Mistakes to Avoid in a Criminal CaseComments Off on Mistakes to Avoid in a Criminal Case
If you have been arrested or charged with a crime, the actions you take at the beginning of your case could have profound implications. Anything you say or do can affect your case, and you may make mistakes that prevent you from achieving the best possible outcome. After an arrest, avoid the following common errors to protect yourself and preserve your rights.
Speaking to the Police without a Lawyer Present
Any statements that you make to a police officer could be used as evidence against you in your future criminal case. Law enforcement officers are trained to gain as much information from a potential suspect as possible before he or she invokes his or her right to an attorney. While you may be reluctant to contact an attorney right away, a criminal defense lawyer can protect your rights during the interrogation process and help you work towards an optimal outcome. After your arrest, contact an attorney as soon as you are able to represent your case.
Posting Information About Your Case on Social Media
Just like any statements that you make could be used against you, any public information you post on the internet could harm your future case. Although you may want advice or support during your proceedings, you could face serious implications if you post details about your case online. Law enforcement officers and prosecutors could track your posts, messages, and engagement on social media channels and online forums. To protect your case, do not post about your arrest online and keep the details between yourself and your attorney.
Speaking to the Alleged Victim or Witness
One common mistake that many people make during a criminal case is attempting to contact a witness or the victim. You may be tempted to reach out and try to apologize or explain your side of the story. However, you should not have any contact with these parties before trial. Any apologies or explanations could be used as admissions of guilt, which the case prosecutor could use against you during your trial.
Consenting to a Search
Police officers are required to obtain a warrant or consent before conducting a search of a person’s home or vehicle. If the police come to your property and present a warrant, the officers do not need to obtain your consent before conducting a search. If the police ask for your permission for a search, however, that usually means that they do not have a warrant and you have the right to decline the search. If you find yourself in this situation, decline the search and speak to your lawyer as soon as possible.
Not Hiring an Attorney
Finally, one of the most serious mistakes that you can make in a criminal case is not hiring an attorney. During your case, you may not know whether your rights are protected or what your best possible options are. In these situations, you may accidentally make mistakes that could jeopardize your future.
By having a lawyer on your side, you will have someone who can advocate for your best interests during each stage of your case. Your attorney can help you navigate your case proceedings and provide you with the guidance you need to avoid these mistakes and others. Contact a Tacoma, WA criminal defense attorney to discuss your case and strategize your next steps.