Being charged with a criminal offense can be scary and stressful. Thus, it is not surprising that many people make some serious errors in this type of situation. It is important to remember that a person is innocent until proven guilty — how you react after being charged with a criminal offense can make a big difference in your outcome after you go to court. Taking the proper steps after being arrested and charged with a crime will improve the chances of a good outcome. If you are charged with a serious criminal offense, avoid these common mistakes.
Freely Giving Statements to the Police
When charged with a criminal offense, one of the biggest mistakes you can make is freely giving statements to the police. Any police officers involved with your arrest can ask any questions that they like, but it is important to remember that you are not obligated to say anything. If you speak with the police, answer questions, or give statements, the information that you provide can potentially be used against you. In the event that police try to question you, make it a point to let them know that you would prefer to exercise your right to remain silent.
Not Hiring a Criminal Defense Lawyer
Serious criminal offenses can come with long-lasting sentences or consequences if a person is found guilty. Thus, after being charged with a crime the first thing that you should do is hire a reputable and experienced criminal defense lawyer to represent you. A talented criminal defense lawyer will not be cheap, but their services can mean the difference between acquittal or being sentenced to prison or jail. If you don't hire a criminal defense lawyer and attempt to represent yourself in court, you have a very low chance of having a good outcome.
Failing to Follow the Terms of Your Release
Many people are able to post bail and be released from jail after being arrested. After you are released from jail, it is essential to follow all of the terms of your release. This includes showing up for all court dates on time. If the criminal offense that you were charged with involves an alleged victim, make sure that you do not contact the alleged victim in any way. Failure to follow the terms of your release after being arrested can result in numerous problems that will just make your life more difficult.
For more information, contact a criminal lawyer today.