Being accused of a crime can be frightening and often life changing. It is important to face these accusations head on and prepare appropriately. Following accusations, you likely will need to navigate a complex criminal justice system. What steps can you take to ensure you are equipped to steer through this system and alleviate your fear?
Breathe. Finding yourself accused of a crime is scary. You may feel blindsided and confused. You will need to process your emotions to stay as level-headed as possible. Before you are pushed into the world of courts, lawyers and investigations, take a deep breath. Becoming angry and combative is not in your best interest. Staying calm and focusing on overcoming these criminal accusations can lead a less stressful process.
Stay silent. When you are accused of a crime, it might lead to an arrest or, at a minimum, a visit with a police officer who is conducting the investigation. If you have been placed under arrest, you have the right to remain silent when being questioned. Do not speak to a law enforcement officer unless you are in the presence of your attorney. Making any statements to an officer without an attorney present can have a negative impact on your case. Perhaps, you believe invoking your constitutional right to stay quiet will make you “look guilty,” but this is simply not true. Staying silent is advantageous to you and your case as a whole. Remaining silent also reaches to your everyday life. Avoid speaking about your criminal accusations to others or posting on social media about the matter. This later could be used against you.
Properly prepare. Regardless of the crime of which you have been accused, begin to gather and preserve all evidence, whether you believe it will help or hurt your case. This could be anything from documents, photographs, call logs and text messages. Do not delete or destroy any evidence that may be relevant. Once you think you have collected any and all evidence, hand it over to your attorney. An attorney can build your defense based off this evidence and can continue collecting various other pieces of evidence throughout the investigation.
Contact an attorney. Contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as you believe you will be or have been accused of a crime. In addition to your right to remain silent, the Constitution also grants you the right to have an attorney. This attorney can be present for any interaction with a law enforcement official. If the criminal accusations lead to charges against you and a subsequent court case, it is crucial to retain an attorney for this. A criminal defense attorney deals with these cases daily. They understand the complexities of the justice system and criminal investigations. Retaining a criminal defense attorney is vital as you need someone who will represent your best interests.
If you have been accused of a crime or believe you will be, consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney at Roth Davies, LLC. at 913-451-9500.