Criminal cases are sensitive and should be handled with utmost care to avoid severe consequences. Some criminal case errors can cause you to lose the case, leaving a criminal record in your name. A criminal record causes you to have challenges finding employment or renting a house.
Your legal rights, including privacy and movement, may also be restricted. Handling your case with the care it deserves while avoiding possible errors can help ensure a favorable outcome. The following are five mistakes to avoid in a criminal case.
Criminal law is complex, and representing yourself in a criminal case is very risky. Since you aren’t a trained criminal defense lawyer and don’t have prior experience dealing with such cases, you may end up divulging information that can potentially hurt your case or diminish your chances of success. Effective criminal case representation requires excellent persuasion, communication, and arguing skills.
To avoid self-representation risks, hire a competent criminal attorney from a reputable firm, such as Liberty Law, to represent you in court. Since your attorney has your best interests, they’ll do all they can to get you the most favorable outcome.
- Speaking with law enforcement
Speaking to the police in the absence of your criminal lawyer or without their guidance isn’t a good idea. This is because you can say something incriminating or make false statements out of fear, getting yourself deeper into trouble. Leave all the talking to your criminal lawyer, and if you must speak with the police, do so under your attorney’s guidance. This minimizes the risk of you incriminating yourself. Since it’s your legal right to remain silent, you can safely take advantage of that.
- Not preserving evidence
Evidence forms the basis upon which to base your defense arguments and is core to getting you a favorable judgment. In a criminal case investigation, utmost care should be taken to gather, record, and preserve proof essential in determining the facts around a criminal case. Failure to collect and preserve evidence correctly may cause it to lose credibility, increasing the risk of being rendered inadmissible.
Note that the evidence is important even after the trial. Preserving it helps ascertain that your rights as the accused are fully observed by protecting due process. If the defendant appeals the case in a higher court, you’ll need the same proof to argue your innocence.
- Not understanding how the criminal justice system works
Understanding how the criminal justice system functions, particularly when facing criminal charges, enables you to make informed decisions regarding your situation. If you’re released on bond before the hearing begins and there are orders to present yourself in court regularly, you must do that or risk being jailed. Avoid engaging in other criminal activities during this period to avoid getting yourself in more legal trouble.
- Talking to witnesses
As the defendant in a criminal case, you shouldn’t talk to witnesses directly because the prosecution can conclude that you’re threatening or scaring them to withdraw their statements. You should let your criminal defense lawyer interview the prosecution witnesses to avoid compromising the case.
Criminal cases are sensitive and complex, and if not dealt with skillfully, they can significantly impact your life. Avoiding these mistakes in a criminal case can help you get a favorable judgment.