confession is actually valid. Law enforcement may have believed that you were guilty of the crime that you were charged with, so they may have coerced you into providing a false admission of guilt.

If you believe that this has happened to you, it is imperative that you consult with an attorney as soon as possible. You may still have time to remedy the situation and prove your innocence, but you must act quickly—as it may be much harder to prove this after you have been convicted by a jury or accepted a plea bargain.

I was charged with a federal crime. What now?

As soon as you have been arrested and detained by a law enforcement officer, they are required by law to tell you that you have the right to remain silent and that you have the right to an attorney. Although both of these rights should be exercised immediately, you should waste no time in contacting a legal professional.

In doing so, you may be able to gain a clearer understanding of what steps to take next and then start on devising a viable defense strategy. The sooner you take action in the interest of your defense, the better off you will be. What is also important to understand is that choosing the right attorney is just as crucial to the outcome of your case.

Should I hire an attorney for minor charges?

Unfortunately, a lot of people make the mistake of thinking that their charges are “minor.” Even if you have been charged with a misdemeanor offense, the consequences of a conviction could follow you around for the rest of your life. For this reason, you should always take the time to learn more about your charges and the defense options that are available to you. Our firm has helped countless individuals to reduce the impact of a criminal conviction, and we stand ready to fight for you.

Do I need a lawyer if I intend to plead guilty?

Absolutely. Even if you intend to plead guilty to your charges, it is imperative that you speak with an attorney. In some cases, your lawyer may be able to negotiate a lesser charge or lighter sentence. If you attempt to represent yourself, you could end up facing much stiffer penalties. For this reason, you should not hesitate to invoke your right to legal counsel as soon as you have been arrested. You should also avoid admitting guilt until you have explored all of your legal options.

I was offered a plea bargain. Should I take it?

Depending on the circumstances of your case, it may or may not be in your best interest to accept a plea agreement; however, you should always consult an attorney before making this decision. In doing so, you can ensure that you fully understand your rights and options, as you may also have a good chance of winning your case at trial. Let an experienced lawyer review your case by contacting the O. Mitchell Law Group today.

Do I have to speak to the police after an arrest?

What many people do not realize is that you are not required to give any sort of statement to a law enforcement officer following your arrest. As explained in the Miranda warning that will be read to you at the time of your arrest, you have the right to remain silent and you have the right to an attorney. Both of these rights should be invoked as soon as possible, as anything that you say can be used against you by the prosecution during your criminal trial.

Immigration

I’m an immigrant spouse that has been abused. Can I stay in the country?

The U.S. offers protection for abused spouses and their children. If you were legally married to a U.S. citizen and have suffered abuse or cruelty, you may be eligible to self-petition for immigration benefits. To be qualified, you must have entered the marriage in good faith and be of a good moral character.

Can I come to the U.S. to attend college or university?

Many states allow immigrants to come to the U.S. to study, but they may not allow for in-state tuition rates, even if you are a legal citizen. In Florida, for example, tuition costs are determined by the resident status of the parents.

Can I bring my family to live in the United States?

If you are a U.S. citizen, you may be able to file a petition for an immediate family member or other relative to enter the country. The waiting period depends on how close the individual’s relationship is to you. For example, immediate relatives such as spouses and biological minor children, are not subject to waiting periods and quotas, if they have entered the country legally, but adult children, a first preference category, is only allotted a little over 23,000 green cards per year and are subject to a waiting period of about five years.

Can I apply for a visa to work in the U.S.?

The short answer is yes. There are many different types of work visas, including visa given under NAFTA, visa for “extraordinary ability,” visas sponsored by a company because you are a specialist in your field, and longer term employment green cards that can jumpstart your path to citizenship.

Each of these visas comes with their own rules and time limits, and each has different qualifications for applicants. To discuss your immigration status, contact an immigration lawyer in Sarasota or North Fort Myers.

What is naturalization?

Naturalization is the process in which a green card holder obtains U.S. citizenship. This process requires permanent resident status for at least five years, as well as the ability to read, write, and speak English fluently. You will be tested on your reading comprehension as well as your understanding of U.S. history. You must also be at least 18 years of age and have “good moral character” which means you should not have a conviction for a serious crime on your record.

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