Being charged with a crime can be intimidating, and with the confusion, penalties, and consequences of the criminal charge hanging over your head, it is normal to try to make sense of your case. Unfortunately, this could provide the police with something to use against you, worsening your case. For this reason, it is critical to familiarize yourself with the mistakes to avoid when charged with a crime to prepare and protect yourself. Here are seven common mistakes people make when accused of a crime.
Talking to the police
It is natural to want to cooperate with the arresting officer and explain your side of the story, especially when you are innocent of the crime. However, you should remember anything you say can be used against you.
The police are often convinced that you have committed a crime, so anything they ask is not to forgive or help you. They are always on a mission to make you admit guilt. Avoid making any comments or answering questions without the presence of your lawyer from The Hardy Law Firm.
You should also refrain from voluntarily participating in interviews. If the police ask you to come to the station or interview you at home, politely decline and consult your lawyer before getting back to them.
Fleeing or resisting arrest
It can be tempting to resist arrest, especially when you did not commit the crime. Some people even panic when the arresting officers arrive, and they run away. However, fleeing or resisting arrest creates the impression that you committed the crime and will look bad during your trial.
While you do not have to speak to the arresting officer, ensure you cooperate. If you are requested to stay in town during the investigations, ensure you do not breach the agreement. Leaving town lowers the chances of winning the case.
Failing to hire a lawyer
Hiring a lawyer may seem like a waste of money when you have all the evidence of your innocence. However, failing to hire a lawyer is one of the most significant mistakes you could ever make while facing a criminal charge. This is because the prosecutors will do whatever it takes to prove you are guilty. If you show up without an attorney, you make it easier for them to convict you. For this reason, you should seek legal representation from an experienced defense lawyer as soon as possible.
A lawyer will not only help you put pieces of your case together to enable you to get the best outcome from the trial. They also ensure that your rights are protected throughout the entire case.
Hiding critical details from your lawyer
It is easy to leave out some facts or details of your case, especially when you are ashamed, embarrassed, or feel they could make you appear guilty. However, you should remember your defense lawyer is on your side. Consider telling them everything so that they can best represent you. Remember, the police and prosecutors will thoroughly investigate your case, so if they find anything your lawyer does not already know, it could hurt your chances of winning the trial.
Contacting the accuser
When you find out the person who has been accused of the crime, do not call, text, or visit them. While you may assume it can help clear the misunderstanding, or you can convince them to drop the charges, speaking to the victim may be considered an attempt to intimidate the accuser. The police will take this into evidence and use it against you.
Talking about the case on social media
In today’s world, where most people post everything that is going on in their lives on social media, you may be tempted to talk about your case online. Even when you have not been charged or arrested, avoid speaking about your case because anything you say will be used against you.
It is best to stop posting at all. Even when you share funny pictures or videos unrelated to your case, the content could be taken out of context and impact how the prosecutor and the police see you.
Getting arrested again
Perhaps the worst thing that could happen when facing a trial is being charged with a separate crime. While the recent arrest may not be linked to the ongoing trial, the judge could consider the second arrest when passing judgment. This could rob you of a more lenient penalty or a fair trial.
If you or a loved one is charged with a crime, avoid talking to the police, fleeing, resisting arrest, contacting the victim, getting arrested again, and posting on social media. Contact a criminal defense lawyer from The Hardy Law Firm and share every detail of the case to improve your chances of getting the best outcome.