Nobody ever expects to be arrested, so when it happens, many make mistakes that only hurt their chances for a positive outcome. Fortunately, with a qualified criminal defense attorney on your side you can avoid making critical mistakes when you are faced with charges.

Being charged with a crime can be a scary and overwhelming experience. In addition to pleading your case, it’s crucial to remember your rights and make sure you aren’t creating any additional problems for yourself or your attorney.

Here are five mistakes to avoid when being charged with a crime:

  1. Fleeing The Scene: While ‘fight or flight’ is a perfectly natural response when faced with stressful situations, it is never recommended to flee the scene or resist arrest when you are charged with a crime. If you find yourself being arrested, try to remain calm, remember you have the right to remain silent and then call a trusted criminal defense attorney as soon as you’re able.
  2. Making a Statement Before Consulting a Lawyer: You’ve heard it on the TV shows when an arrest is made: You have the right to remain silent, and it is true. While it is understandable to want to be as cooperative as possible, it’s best to avoid saying too much to the police without a licensed attorney present. This is because, no matter how helpful you are trying to be, you could say something incriminating or that can be held against you in court.
  3. Not Hiring a Lawyer: While you always have the option to represent yourself, we recommend hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney to represent you in your case. After you are arrested, the police legally have 24 hours to hold you in custody without having to charge you with a crime. During this time, they are allowed to interrogate you. Use this time to request calling your attorney so they can help you and be by your side during questioning.
  4. Sharing on Social Media: No matter where you’re at in your criminal court case, we recommend steering clear of social media until the case is resolved. This is because any of your posts and photos can be taken out of context in an effort to impact how the judge or jury views your character — even those that do not pertain to your case. And, of course, never share information about your case, especially during a live trial.
  5. Missing Your Court Date: If you are summoned to court, take the invitation seriously. Missing or skipping your court date can only hinder your chances of a positive outcome. Lengthen your sentence, be held in contempt and have to pay a hefty fine. Be sure to show up on time to your hearing, dress appropriately and remain respectful.

For more information about criminal defense from the experts at Podoll Law, please contact us here or call us directly at 616.737.1106.