Facing criminal charges is an intimidating and scary experience, especially if it is your first time. Whether you are facing charges for a property crime, drug crime, violent crime or DUI, the actions you take may significantly impact the outcome of your case.
Because criminal proceedings can be confusing and challenging, it is crucial to learn what you should do to avoid mistakes and complications. Here is a quick guide to what steps you can take when you are dealing with pending criminal charges.
Exercise your right to remain silent
You have protections under the law to keep silent when interacting with law enforcement officials. This is a vital right to keep in mind as you navigate the criminal justice system. By remaining silent and getting an attorney instead, you avoid the possibility of saying something that incriminates you. If you attempt to talk your way out of the charges with investigators or the police, you may say something in a way that makes the circumstance worse. The best thing to do is say as little as possible and wait until you have legal counsel.
Get a lawyer
The process of facing charges is complex, so it is wise to talk to an attorney about your experience. A criminal defense lawyer can help you understand what is happening and expedite the process, and he or she may be able to assist you in getting your charges reduced or dropped altogether.
While facing criminal charges may be frustrating, especially if you feel they are unfair or a violation of your rights, it is imperative to conduct yourself in a professional manner. If you try to argue with police or resist in any way, it will only hurt your case. Be polite when you interact with the authorities.