Don’t Wait Until You Are Arrested To Call A Criminal Defense Attorney

Barnes & Fersten Law Firm

Barnes & Fersten Law Firm

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When the police investigate a crime, they often begin collecting evidence long before they make an arrest. In fact, they might even question people they suspect participated in the crime, hoping to elicit damaging evidence that they can use later.

As any experienced criminal defense attorney knows, a case is often won or lost before the police pick up a suspect. If you were involved in a crime, or if you think the police suspect that you were involved, then you need a Knoxville criminal defense attorney in your corner as soon as possible. Contact Barnes and Fersten Law.

An Attorney Can Help You Avoid Making Incriminating Statements


Anything a defendant says can be used against him in court. This includes off-hand comments made to friends, social media posts, and jokes. The prosecutor would love nothing more than to get you to admit to the crime or to other incriminating information, such as you were at the scene of the crime when it occurred.

Many of our clients wrongly believe that nothing they say will be used unless the police bring them into questioning at the police station and give them full Miranda warnings. It’s definitely true that if the police take you into custody, they must Mirandize you. But it isn’t true that they can’t use statements you made outside in court. If you offer something up voluntarily, you should expect it to come in as evidence.

The number one job of a criminal defense attorney is to keep his client from saying anything he wishes he could take back later. Experienced Knoxville criminal defense attorneys know that you can’t un-ring a bell, so they make sure their clients say nothing damaging. For these reasons, you would benefit enormously by calling a criminal defense attorney as soon as you get an inkling you might be a suspect. An attorney can:

  • Go to the police station with you if you are interrogated. You have an absolute right to have an attorney present, and the attorney can advise you about what questions to answer.
  • Give you advice about what to do with your social media accounts. You should set them to private, but you also shouldn’t post anything about the crime even after making them private. Also, refuse to add new friends—who could be working for the prosecutor.
  • Help you identify what objects or material you need to turn over to the police if they request it.

You Need To Act Fast To Build A Strong Defense

Although the law presumes every defendant is innocent, a savvy criminal defense lawyer knows that most jurors will expect a defendant to come forward with proof that they aren’t guilty. The more exculpatory evidence you have, the better. In some cases, we can present evidence to the prosecutor in such a way that criminal charges will be dropped, or the prosecutor will decide not to file any charges to begin with.

Evidence has a way of disappearing, so you need to act fast to preserve anything that shows you are innocent, such as:

  • Alibi witnesses. Were you with someone the night of the crime? Did someone see you in public? If so, we want their names and contact information. If they are credible, they would make a great witness to present at trial.
  • ATM or store receipts. These can help establish where you were on the night in question. Some ATMs and stores have surveillance video, which we can find that shows your location at a particular point in time.

Sometimes, it takes quite a bit of legwork to track down evidence to use for your defense, and the more time your Knoxville criminal defense lawyer has, the better off you will be.

An Arrest Can Have Dramatic Consequences

Many people want to hire an attorney but are afraid of the expense. However, you need to consider everything you could lose if you don’t have professional legal guidance during this critical time:

  • If you are an at-will employee (as most people are), your boss could fire you simply for being arrested. You will have to look for new work while you have a possible criminal indictment hanging over your head.
  • Your criminal record could come up in child custody proceedings. A judge might look down on you for an arrest and award the other parent custody.
  • You will have to hire a lawyer eventually to represent you. Most public defenders are overworked and don’t have the time to give individualized attention to each case. So you will end up paying for an attorney anyway.

You could end up losing thousands of dollars in income—and much more—all because you did not do everything possible at this critical moment to fight for your defense.

Confidential Legal Advice

Lawyers owe a duty of the strictest confidence to their clients. This means they cannot discuss sensitive details of a case unless they have their client’s permission. Even if a client’s mother or spouse calls up on the phone, an attorney can’t divulge anything unless they have the client’s go-ahead first.

Rest assured, no one will find out about what you tell your attorney. The rules are designed this way to promote complete honesty between attorney and client, which will aid in your defense. We can’t help you bring the best defense unless you feel comfortable telling the truth.

Even better, the police cannot force your attorney to divulge sensitive information either, meaning that there is really no downside to getting expert legal advice by picking up the phone and calling.

Contact A Knoxville Criminal Defense Attorney Today

If the police are going around town asking questions about you, then now is the time to lawyer up. Don’t be afraid to hire a criminal defense lawyer because you think the police will see it as an admission of guilt. Instead, the police will know that you mean business.

At Barnes and Fersten Law, we have built our reputation in the criminal defense field by never being afraid to tackle the toughest cases that come through our door. To speak with a Knoxville criminal defense lawyer right away about your case, call 865-805-5703 or fill out this online contact form.

Attorney At Law, Managing Partner

Brandon D. Fersten is an esteemed Knoxville attorney practicing DUIcriminal defense, and juvenile law. Known for his empathetic approach and commitment to his clients, he brings a record of favorable case outcomes including dismissals and not guilty verdicts at jury trials resulting in Brandon being recognized as one of the “Top 40 Under 40” in Criminal Defense, U.S. News’ Best Lawyers: “Ones to Watch,” and Super Lawyers’ “Rising Stars”. Brandon’s professional accolades, combined with his passion for justice, position him as a reliable criminal defense advocate in the East Tennessee legal landscape.