Watch this video to learn more about criminal law and what to do if you are arrested in Wisconsin.
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Q1: What is a misdemeanor?
A misdemeanor, while it's still serious, is less serious than a felony because the penalties are less. But you can face up to a year in jail on certain misdemeanors.
Q2: What's a felony?
A felony is any crime that is punishable by more than one year and one day in prison.
Q3: What should I do if I've been arrested?
You wanna remain silent. You don't wanna say anything about what happened or any involvement you had in it. That's the absolute best thing you can do, because just like on TV, everything and anything you say can be used against you in a court of law, and it's a common misconception that police officers always have to read you what are known as your Miranda rights. They only have to read your Miranda rights under certain circumstances, and if you voluntarily make statements, they can be used against you.
Q4: If I am innocent, why do I need a lawyer?
Because things are usually more complicated than they seem. Sometimes, one might think "Well, I didn't do anything, therefore, I can handle this myself." That's generally not a good idea, because you need to consult with someone who's skilled in the law. There are plenty of people who have found themselves in deep trouble because the situation wasn't handled correctly.
Usually the sooner you call an attorney, the better, especially in what we commonly call "drunk driving" cases. There are a lot of different procedural timelines that can apply to a particular case, and if you don't respond timely to things, it can affect your ability to defend yourself.