Being accused of a crime is an extremely intimidating experience. And more often than not, the stress of the situation will get the better of you.
It can be a struggle to keep your wits about you while facing a criminal charge. However, you need to do your best to stay calm and rational while dealing with the issue because what you say and do can have a strong influence on the outcome of your case.
The following are six of the biggest mistakes to avoid when charged with a crime:
1. Resisting Arrest
Nobody wants to get arrested. But as tempting as it is to fight back when the police apprehend you, any form of resistance can work against you or, worse, lead to further charges. Instead of resisting, try to stay calm throughout the whole process.
If you feel like the authorities have used unnecessary force or violated you rights in any way, take a mental note of the experience and discuss it with your lawyer later.
2. Representing Yourself
One of the worst mistakes you’ll ever make when facing criminal charges is thinking that you’ll do just fine handling the case on your own and representing yourself in court. This is ill-advised and ill-informed.
Criminal defense is something you should never take lightly. If you’re charged with DUI, consider working with top DUI attorneys to ensure the best possible outcome. Remember that a successful defense requires experience and thorough knowledge of the law.
3. Failing to Remain Silent
You have the right to remain silent, and you should definitely invoke this right if the police are asking you questions without the presence of your legal counsel.
A lot of people waive their Miranda Rights and speak with police officers about their case in the fear that their silence will be taken as an admission of guilt. Waiving your right to silence – even if you are innocent – is never a good idea. Remember that anything you say – even a joke – can be used against you in court.
4. Talking About the Case to Other People
It’s human nature to vent or want to talk to someone about a stressful experience. But as important as it is to have someone to confide to, you should never have conversations about your case outside your most trusted circle.
You don’t know who the police will interview or ask to serve as a witness. Talking about the details and circumstances surrounding your arrest with other people – even your relatives and closest friends – or posting about the allegations against you on social media can backfire. If possible, only talk about these things with your attorney.
5. Skipping Your Court Date
You’ll probably have to appear several times in court when facing criminal charges, unless your attorney is able to resolve matters early.
Never make the mistake of missing your court dates. Not only will this make it much harder for you to prove your case, a no show may also lead the judge to issue a bench warrant for your arrest and you will have to stay in jail until your next trial.
6. Hiring the Wrong Attorney
A lot of people who have never hired a criminal defense lawyer before assume that all lawyers are the same. Well, they’re not.
Law is a highly specialized profession and it is in your best interest to work with an attorney that dedicates most of their practice to cases similar to the one you’re charged with. The right lawyer can help you build a strong defense, raise your chances for success, and ensure that your rights are protected throughout the entire process.
This is a guest post by Stephanie of AZ Criminal Law Team. This post has been edited for syntax and grammar. The Law offices of Jay Leiderman is not responsible for the accuracy of the content herein or any opinions or ideas expressed herein. This post is for entertainment and literary value and is not intended as legal advice. This post does not establish an attorney-client relationship of any sort. If you have legal questions about ideas presented herein please contact a lawyer knowledgeable in this field of practice.