Most people don’t interact with the criminal system on a regular basis. They get most of their information from television. Television information is wildly inaccurate, and so people make a ton of mistakes.
If you or a loved one have been charged with a crime here in Houston, TX, this may be one of the most important posts you read. Here are 5 mistakes you need to avoid if you want your case to go well.
#1) Resisting Arrest
Once it becomes clear that police intend to arrest you, it’s best to comply with their instructions. Don’t shout or swear at them. Don’t so much as yank your body away from them.
Resisting arrest is a misdemeanor. You can be convicted of this crime even if you are not convicted of the original crime that the police charged you with at the time of arrest.
#2) Talking to the Police
Once you’ve been arrested there is absolutely nothing you can say to the police that will entice them to let you go again. You can’t convince them you’re innocent. All you can do is hand them more evidence that they can use to convict you later.
Instead, invoke your right to remain silent and invoke your right to an attorney. It’s our job to convince judges, juries, and prosecutors of your innocence. Once the police have sufficient grounds to make an arrest they barely care anymore about whether you’re guilty or innocent.
#3) Talking to Friends or Family Members
It is very natural to want to convince everybody that you know that you are innocent and that this is all just a big misunderstanding. Yet you might want to back off of doing so. Everyone you talk to can be subpoena’d to come testify against you, unless they’re your attorney, your therapist, or your spouse.
This includes posting about your case on social media.
Just say that your lawyer is handling it and has advised you to avoid speaking about the case until it’s done.
#4) Contacting Witnesses
You may think you’re just desperately trying to tell your side of the story, or that you’re trying to find out what the prosecution has on you, or want to know what various people in your life intend to say if brought up on the stand. Yet if you talk to witnesses at all you can be charged with a new crime: tampering with witnesses.
In Texas, tampering with a witness can be charged as a felony. In addition, you can be convicted of tampering with a witness even if you ultimately are acquitted of the underlying crime. It’s just not worth it.
#5) Being Dishonest with Your Lawyer
As your criminal defense lawyers we are not here to judge you. We’re here to either prove your legal innocence or to help you cut the best deal we can possibly cut. While we cannot lie for you neither will we stop fighting for you just because we’re pretty sure you committed the crime.
We’ll never ask you if you’re guilty. We do ask if you know of any evidence that may either be used against you or which may help you. We ask you to be as honest with us as possible, because this helps us craft a legal strategy that works.
If you or a loved one have been accused of a crime in Houston, TX, don’t delay. Reach out to our offices to get help today.
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