Even if you are a peace-loving person, you may one day find yourself in a physical altercation, particularly if you've been drinking or if you are in a distressed emotional state. If you are involved in a fight, you may soon find yourself at a police station facing an assault or breach of the peace charge. Below is a guide to three things you should do if you find yourself in this situation.
Request access to a lawyer
Even if you did not instigate the fight, you may still be charged with a public disorder or assault charge which could result in a fine, probation or even time in jail. Once you have been booked into the police station, you should immediately request a lawyer. If you have your own lawyer, you should give their contact details to the police and request that they contact them. If you do not have a lawyer or cannot afford to hire one, a legal representative will be supplied by the state. Either way, it may take a few hours before a lawyer is on hand. During this time, you should not give or sign any statement about the alleged offence. Speaking without legal advice could result in you saying things which jeopardise your defence.
Discuss your situation with your lawyer
When your lawyer does arrive, you should spend some time discussing your situation and the best way to proceed. Legally, the police are not allowed to monitor discussions held between you and your lawyer, so feel free to tell them exactly what happened. You should not mislead or withhold any information from your lawyer, as this could cause them to approach the case in a way which will be easily disproven in court. Once you have told your lawyer about the events in question, they will be able to offer advice about the consequences of pleading guilty or not guilty and will then be able to start building a case for the defence.
Secure any evidence
You should ensure that you supply the contact of details of anyone who witnessed the fight and the names of any local businesses. Your lawyer will be able to use this information to secure evidence which supports your case. The lawyer can take statements from witnesses and ask local businesses for CCTV footage of the events leading up to the fight. Having evidence such as this can often make the difference between being found guilty and being released without charges.
If you would like to find out more about how a lawyer can assist you when you have been accused of a crime, you should contact a law firm today.