• Fri. Apr 19th, 2024

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Things to Be Aware Of When Facing Criminal Charges

People don’t like dealing with lawyers for some reason. Sure, a part of it is because they think they cost a fortune –– which is hardly the case for plenty of attorneys. Yet, the most important reason seems to be that people dread legal trouble. Unfortunately, you might still end up facing some, no matter how careful you are. For instance, driving with a kid in the car, after having a couple of wine glasses is actually a felony, not a misdemeanor. It could carry a one-year jail sentence, even if you weren’t drunk. In situations like these, you need to be very careful. 

These are some points to keep in mind when facing criminal charges.

Keep Quiet 

If you are charged with a crime, never talk about the case with anyone but your attorney. This is the first mistake that a lot of people make, and it often proves costly. If you are arraigned and spending the night in a jail house, don’t discuss the details of your case with any of the other inmates because they might be informants. Don’t admit guilt before them or any of the arresting police officers. A tiny slip like that might cost you everything. More importantly, in the digital age we live in, never write anything about your case on Facebook or something; it could be catastrophic. You don’t know what the prosecution might use against you, and anything you say can be used against you in court. So, in a nutshell, don’t talk about the case with anyone but your lawyer.

Keep Your Cool 

If you are facing criminal charges, it is very important that you maintain your composure and avoid panicking prematurely. It happens quite often that prosecutors overcharge certain cases, and in the end, the charges don’t turn out to be as serious as you initially thought. So, it is important to relax and not rush into anything that might get you into trouble. This means not pleading guilty against the advice of your attorney, and not settling just because you’re scared of jail time. Wait and see how the case unfolds, and keep your cool so you can make rational decisions. 

Stay Out of Trouble 

It should be a given, though people still do it anyway, but you need to completely stay out of trouble while waiting for your day in court. Having more legal complications is the last thing you need, and it might even be used against you. Prosecutors might use something like a DUI charge or a bar brawl to try and paint you as an irresponsible person and a menace to society. This will definitely not help your case and it will only serve to make your life harder. So, keep a low profile and avoid legal trouble. Most importantly, though, avoid any contact with other parties in the case. If it is an assault charge, for example, then any further contact or interaction with the other party will make things worse and might ruin your chances of winning.

Hire the Right Attorneys 

This is arguably the most important step when you’re facing criminal charges. The kind of legal representation you get will mean the difference between you walking out or serving time. If you’re living in a place like Sioux City, you will find plenty of attorneys around you. But it is crucial that you hire a local,  Sioux City criminal defense lawyer who has experience in cases like yours. Don’t go hiring a personal injury attorney to get you out of an assault charge. You should hire someone who has the resources and expertise to litigate and represent you in court. You need someone with an excellent record because only the best legal representation you can get will help you beat those criminal charges.

Be Honest with Your Lawyer

One of the biggest mistakes that you could ever do when facing criminal charges is lying to your attorney. Doing so puts the entire case at risk. The prosecutor will probably dig deep into your past and try to find prior felony convictions or precedents, which can significantly weaken your position if your attorney doesn’t know. But if you inform them early on, they can prepare a solid defense and be prepared for the prosecution’s argument. The last thing you need is your defense attorney being surprised in court, and something like that can destroy your case. So, provide them with all the facts that might prove relevant to the case, even if you don’t see how. The more information your attorney has, the better the defense, they will be able to provide you.

Consider Your Options 

What are you hoping to do with those charges? Do you plan on pleading ‘not guilty’ at all costs? You need to understand that doing that might not always be the smartest thing to do. Sometimes, you will have to plead guilty if you want to minimize the damage. So, talk with your attorney and set a reasonable goal that can be attained if you played your cards right. More importantly, you have to carefully consider plea bargains before dismissing them. A lot of the cases can be solved through deals, but you are not forced to accept any deal if you don’t want to. 

Yet, sometimes, it might be your best option. Carefully weigh the pros and cons of the offer you get. A lot of people end up serving significantly longer terms because they were too stubborn to see that they got offered a great deal. It is crucial that you listen to your attorney here because their expertise and insight will guide you if this is the best you can do or if you have a better chance at a trial. 

Facing criminal charges isn’t exactly a walk in the park, but you can manage it if you slow down and act reasonably. Start off by hiring qualified attorneys who can present your case with an excellent defense. Then, make sure you avoid any troubles outside of the court so you don’t make things worse. Finally, be honest with your lawyers to help them defend you. Who knows, you might just walk out with no jail time or fines.

 

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