Being charged with a crime can be a very stressful. The desperation you may feel can make it difficult to act like yourself, and it may possibly lead to your saying the wrong thing. The time immediately following an arrest can have a great impact on the rest of your case. Because of how important your behavior can be to a case, here are some tips to avoid common mistakes in the event you are ever arrested.
Explaining your side of the story to the police
You may feel the easiest way to get out of an arrest is to just explain the situation to the officer on the spot and clear everything up. Since the police officer is probably not going to un-arrest you after hearing your explanation, it is best to just stay quiet.
At the time of your arrest, you will hear your Miranda warning, which states that anything you say can be used against you in court. It is natural to feel that staying quiet may give the look of guilt, but providing information that can be used against you in court is usually worse than just staying quiet.
Social media, texting and email
It is not just sharing information with the police that can cause you trouble, it can also happen when you post on social media sites. Anything you post online or send via text or email can be used against you in court. Even photos you post can cast you in an unflattering light. Have you ever heard that a photo is worth a thousand words? Electronic media in any form never seems to go away, even if you delete it. If you are under the spotlight of investigators for a crime, you should assume they are watching your social media accounts.
Not taking the arrest seriously
Looking disinterested in court and generally acting inconvenienced about the charges against you will usually come off as disrespectful. Just because you may know you are innocent, not everyone else does. Your body language and attitude should reflect the seriousness of the situation.
Taking an active role in your defense
You may feel that you are one of the most persuasive people on the planet, and you know how to work a situation to get what you want. However, this does not mean you should take the lead in determining your defense strategy. Your lawyer has the experience and knowledge of the law you need, and he or she will best know how to guide your defense. Plan to work with your lawyer instead of trying to take the lead. Your power should be in consenting to a defense strategy and not determining one.
Not speaking with a lawyer right away
You may feel after an arrest that you have everything under control. That feeling can make your situation worse. A lawyer is vital at every step of the legal process.
An arrest puts you into a world with police officers, lawyers and prosecutors who all know the system. You can be taken advantage of if you do not know how to handle yourself. By following the steps listed above, you can be on your way to defending your case in the best possible way.