If you are arrested or brought in for questioning, you can easily make a bad situation worse by making mistakes well before your case ever goes to trial. Knowing how to avoid traps can make it easier for a lawyer to help your case.

Not Invoking Your Right To Counsel Early

As a person of interest or if you are arrested, it is always better to simply invoke your right to counsel as soon as possible. Many people erroneously believe they can talk their way out of the problem and will be able to go home. Even worse, when multiple people are involved in a crime, each person usually believes they can blame the other person or is afraid everyone else is blaming them. Anything you say while being questioned can be used against you later. This can make your lawyer's job impossible. For example, prosecutors may not have enough evidence against you to charge you with a harsher crime and may be willing to offer you a deal. Unfortunately, if you have provided evidence that further implicates you in the crime, the prosecutor may be more confident they can reach a guilty verdict on a harsher crime, leaving your lawyer with no opportunity to reach a deal.

Talking While Incarcerated

Depending on the reason you are arrested, at minimum, you may be held in custody until you can make bond. It is common for other people in jail to make small-talk and want to know why you are there. Understandably, keeping silent about why you were arrested can make you a target. You may simply reveal the charges and nothing more. Telling someone in the jail all the intimate details of your case can come back to haunt you. Jailhouse informants are sometimes used to testify against defendants, regardless of whether their testimony is true. Sometimes informants will use this information to try and reduce their own punishment. Additionally, some people fail to realize calls to and from the jail are monitored, and they may inadvertently incriminate themselves to family and friends. This can also be used against you later.

Getting Into Trouble

Being incarcerated, even for a short time, can be a scary experience. The goal is to keep a low profile until you can leave. Some people find themselves in jailhouse altercations, whether they are the aggressor or protecting themselves. This is another issue that can be used against you if your case goes to trial, especially if you were initially arrested because of a violent crime. Your behavior while incarcerated can be a deciding factor during punishment if you are found guilty. When a judge or jury has discretion in sentencing, a propensity toward violence can easily convince them to give you a harsher sentence.

To have the best chance at being found not-guilty or receiving a less harsh punishment if you are found guilty, you need to avoid digging yourself into a hole. Keeping a low profile and talking to a lawyer quickly is your best defense against any charges. Contact a criminal law office to get help with your case today.