If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime, there are important things that can be done. These items are not just steps to be taken, but something to avoid as well. These mistakes can pose significant issues in your defense and make it more challenging to get a favorable outcome on your case.
Items to avoid after being charged with a crime
- Being arrested again for another crime.
If you or a loved one is awaiting trial, the last thing you want to do is to get arrested for another crime. During this time, you want to keep a low-profile and do the things you need to do to help show the judge that you are taking the right steps to reform yourself and your life. If possible, it is a good idea to keep a distance from family and even friends who might break the law.
- Failing to request the prosecution’s evidence
If you are the defendant of a crime, you have the right to know what evidence the prosecution intends to use against you in the court. This is a right that is entitled under the Sixth Amendment and is a process known as discovery. While we are talking about evidence, you should always consult a criminal defense attorney to learn more about your case and legal options. This is especially important if you have been charged with severe crime ranging from burglary, assault, weapons offenses, and drug crimes.
- Not understanding the consequences of a conviction.
Utah is known for its severe punishments for both first-time and repeats offenders alike. Do not merely think that because this is the first time you have been charged with a crime, the judge will go easy. Even a misdemeanor crime can have significant impacts on your personal and family life. The fact of the matter is that the more energy and attention your case has, the more likely you will gain a favorable outcome.
- Assuming you are innocent or guilty
One of the most challenging aspects of dealing with the criminal justice system is that there are no guarantees. Even if you believe that the state has a weak case or think you are genuinely innocent of breaking any laws. The court is not a perfect system, and innocent people get convicted of crimes at an alarming rate. On the other hand, you cannot assume that you will be found guilty by a jury of your peers. The law is a complicated thing, and there could be several defenses for your case that you are not aware of. In the same vein, police officers and prosecutors can make mistakes, and perhaps they failed to follow protocol in your case.
How to protect yourself
Being charged with a crime is always a serious manner. The best way to help ensure that you are being protected and your rights are being upheld is to speak with a defense lawyer. Many law firms offer consultations where you can ask questions and see where you truly stand in the eyes of the law.