If you've been accused of or charged with a crime, you are most likely planning to obtain legal counsel for your defense. Keep in mind, however, that hiring an attorney is just one aspect of covering your legal bases — and even with professional legal representation, you can still suffer greatly from simple (and preventable) mistakes. Here are three errors you need to avoid as you proceed with your criminal law case.
Mistake #1: Talking to Authorities Without Legal Representation
"The truth shall set you free" isn't always a true statement, no matter how innocent you may believe yourself to be or how helpful you believe it is to cooperate fully with the police. Volunteering information indiscriminately can land you in even more hot water, especially if you happen to use a phrase or term that suggests guilt. Even if you are guilty of the crime, there's no need for you to hang yourself by giving the prosecution all the necessary rope. Exercise your Miranda rights by insisting on having your lawyer present whenever you're making an official statement or answering questions from the authorities.
Mistake #2: Choosing the Wrong Kind of Attorney
Don't assume that any kind of professional attorney will be as good as any other in addressing your case's needs. Criminal law, personal injury, media contract law, and family law are all different categories of law. The experts in these categories make a point of keeping on top of all the applicable laws (including all the latest changes to those laws), legal precedents, and little details that could make all the difference in the presentation and outcome of a case. You want to make sure that you engage the services of a skilled criminal lawyer with actual courtroom experience.
Mistake #3: Not Giving Your Attorney Complete Information
You may feel be tempted to withhold some particularly damning or embarrassing tidbit of information when discussing your case with your attorney. Don't give into it. Your attorney is there not to judge you but to help you. Omitting any information may do significant damage to your case, especially if the prosecution gets wind of it and presents it as part of the case against you. The more your attorney knows, the more skillfully and efficiently that professional can build the strongest possible case on your behalf. Even such mundane details as contact information must be as given as completely as possible. If any of this information changes over time, it's up to you to make sure that your attorney gets those changes as soon as possible.
Some smart decisions and diligence on your part can help you obtain the brightest possible outcome in your criminal case. Talk to your attorney about these issues and ask every question you can think of right from the start. Knowledge is power — so empower yourself and your legal representative! Reach out to local criminal law attorneys today.