Sometimes good people find themselves on the wrong side of the law. Maybe it was a poor choice made in an impulsive moment that they live to regret. Maybe they were wrongly accused. The important thing, is that they are able to get through the criminal justice system as unscathed as possible.
If you are facing party-end of criminal law charges, finding a good lawyer and following these steps will keep the damage to a minimum:
- Exercise your most important right.
If you’ve ever seen any cop shows, you know that before someone is arrested, they are read their Miranda rights (and if you are not, well that’s a big deal that your criminal defense attorney can use to get you off the hook). It starts out, “you have the right to remain silent…” Remember that it is your right to remain silent, you do not have to answer a single questions that could incriminate yourself.
Error on the side of not answering questions, even if they don’t seem incriminating. This might be your first time being questioned over a potential crime, but cops have been doing it for centuries and gotten good at getting you to admit the information they need to throw the book at you. To any question you are asked, simply respond that you are not speaking until given the chance at finding a good lawyer to protect your rights.
- Remain respectful.
You might be outraged by the actions of the cops and the way you’re being treated, but offending them civil servants handling your case will only work out badly for you. Even if you feel inclined to tell the cops who are arresting your where they can stick it, keep those thoughts on the inside. Instead, respond with “yes sir” and “no ma’am.”
Cooperate with them and follow their directions. Yes, some police officers are crooked and sometimes they abuse their power, but many of them are just humans trying to do the best they can. In order to protect themselves, cops have to assume that you could be armed. If they give you an order and you refuse to comply, it could put them on edge. That will not work out well for you. You will come out with the least amount of damage if you remain respectful and cooperative with the officers throughout the experience.
- Document everything.
There is no amount of documentation that your lawyer will find to be too much. Take note of every single aspect of your alleged crime scene. If you are able to, grab your phone and take pictures. Even better, if you are able to, record the entire interaction you have with the police officers. As soon as you are able, write down a timeline of events. Criminal charges have been dismissed over silly details such as a cellphone picture of tire tracks on the road contradicting the testimony of the cops. By all means, if you are injured during your interaction with the law enforcement, take record of it and also seek medical care, to have it record by a doctor. Do not worry that any detail you have record of may not be helpful in the case; that is for your lawyer to decide. The more documentation that you have, the more leverage you are giving your criminal defense attorney to build your case.
- Take care finding a good lawyer.
Whether you’ve been wrongly accused, or there is definite evidence that you committed the crime that you are being charge of, finding a good lawyer will definitely improve the outcome of your case. Your criminal defense firms will be able to navigate the court system for you. If you are looking at a “guilty” plea, your defense attorney will negotiate with prosecutors on your behalf to get you as light of a sentence as possible. Your lawyer has seen your type of case before and will know “when to hold them and when to fold them” for the plea deals you are offered. Having a good defense attorney is a big deal.
Have you ever been arrested? Is there anything you’d wish you’d known before-hand that would have made the outcome of the case better? Please share with us in the comment section below. Read more.