Frank, Juengel & Radefeld, Attorneys at Law
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5 common mistakes to avoid when facing criminal charges

Facing criminal charges for the first time is an intimidating and scary experience. You may have no idea how to handle the situation. When you are dealing with so much stress and confusion, you may make some mistakes. 

Making errors during this process can hurt your chances of defending against the charges. By reviewing some common mistakes below, you can know what to do when you are charged with a criminal offense.

1. Agreeing to a warrantless search

If law enforcement officials show up to your house or pull you over and ask to search your property, you can refuse. Unless the police have a warrant or probable cause, they cannot legally search your home or vehicle. Do not consent to a search. 

2. Resisting arrest

When a police officer arrests you, you should not give in to the urge to escape or fight back. While you may feel the charges against you are unjust, it is best to be cooperative during an arrest. You can fight your charges later in court. 

3. Giving statements to the police 

When a police officer believes you are guilty of a crime, he or she will try to get you to talk – and maybe confess. Making any type of voluntary statement to the police is a bad idea. Anything you say may incriminate you. No matter how persuasive or trustworthy the cop may seem, it is best to exercise your right to remain silent. Do not say anything without your lawyer present. 

4. Not hiring a lawyer

Speaking of having your lawyer present, many people make the mistake of not getting one. Do not fall into the belief that you can defend yourself. The criminal justice system is complex and you deserve someone to protect your rights. 

5. Making phone calls from jail

You may want to contact a loved one when you get arrested. It is generally okay to do this, but be careful about what you say. Do not let yourself talk about the pending investigation or any details. Authorities may record phone calls and use them as evidence against you in court. Keep any phone conversations short.

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