Are you facing criminal charges? It is a trying moment, especially considering the possible consequences of a conviction. A criminal conviction can haunt you for years, even when it seems straightforward and minor. You could struggle to secure employment, loans, property, and education, just to name a few aspects. Therefore, when dealing with criminal charges, you should employ strategic measures to ensure you realize favourable outcomes. Navigating criminal defence cases can, however, be complicated. This means you are likely to make some mistakes that can work against you. Among the top mistakes to avoid when facing criminal charges includes:
Fleeing or resisting arrest
When law enforcement comes knocking, your instincts kick in since no one wants to be arrested, meaning you can resist or run. This is among the top pitfalls that can make your case more complicated than it needs to be, especially if the scuffle leads to injuries to the law officers. This means you could face more charges. Instead of resisting or fleeing, remain calm and respectful, but decline to engage in a conversation with the police.
Even when you feel that the police have infringed your rights, remain calm, let the arrest take its course, and inform your lawyer about the incident as it can help your case. Resist the urge to explain your side of the story, thinking it could avoid the arrest, as you are only likely to divulge vital information that could work against you.
Giving any statements – without a criminal defence lawyer present
Besides the urge to explain your side of the story, you may be tempted to give a statement to the law enforcement after the arrest. It would be best if you avoided this huge pitfall, even when you feel pressured or think it will help move things along. Patience is the key in this situation. Tell the police that you don’t wish to talk or give any form of statement without your lawyer present. This is critical since you can hardly remain objective when giving such a statement.
Moreover, the police are likely to ask leading questions, which means you can self-incriminate without realizing it, giving your defence a considerable blow. Cooperating with the police makes the process easier, but this doesn’t mean you should volunteer any information. Instead, follow their orders, such as when you are told to move, stand, or sit, but decline to give any statement; it is your legal right and won’t hurt your case but instead help avoid volunteering information that can be used against you.
Not hiring a criminal defence lawyer- immediately
Putting off hiring a lawyer is among the grave mistakes made during criminal defence cases. You might think that there’s no evidence that can be used against you or that the matters can quickly be resolved and disappear in no time. It is imperative that you avoid such thinking. Even criminal lawyers opt to enlist an expert in the field while they know the ins and outs of the criminal justice system, even when it just brings an outsider’s perspective to what they are facing.
Hiring a criminal defence lawyer helps in many ways, starting with the most straightforward aspect; objectivity. Your emotional connection to the charges makes it hardly possible to talk without divulging vital information. Knowing what to say, when to respond or remain silent works wonders when facing criminal charges. You’ll follow a practical strategy to favour your case with a lawyer present.
Not being straightforward with your lawyer
Hiring a criminal defence lawyer is a step in the right direction. Nonetheless, the lawyer’s effectiveness is subject to what you provide. If you withhold information, especially thinking it is of no significance, it can come back to hurt the case. When hiring a lawyer, ensure you pick a professional you can trust and feel confident around. With such a lawyer, you’ll easily develop a healthier relationship, meaning you won’t feel ashamed to talk about some sensitive details about the case. This ensures you provide detailed and accurate information surrounding the case, meaning the lawyer will be equipped with every detail they need to develop a solid defence. Making your lawyer’s job easier gives them an edge as they plan a defence strategy, helping you realize better outcomes.
Social media use
Social media channels are great but not a place to go ranting about your situation. This is among the paces prosecutors dig for information that can be used as evidence against criminal defence cases. Take a break from social media if you can’t control what you post. The tricky part; you may think that a post has nothing to o with the case, yet it can be “twisted” to show how likely you are to have committed the crimes you are charged with. You could worsen the situation if you are accused of witness tampering, such as if you send an email or message.
Witness tampering is a whole new story. This is more so since a witness comes forward and complains of harassment. You may have meant well, but that simple “hello” on social media could amount to witness tampering as they can argue that you are trying to prove you know them and how you can get to them. The worst part is that witness tampering could still be pursued even when the criminal charges are dropped.
Keep off social media, and limit your communications during criminal defence cases. It’ll help keep information under control and avoid potential emotional rants that can land you in more trouble.
Do you look respectable? Dressing down during the court appearance can hurt your case. The jury might feel like you don’t respect the system, which takes points off. Dress well and remain calm, even when you feel you’ve been unjustly charged. Let your lawyer do all the talking, making it easier for justice to be served in the courtroom.
Criminal defence cases are never easy, even when the charges seem minor. The situation can escalate, meaning you could end up facing multiple charges. With the above pointers, you can avoid some of the common mistakes, facilitate good progress, and realize better results.