Attorney Randall E. Reagan

Attorney Randall E. Reagan is experienced and qualified in representing criminal defendants at trial and on appeal in both State and Federal courts.

What to do if Accused of a Crime

If you are charged with or arrested for a crime, you are entitled to certain constitutional rights when being questioned by law enforcement agents.  Commonly known as Miranda rights, these include the right to remain silent, the right to know that anything you say can be used against you in court, and the right to have an attorney present at questioning. If you cannot afford an attorney, the court must appoint one for you without charge prior to any questioning.

If you are arrested, you have the right to know the charges against you, the identity of the police officers who are dealing with you, the right to stop answering questions at anytime and the right to make one phone call. In Tennessee, you are entitled to successfully complete this phone call before you are booked by the police.  This call should be to your attorney or, if you don’t know an attorney, someone in your family or a trusted friend. At the police station, you will be fingerprinted and photographed, and you will be asked some basic questions for booking information such as your name and address. You should cooperate with this procedure, but you should not give any information about your version of the events until you have talked with your lawyer. What you tell your attorney is confidential and the fact that you refused to answer police questions cannot be used against you in a court proceeding.

In a criminal case, the government must prove every element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. If you are unsuccessful at trial, you have the right to have your conviction reviewed by at least one higher court.

Unless you are charged with a crime punishable by death, you ordinarily have a right to bail pending trial. If you need to know what to do to get out of jail, contact a qualified criminal defense attorney.

The information presented here is based on general principles of Tennessee law and should not be regarded as a substitute for the services of a criminal defense attorney. Each individual case is different. If you need legal representation, contact Attorney Randall E. Reagan.