When charged with a criminal offense, you should understand your rights and responsibilities as part of your defense and ultimate trial. Defendants can make fundamental mistakes that may be costly in various ways. Here are five tips to help avoid making costly mistakes in a criminal defense case.
- Pay attention to the details.
Making notes about anything and everything is extremely important. The names of arresting officers, copies of arrest reports, and any other information about your case can be helpful: The more information the better.
- Never volunteer information.
Once arrested, asking for an attorney should stop any and all questions from police. Anything you say will be used against you, including any admission of guilt. Ask for an attorney and stop talking. If you continue to be probed for information, repeat your request or simply refuse to speak to them. Make mental notes of times and names as this can help your case.
- Be honest with your attorney.
Your attorney’s job is to help you. The conversations you have with your attorney about your case are confidential. It is best to tell the attorney everything you can because the prosecution will use the same facts to convict you. Your criminal defense attorney may be able to object to or suppress evidence against you presuming they have all accurate facts.
- Listen to your attorney’s advice.
Your attorney is fighting for you and for your rights, regardless of the evidence stacked against you. Anything he or she tells you is important, so be sure to listen when they speak.
- Don’t take a plea deal unless it benefits you.
Many defendants are offered a chance to plead to a lesser charge and sentence. This decision is tied closely to #4. Your attorney will advise you on the best action to take in this case. If the evidence is overwhelmingly stacked against you, sometimes it is a smart idea to take a plea, but don’t let the prosecution bully you into taking one, especially if you are willing to fight for your innocence.
No one wants to be involved in a stressful criminal defense case where it seems like everyone and everything is against you. An experienced criminal defense attorney can streamline the process so don’t jeopardize your case by making fundamental mistakes such as the ones above.