When the prosecution levies criminal charges against you, they’re directly threatening your freedom and your quality of life. A conviction can land you behind bars, and even those that don’t result in incarceration can lead to lost employment, difficulty securing a new job, damage to your reputation, and negative outcomes in any pending child custody disputes. You could also face significant fines and other collateral consequences, such as license suspension or revocation.
We don’t say all of that to scare you, but rather to stress the importance of building an aggressive criminal defense. While a lot of that is going to focus on countering the prosecution’s evidence, a significant part of it also involves avoiding costly mistakes that would give the prosecution the ammunition they need to obtain a conviction.
What mistakes do you need to avoid in your criminal case?
The mistakes that are in play are going to depend on the type of case you’re facing, but there are some general errors that could be devastating to your case and that you’ll want to avoid. They are:
- Consenting to a search: Before the police can execute a search, they either need a valid search warrant supported by probable cause, or they need to legally utilize an exception to the warrant requirement. These are high hurdles for law enforcement to clear, but all too often accused individuals give the police a pass by consenting to a search. This allows the police to gather evidence that they otherwise might not have been able to get their hands on.
- Talking to the police: You might think that you can wiggle your way out of suspicion by talking through your case with the police. But this can be a massive mistake, as the police are adept at twisting statements to get people talking until they end up incriminating themselves. You’re better off staying quiet unless and until your attorney advises you to do otherwise.
- Discussing your case with others: As you navigate a criminal investigation, you might seek help, comfort, and solace from those who are closest to you. While you might feel a sense of relief when you discuss your case with these individuals, it could come back to bite you in a big way. This is because your discussions aren’t confidential, and the prosecutor can force those individuals to appear in court where they’ll have to answer tough questions about the conversations that you’ve had with them.
- Altering, hiding, or destroying evidence: Manipulating, hiding away, and destroying evidence interferes with a police investigation, which is a crime itself. Additionally, when the police find out that you’ve messed with relevant evidence, and they’ll likely find out, you’re going to look more guilty than you did initially.
- Tampering with witnesses: If there are people who are likely going to testify against you in your criminal case, then you might be tempted to reach out to them to explain what they think they saw or heard. But this, too, can constitute a criminal offense and leave you looking guilty.
Find the best way to build and present your criminal defense
There’s too much on the line in your criminal case to put forth a lackluster criminal defense. Instead, you need to diligently assess the facts, gather evidence, talk to witnesses, analyze the law, and develop persuasive legal arguments. Only then can you rest assured that you’ve done everything you can to protect yourself, your rights, and your future. Hopefully then you can secure an outcome that allows you to reclaim your life.