3 Things Not To Do After Being Charged With A Criminal Offense
Being charged with a criminal offense is extremely stressful, and not everyone knows how to react. In this type of situation, you are entitled to having your case heard in court, but what you do in advance of your court date can make a big difference in the outcome. After being charged with a criminal offense, it is important to stay calm and ensure that you do the right things. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for people to make serious mistakes after being arrested. When you are arrested and charged with a criminal offense, do not do the following things.
Speaking with the Police
After being charged with a criminal offense, police and investigators may ask you for a statement or request to interview you. If this happens, you should always decline — remember, you have the right to remain silent. Speaking freely to the authorities without legal counsel present is a big mistake. Anything that you say during this can be twisted around, and you may accidentally incriminate yourself. Likewise, do not consent for any kind of testing, such as DNA or blood tests unless there is a direct order from a judge; you are not required to do these things just because a police officer or investigator asks you to.
Not Hiring a Criminal Defense Lawyer
When it comes to being charged with a serious criminal offense, the worst thing that you can do is opt to represent yourself in court. If you have the financial means, it is always in your best interest to hire a criminal defense lawyer to represent you. While the services of a quality criminal defense lawyer may not be inexpensive, having an experienced lawyer representing you can make a huge difference. Ideally, you should hire a criminal defense lawyer as soon as you are released on bail.
Lying to Your Lawyer or Withholding Information
It is important to remember that when you hire a criminal defense lawyer, they will work hard on your behalf to secure an acquittal. But, in order for a criminal defense lawyer to do their job, they need to have as much information as possible. Thus, lying to your lawyer or withholding information about your case will only backfire in the end — it is extremely important to be completely honest. Since there is attorney-client privilege, nothing that you say to your lawyer in confidence can legally be used against you.
For more information, contact a criminal defense lawyer today.