When accused of criminal wrongdoing, a lot of people make the mistake of thinking that they don’t need to prepare a criminal defense until formal charges have been levied against them. If you wait that long, though, a lot of the case against you has already been built. If you’re in that boat, then you might still have criminal defense options available to you, and you should certainly work to protect yourself as much as possible.
If, on the other hand, you’re just now coming under investigation, then you should be cognizant of some of the ways that you can protect yourself. If you don’t, then you might be setting yourself up for an outcome that you otherwise could’ve avoided.
Top mistakes to avoid in a criminal case
The police are savvy. So, they’re going to utilize a lot of techniques to try to trip you up and generate the evidence they need to bring charges against you. By being aware of these common mistakes, though, hopefully you’ll be able to avoid that from happening:
- Talking to the police: Regardless of how friendly or how helpful they may seem, the police are not your friend when they’re subjecting you to a criminal investigation. They might lie to you, coerce you, or make false promises to you in hopes of getting you to talk. Remember that you have the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney when you’re being interrogated. Make sure you exercise those rights so that you can protect yourself.
- Consenting to a search: The police are typically supposed to have a warrant before they can search you, your car, or your home. Although there are certain exceptions to the general warrant requirement, they’re oftentimes misused, which infringes on your rights. If the police conduct an illegal search and seizure, then you might be able to suppress incriminating evidence. However, that defense option flies out the window if you simply consent to a search. Protect your rights and make the police work to gather the evidence they seek. Don’t consent to a search.
- Talking to others about the investigation: You might feel like you need to get something off your chest when you’re under investigation. But talking to family members, friends, and others about your situation can be dangerous given that the police can subpoena those individuals to testify against you. If you need to talk to someone, talk to your attorney, as those communications are protected from disclosure.
- Destroying evidence: If there’s incriminating evidence out there, then you might think that you can protect yourself by getting rid of it. But this is a crime that could lead to additional charges, and you’re going to make yourself look even more guilty if you try to hide, destroy, or otherwise manipulate evidence.
- Witness tampering: You might also think that you can avoid suspicions if you talk to witnesses to try to get your stories straight or to manipulate what they’ll tell the police. This could also be considered a crime, and those witnesses might be left with more information to testify about that will paint you in a bad light.
Your defense starts now
If you want to maximize your ability to beat the prosecution and avoid the harsh penalties associated with conviction, then now is the time to implement strategies aimed at protecting yourself. If you’re unsure of how to go about doing that, then you might want to continue to read up on your specific kind of case and what the prosecution has to prove to obtain a conviction. It can also be helpful to educate yourself about your rights and how to protect them. Hopefully then you can secure an outcome that’s right for you.