Crucial Things That You Need To Do If You Are Facing Criminal Charges 

North Forty News file photo.

The actuality of facing criminal defense charges is potentially frightening and extremely stressful. It can take a toll on your mental and physical state as well as tarnish your reputation. You can also potentially face coercion or scare tactics that are used in an attempt to make you say or act in a harmful manner to your case. A manner that is not within your character and not a result of the immediate circumstances but of the pressure added by law enforcement and other parties. It is important to know what to do in such cases. 


Understand Your Rights

When facing police officers and criminal charges your first thought may be to start speaking and clear your name. However, this can be detrimental to your case later on as seemingly incident bits of information can be used later on to prove your guilt or discredit your character. Knowing your rights and using them accordingly can keep you out of trouble and from facing a guilty verdict. 

The two main rights that you should keep in mind:

Exercise Your Right To Remain Silent

You have the right to remain silent and not answer any questions until you have legal representation present. Do not for any reason waiver your right. You can be coerced into confessing to a crime that you didn’t commit or take on charges for something you didn’t do. There have been many cases of persons being charged for the crimes of others. Never incriminate yourself. 

Your Right To An Attorney

You have the right to an attorney. The whole procedure is complex and because of this, you have the right to have someone else represent you. You can also choose to represent yourself however this can end badly if you aren’t well versed in the ins and outs of the justice system. We highly recommend that you have an attorney represent you as they can prevent you from facing serious charges, clear your name and even turn a case around and seek justice for your unfair treatment. 

 

Photo by niu niu on Unsplash

 

Understand Your Charges

You must understand the charges being brought against you. You need to understand your charges so that you know how to proceed with your defense along with your lawyer. It is also advisable so that you can know what is and isn’t allowed to be done to you. Once you know your charges you can also better protect yourself from further issues by avoiding the situations, people, and places that may put your case in jeopardy. It is a good idea to refrain from any activity that may add on additional charges to your case or in any plant seeds of doubt of your innocence. 

There are generally two types of offenses:

  • Simple offense – includes things such as traffic offense, misconduct or disorderly behavior, and other minor offenses. 
  • Crimes and misdemeanors – includes things like robbery, assault, murder, and other serious offenses. 

Seek Legal Advice

Once you know that charges are being pressed against you seek legal advice immediately. Even if you choose to represent yourself it is still recommended to get legal help in understanding your specific case and what can be done. There are general guides and consultations that you can follow to help you with this. Do not assume that you know everything. The law, while solid, can be used and manipulated by someone that understands the system far better than you do. 

Hire A Criminal Defense Lawyer

The most crucial thing to do if you’re facing criminal charges is to hire a criminal defence lawyer which is extremely recommended as they can keep you from gaining a criminal history that can hinder your life going forward. Rarely does anything good come from speaking to law enforcement on your own. Having an attorney present as you’re being questioned about a situation can ease your mind knowing you have someone on your side who will both uphold the law and protect your interest. 

 

When facing criminal charges it is imperative that you know what to do and that you do things correctly. A few other things to do would be to maintain and evidence that can help your case and turn these over to your attorney. Monitor who you speak to and avoid speaking with anyone that is not your attorney about your case. Keep yourself out of further trouble and take care of your mental, emotional, and physical health during the process as it can be very draining to you. 

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