Being charged with a crime could be the toughest time of a person’s life. The defendant may have a very confusing and difficult moment, which would lead to consulting people whom he thinks can help. The first action of a defendant could be, getting answers and opinions from different people, family or friends, thinking that they might somehow address some questions and confusion.
However, this natural instinct and other actions may lead to things that can hurt the case even more. It would be beneficial to be careful as much as possible, one action will put your freedom at stake and may affect the court’s verdict. Remember, once you get convicted we can’t count the things you will lose along the way. All we know is that your life could change forever.
Now, let’s take a look at the things you should avoid if you are currently facing this very challenging chapter of your life.
Speaking or negotiating to Police
If you’ve been arrested for a crime, you should never discuss it with the police under any circumstances, either written or oral statements. Your instinct might probably tell you to explain as much as you can for them to let you go. I guarantee you, this won’t work, especially if they have evidence directly pointing at you. Do not try to even bribe the police or arrange some sort of negotiations for you to be free. Also, when you answer a police question without legal counsel, you are giving them evidence they can use against you. Bear in mind, you can’t discuss the details of your case with anyone other than your lawyer. Don’t give any statements otherwise it has been advised by your attorney to do so.
Know your rights and the process
You have to be very cautious if you are able to exercise your rights as a defendant which include the right to remain silent, to have an attorney, right to bail and speedy trial. These would help you to avoid committing mistakes which may lead to your conviction. Get a defense attorney who would guide you along the way and whom you can trust the details of your case. As mentioned above, please refrain from consulting other people aside from your lawyer.
The experts from criminal defense lawyers at Wolfe & Stec have also provided a background on how the court system works, which would be a huge help for your preparation. In addition, they have also provided valuable ideas about prosecuting strategy. Learning your rights and the process you have to undergo are very crucial at this point in time.
Assuming you will not be convicted
You may have not committed the crime they accused you, but it doesn’t mean that your innocence will set you free immediately. Even if the accusations have no basis at all, take every detail seriously. Don’t be too complacent in every way. Remember this is the battle of your freedom and your life is at stake here.
If you have been accused of a crime, don’t try to flee from authorities. Don’t hide and show them you are willing to undergo the crucial process just to clear your name. Show up in every trial and be on time always.
Try to stay calm as much as you can on clearing your reputation with the help of a defense attorney. As mentioned above, you have to undergo the process and you don’t want them to use any sort of resistance against you.
Planning your defense
Refrain from banking on one defense. When your life and freedom is on the line, explore all the options to avoid getting convicted. Even if you think that you got one solid defense, which would attest to your innocence, don’t rely on this to protect you. No matter how minor the defense you can think, as long as you have options you can never go wrong with this. Assessing the situation in a 360 degree manner is needed in this circumstance.
Don’t ignore numerous possible defenses which may help to prevent you from being acquitted. List your possible witnesses, the possible evidence that exists which are pointing at you so you can prepare on how to defend yourself in the court. Don’t try to destroy the evidence they got as they may cost you even more suspicion. Lastly, do not think of reaching out to the victim or witnesses. Remember that you’ve got the full attention of the authorities.
Stay away from conflicts
Authorities will have their investigation about you, every single fact can be used against you. During this tough time, you’re not helping yourself if you get involved with another conflict. Don’t give the authorities a chance to gather circumstantial evidence and relate it to your current case.
Don’t post on social media
Nowadays, social media is playing a big role in giving updates of the chapters of our lives. If you have been accused of a crime and you are about to attend your trial, refrain from posting in your social media. This could be the worst thing you can do. Keep it private as you can. People have different opinions and you don’t want your life to be judged by others.
You’re already experiencing a stressful situation so don’t make it worse. You should think of your actions which constitute your goal, clear your reputation and get back your freedom.
Look formal and professional
When attending your trial, compose yourself and don’t look sloppy. If you appear in court looking untidy or disheveled, you are not doing yourself a favor.
Having accused of a criminal act is extremely stressful especially if it happens suddenly. If you find yourself in this situation, don’t panic. Think and handle the situation diligently. Each process and progress is not easy. Don’t try to resolve your case on your own. Although this will challenge your mental being aware of the points mentioned above could make a big difference in your case and in your life.
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