When people are arrested, there are common mistakes that they tend to make. It is important that you are aware of these common errors and steer clear of them, as they could affect your ability to come out ahead in your criminal defense case. If you have additional questions about how to handle your situation, contact my firm right away for legal counsel.
Mistakes to Avoid
Hiring the Least Expensive Lawyer
Some defendants assume that hiring a lawyer is a better option than taking the court-appointed attorney for their case. While they want to hire their own lawyer, these defendants sometimes don’t have the money to afford a pricey by-the-hour attorney. As a result, they hire a cheap attorney to assist them. It is important to remember that no competent defense attorney can handle a serious felony for under $750. “Cheap lawyers” are normally getting no business for good reason or may plan to nickel-and-dime you with additional charges throughout the process.
Hiring the Most Expensive Lawyer
Consequently, some defendants take an opposite approach. Instead of hiring a cheap lawyer, they hire an attorney who charges unnecessarily high fees for his or her services. Just because a lawyer has high fees does not necessarily mean that that the individual is accomplished and successful. You should look at your attorney’s reputation and trial skills, consider how the attorney respects you during an initial consultation, and then decide whether he or she seems committed to doing everything it takes to work toward success in your case.
Making Telephone Calls from the Jail
It isn’t wise to make telephone calls while you are incarcerated because the conversations are always recorded. If you admit that you are guilty or try to persuade a state witness not to appear at the trial over the phone, there will be evidence of this on the recordings. Also, if you try to get a friend or family member to testify falsely at a trial to back a false alibi, this can also work against you. I highly recommend that you refrain from using the jail telephones at all during your investigation and case.
Discussing Your Case with Other Inmates
If you are incarcerated, you may be tempted to discuss your case with other inmates because there isn’t much to do in jail. Many inmates will talk about the circumstances that led them there. I highly suggest that you avoid talking about your case with anyone in prison. One great way to get out of jail early is to testify on behalf of the state. If you talk about your case with another inmate, he or she may set up a debriefing with a police detective and rat you out in order to leave the jail. I suggest that you trust no one but your attorney if you want to preserve you claim to innocence.
Making a Statement to the Police Without an Attorney
You have the right to remain silent according to your Miranda rights. I suggest that you use that right the moment you are arrested. I can represent you in your case and will talk with the police when I arrive. Don’t try to talk your way out of arrest or make any statements concerning your case.
Demanding to Play an Active Role in Your Case
You may have a hard time trusting lawyers, but with the right caring and compassionate attorney on your side, you can trust that you are being adequately represented in court. You want a legal professional with years of training and courtroom experience to assist you in your case. Some clients will demand that they play an active role in their defense, which as a result, can end up being counterproductive to the case. I suggest that you leave your case to me and sit back and relax while I take care of all of the work involved.
Going to Trial Because You Do Not Like the State’s Plea Offer
If you don’t like the plea offer that was presented in plea negotiations, then you may think that you want to go to trial. It may be wise, however, to step back first and consider your other options. The judge does not need to agree with the prosecution’s plea offer. Your defense attorney can also present alternative sentencing recommendations to the judge. If the prosecution already has overwhelming proof in your case, then it may not be wise to go trial. Because the prosecution may have enough evidence to secure a conviction, you may end up facing even harsher penalties. Talk with a Peoria criminal defense attorney extensively before opting to go to trial in your case.
Using an Alibi Defense
Sometimes, an alibi defense is effective, especially if it is true and you have indisputable proof to back up the fact that you were at a different location at the time that a crime took place. When you use an alibi, however, you put the burden of proof on yourself. You now have to prove that you were not at the scene of the crime. Unless you have solid proof you were somewhere else and have evidence such as hospital records for example, then you may want to avoid using an alibi in your defense strategy.
Demanding to Testify at a Trial
If your case does to trial, you may want to exercise your right to remain silent. When you the defendant in a criminal case, it is very important to remember that the jury is skeptical of you. It probably isn’t wise to testify as you may come off nervous, and the jurors may interpret this behavior as a sign of dishonesty. I always suggest that my clients let me do the work for them and attend the trial without speaking.