Arrested this Weekend? Take These 5 Steps Immediately
If the weekend didn’t turn out as you planned, and you have been charged with a crime or as a result of something that happened you believe that you are going to be charged with a crime, there are some simple steps that you should take to protect yourself:
1. TALK TO NO ONE!
One of the most common mistakes that people make, whether you’ve been charged with a crime (or believe that you are going to be charged) is to talk about what happened.
Do not talk to police... not at the scene and not afterward. Remember, police are allowed to lie to you to get you to talk about a crime! It might seem unfair, but is not only allowed, oftentimes it is encouraged in many departments.
Do not talk to friends... As much as you may trust your friends, the more people you tell, the greater the risk that the police will eventually hear what you have said.
Do not talk to family members... Though it is understandable that you may need to “unload” what happened, your interests are always best served by keeping events to yourself.
2. MEET WITH A CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY
You should never wait weeks or even days to speak with an attorney; as soon as you are able, you (or a family member on your behalf if you cannot make a call) speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney. An experienced criminal defense attorney can listen to your story without fear of the police ever finding out because what you tell that lawyer is privileged which means that whatever you say is secret, kept between you and that lawyer. Not only will the attorney keep your secret, but he or she will be able to guide you through the process of your case letting you know what to expect and how to proceed. Your lawyer can also interview witnesses, gather evidence, and prepare your case.
3. FOLLOW UP
Many types of criminal matters have time limits attached to them. Unfortunately, if someone is just given a citation, a summons, or is released prior to trial, life “kicks in” and they often move back to their daily routine, sometimes ignoring or even misplacing legal documentation. Putting your problems on a “back burner” won’t make them go away and is often dangerous. Missing time deadlines can hurt your case and often make what was a winning case into a challenging or even losing one. Worse yet, many people miss their court dates which almost always results in a warrant being issued by a judge for their arrest. Do not let this happen to you! Keep track of your case, immediately retain experienced and responsible legal counsel and follow up
4. DO NOT CONTINUE TO PUT YOURSELF IN A POSITION WHERE YOU CAN GET INTO MORE TROUBLE
Having been in the practice of helping people who find themselves in trouble with the law for over thirty (30) years, we regularly see people who are charged with a crime (DUI/DWI, drugs, assault, etc.) who are released and continue to engage in the behavior that got them in trouble in the first place. It is understandable that after you have been charged with a crime that you will be under stress, so you must be careful not to “manage” that stress with drugs, alcohol, or acting out in other ways. Keep a low profile, stay home, and speak to your attorney about counseling/therapy options if appropriate. The last thing you need after being charged with a crime is being charged with another crime. Not only will you then have two (2) cases to deal with, often a judge will be hesitant or unwilling to release you on a second case while you are still awaiting trial on your first.
5. TRUST IN YOUR CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY; LISTEN TO THEIR ADVICE
Just because you’ve made the (smart) decision to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to handle your case, don’t think that you are done. A good criminal defense attorney will make recommendations to you for how to present your case, how to avoid future trouble, what you can do to mitigate (lessen) your exposure to jail and fines... but you must listen to your lawyer. Trust your criminal defense attorney. The best criminal defense attorneys have trained for decades to perfect their skills and presentation. Listen to them carefully and let them guide you, after all, that’s what you hired them for.
If you or a loved one are facing criminal charges are need the assistance of a criminal defense attorney, call Craig Kadish & Associates today. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and will do everything in our power to help you get through this.