Throughout the course of your life, you will encounter trials and tribulations. One of the most stressful experiences you can have is being charged with a crime. The emotions that arise during a tense exchange with members of law enforcement can sometimes cloud a person’s judgment. So whether you are guilty of the crime you are charged with or not, you will have to find ways to avoid making matters worse if it happens to you.
Remember, if you are innocent of the crime you are charged with, this will eventually come to light. But until you are exonerated, you need to be respectful and calm. Below are some mistakes to avoid if you are charged with a crime.
Giving a Statement Without a Lawyer Present
Once you are charged with a crime, members of law enforcement will take you into custody. During this time, you will be asked a number of questions about the crime in question. Some people make the mistake of giving a voluntary statement without a legal professional present. If you are emotional and not thinking straight, you run the risk of confessing to crimes you haven’t committed. The U.S. Constitution provides all citizens with the right to remain silent when arrested for a crime.
As any federal defense attorney will tell you, using this right during questioning by police is a good idea. The last thing you want is to incriminate yourself with the statement you give to the police. This is why calling a lawyer and having them present during the interrogation process is so important. A lawyer can give you advice regarding which questions to answer and which ones to remain silent on.
More than 10 million American citizens are arrested each year. When confronted by law enforcement and facing the prospect of being arrested, some people get extremely angry. This anger often leads to a person becoming combative and resisting arrest. Making this mistake will only complicate an already bad situation. Instead of being difficult with members of law enforcement, you need to remain calm and polite.
Remember, law enforcement officials are just doing their jobs. While no one wants to be handcuffed and put in the back of a police car, resisting arrest is not the right way to show your displeasure with the situation. In fact, doing so could only add to your current list of criminal charges. This can make getting out on bail much more difficult as well.
Withholding Information from Your Lawyer
Once you get to the jail, you will be allowed to make a phone call. Use this phone call to contact a lawyer. When your lawyer arrives, they will ask about the details of the arrest and the crime/crimes you are being charged with. If you are questioned about the crimes you are being charged with, make sure you are entirely truthful and give your lawyer all of the necessary information.
Hiding details about what happened will put your lawyer at a disadvantage as they try to build your defense. This is why you need to be honest and forthright with your lawyer. Regardless of how bad you think the truth will make you look, your lawyer has to know the details to do their job properly.
Steer Clear of These Mistakes
Making any of the mistakes mentioned in this article can make a bad situation much worse. With the help of a lawyer, you can navigate your way through the complicated legal system. If at all possible, try to have a consultation with several different lawyers until you find the one that feels right for you and your situation.